Three things to look for on the Miami Heat this season (includes video story)

The Miami Heat opens the regular season on Thursday at 8 p.m. against the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks at the FTX Arena with high hopes after going 5-1 in warm-up games.

Shooting guard Tyler Herro has grown following his rocky second year in the NBA. Recently acquired Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry has looked effective leading the offense, averaging six assists a night during preseason games.

Outside the preseason closer against the Boston Celtics last Friday at the FTX, fans were excited to share their predictions for what is to come this season.

“I expect to see a lot of the guys who got more playing time earlier in the preseason transfer over to the regular season,” shared fan Anthony Rodriguez. “I’m excited to honestly see Kyle Lowry and him playing with Bam Adebayo, I think that was a huge addition during the offseason.”

Sam Macias, another fan, shared his thoughts on players, “Tyler Herro… he’s been shooting way better, and I like the way he’s been creating for the offense this preseason… I think we should at least be third seed in the East and I’m hoping to make it to at least the Eastern Conference Finals.”

Many are optimistic about the 2021-2022 NBA season. Below we go over three things that fans should be on the lookout for at the start of the season Thursday against the Bucks. 

Tyler Herro having a breakout season:

Tyler Herro has been one of the best players in the NBA during the preseason. CBS Sports has named the shooting guard part of its all-NBA preseason team after averaging 22.4 points with a 51% shooting percentage. 

The Heat needs Herro to take a major step forward in his development after his disappointing sophomore campaign last year, in which he averaged 15.1 points. Miami does not have a pure scorer, therefore Herro will be crucial to the offense. 

Forward Jimmy Butler and center Bam Adebayo are defensive-minded players with some offensive capability. Neither is known to take over a game with scoring consistently. Lowry should remedy some of the consistency issues with his playmaking ability and allow Herro to find his spots more often.

Herro has shown this preseason he can handle the heavy lifting on offense needed by the Heat to contend in the Eastern Conference, which is looking as tough as ever with teams like the Bucks and star-studded Brooklyn Nets.

Squad Depth: 

This season, Miami added new players to the roster, including veteran forward PJ Tucker, who had a two-year, $14 million contract, and starting point guard Lowry who came via sign-and-trade from the Toronto Raptors.  

These players will add talent, experience, and intensity to a Heat squad that was swept 4-0 by the Bucks in the Eastern Conference first round. Tucker was on the Milwaukee team that just won the NBA Finals, while Lowry was the second-best player on the Toronto team that won the 2019 NBA Finals after forward Kawhi Leonard.  

The issue the Heat may have is a lack of depth at the wing. Besides Butler and Duncan Robinson, they do not have much experience in that position. Of course, there is new forward acquisition Markieff Morris, who is typically played at the four spot. But he is not a game-changer. 

Herro will likely play point guard plenty this year as this is another area of concern for the Heat, which has few guards on the roster. Miami head coach Eric Spoelstra was one of the first to implement positionless basketball; we can expect him to get creative with lineups to make up for roster deficiencies.  

Rest for veteran players:

Butler averaged the most minutes for the Heat last year at 33.6 a game. Lowry, at 34-years-old, was third on his team with 34.8 minutes. Butler turned 32 last month, and Lowry will be 36 this season.

It would be wise to schedule regular rest for these players so they can be ready for a postseason run. They both have a grit-and-grind style of play in which they exert a lot of effort on the defensive side.

The NBA season is a marathon. Last postseason key contributors like James Harden and Anthony Davis were either ruled out or struggled during games with injuries. Both players’ teams were eliminated because of their limitations.

Miami needs to be smart and not overwork Butler or Lowry. Both players will be huge factors once playoff time comes around, but how healthy they are will be an even bigger indicator of how far this team will go.\

On Friday at FTX Arena, the Miami Heat concluded their pre-season in a game against the Boston Celtics.

Heat fans outside the arena were excited to share their predictions for what is to come this season.

“I expect to see a lot of the guys who got more playing time earlier in the preseason transfer over to the regular season,” shared fan Anthony Rodriguez. “I’m excited to honestly see Kyle Lowry and him playing with Bam Adebayo, I think that was a huge addition during the offseason.”

And other fans, like Sam Macias, sharing their thoughts on players…“Tyler Herro… he’s been shooting way better and I like the way he’s been creating for the offense this preseason… I think we should at least be the third seed in the east and I’m hoping to make it to at least the Eastern Conference Finals.”

The video was filmed by Anya Joseph. All three writers contributed to the story.

Anya Joseph is a digital broadcasting major. She enjoys travel and sports, particularly basketball. She wants to pursue sports journalism and her goal is to work as an analyst, host, writer, editor, and reporter.

Alex Vargas is a digital journalism major at Florida International University. He enjoys watching sports and reading about the latest news. He makes a valiant effort to provide the best coverage of a story.
Roberto Rios Vargas studies digital communication and media. His passion is sports journalism. His goal is to work as a host of a professional soccer, baseball or basketball program. He is also passionate about editing and operating broadcast equipment.