Can the Heat Make the Playoffs?

The Miami Heat are currently 9th in the Eastern Conference sitting at a 29-36 record on the season. A lot has been made about this this Miami Heat team. Sure, they haven’t been playing the best basketball this season, but the roster has been changed a lot since they started on October 29th.

Just how different is this Heat team? 3 players that started opening night for the Heat are all gone for the season. Norris Cole and Shawne Williams were traded to the Pelicans, while Chris Bosh is out for the remainder of the season due to blood clots in his lungs. Josh McRoberts, a key player for the Heat is also out for the season with a torn meniscus. Other bench players like Danny Granger, Andre Dawkins, Shannon Brown, and Justin Hamilton.

New additions for the Heat that happened during this season include Goran and Zoran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Henry Walker, Michael Beasley, and Hassan Whiteside. Things are different in South Beach, and a few genius moves by Pat Riley which seemed minor, have turned out big for him. The key to the Heat’s success depends on these guys.

Henry Walker

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Walker was recently signed for the rest of the season and next. Prior to being signed he had left quite the impact for the Miami Heat. In his first game with the Heat versus the Philadelphia 76ers, Walker threw down a mean jam. When I say mean, I mean MEAN.

Walker has scored double digits in points in every game except one for the Heat in just 5 games this year. He also included other highlights, by hitting two clutch three-pointers that lead the Heat to victory versus the Orlando Magic.

Those two threes were the only threes Walker hit in that game too, on 11 attempts.

Michael Beasley 

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Just like Henry Walker, Michael Beasley has also been in two ten-day contracts by the Heat. Beasley is known as a bust after the Heat took him with the 2nd pick in the 2008 NBA Draft over players like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. Beasley however, is on a mission to change that bust status by his name.

Beasley has learned how to do his own laundry, shop for groceries, and learned how to cook by watching videos on YouTube. Those everyday life things are things Beasley didn’t do in his younger days, where he was immature and getting into problems with the law. Those problems have almost ended his career completely, but in ten plus days with the Heat, he’s been the teams most valuable bench player.

Beasley logged 43 minutes in the Heat’s 114-109 overtime win versus the Sacramento Kings. Beasley was placed at the center position for some periods during the game. While he might have not stopped DeMarcus Cousins, he still did a great job.

Shabazz Napier

Reid Kelley
Reid Kelley

While Shabazz Napier doesn’t have some of the great stats that other rookies like Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Mirtoic have, Napier has been big for the Heat when they’ve needed him. When guys like Goran Dragic, Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, and Norris Cole were un-able to play, Napier came to the rescue. His most recent hero like game came against the Washington Wizards on February 6th, where the Heat went down by 35 points at one period during the game. Napier helped lead the Heat back from all the way down 35 to only losing by two with 16 points and 4 assists, shooting 50 percent from the field.

Udonis Haslem

Getty Images
Getty Images

Mr. 305 is the man that needs to step up the most. With Chris Bosh being out for the season with blood clots on his lungs, Haslem was inserted into the lineup to start at power forward along with Henry Walker also seeing some time at the power forward slot. Haslem knows what it takes to win the NBA’s ultimate prize, as he has won the Finals 3 times along with all-star guard Dwyane Wade.

Speaking of Dwyane Wade he has been vintage in the last four games averaging over 25 points per game. Wade needs to be the Dwyane Wade that we saw in 2009-2010 when Wade lead the Heat  to the Playoffs. While that may not happen, it’s most likely the only way it can happen.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The schedule doesn’t favor the Heat at all. The Heat still have to play the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Charlotte Hornets, which the Heat have one or more losses versus this season.

The odds are stacked against them, but there’s more then one way the Heat can be able to go on a run and make it in.

Like The Game Day Report on Facebook

[twitter-follow screen_name='TheGD_Report' show_count='yes']

Published by Tony Montalto

Twitter: @montalto_tony

%d bloggers like this: