A Look Back at the 2019-20 Miami Heat

November 10th, 2020

by Alan Lu

The Miami Heat logo in 2020.
(Photo:
Miami Heat, via Boating Florida East)

The Miami Heat had a very good season that was punctuated by having a terrific playoffs in 2020.  Led by superstars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and head coach Eric Spoelstra, they were able to reel off series wins over 1st seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, and 3rd seeded Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals to get to the 2020 NBA Finals.

Jimmy Butler had many strong performances, and he looked to be the best player in the East in the 2020 playoffs.  They also received tremendous individual performances from Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, while others such as Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala also played their part to help Miami get playoff wins.  Herro was able to score 37 points in Game 4 against Boston Celtics in the ECF.  Tyler Herro had a magnificent Eastern Conference Finals’ series, and though the Miami Heat lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games in the 2020 NBA Finals, the Heat have a bright future, as they could contend to win the title someday.

Miami Heat’s superstar swingman, Jimmy Butler had a tremendous season, as he led his team to the 2020 NBA Finals in the postseason.
(Photo:
Garrett Ellwood/NBA via Getty Images, via The Athletic)

G-F Jimmy Butler – A

2020 (MIA): 30 GP, 19.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, 46 FG%, 24 3PT%, 83 FT%, 33.8 MPG, 23.6 PER, 9 WS

Jimmy Butler had a terrific season for the Miami Heat, and he played his best basketball in the Orlando bubble.  He did everything well for them in the postseason, though he will still need to improve his outside shot.  Butler was tremendous at scoring and defending on the floor, and he also excelled as a facilitator and rebounder for his team. 

He managed to drop numerous triple-doubles that also came with wins and high-point totals that surely would make former 76ers GM Elton Brand regret that he ever let Butler go and walk to Miami.  Butler made his own coffee too, Big Face Coffee, and he flourished as a basketball player and as a small business owner in Orlando.  Butler was the best player in the Eastern Conference during the postseason, and his very good all-around play combined with his persistent determination makes him one of the most underrated, best players in the NBA.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Franchise player/Starting swingman of the Miami Heat
Projected 2021 Rating: 4 stars

Bam Adebayo made a game-saving block on Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt in Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, and it may have helped shape how the rest of the series would play out, as the Heat defeated the Celtics in 6 games.
(Photo:
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press, via The New York Times)

C Bam Adebayo – A

2020 (MIA): 72 GP, 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.3 BPG, 56 FG%, 33.6 MPG, 20.3 PER, 8.5 WS

Bam Adebayo had a terrific season for the Miami Heat.  He really improved leaps and bounds as an overall player, as he demonstrated strong playmaking abilities due to his solid passing and ball handling skills, he excelled as an interior player for his team, and he also made his first All-Star team in the NBA.  Adebayo has blossomed into being one of the best big men in this league, and he will be a very good player for the Miami Heat for many years to come.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starting center of the Miami Heat
Projected 2021 Rating: 3 stars (4 star potential)

Duncan Robinson really improved exponentially as an NBA player, and he is a sharpshooting forward that is now one of the best shooters in the NBA right now.
(Photo:
Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA Today Sports, via Essentially Sports)

F Duncan Robinson – A

2020 (MIA): 73 GP, 13.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 47 FG%, 45 3PT%, 93 FT%, 29.7 MPG, 13.1 PER, 5.3 WS

Duncan Robinson had a terrific season for the Miami Heat, and he really improved exponentially for his team.  He is a tall, sharpshooting forward that excels at knocking down spot-up jumpers, and he can really put up points in a hurry.  He moves well off the ball, and he is one of the best shooters in the game.  On the other hand, he will need to improve his rebounding and defense.  Still, he is a tremendous role player to have on a team, and he will likely get plenty of minutes on the Heat for the upcoming season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starter/solid bench player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2.5 stars

G Goran Dragic – B+

2020 (MIA): 59 GP, 16.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.2 RPG, 44 FG%, 37 3PT%, 78 FT%, 28.2 MPG, 16.3 PER, 3.5 WS

Goran Dragic played very well for the Heat this season, and he showed his versatility by running the point well both as a starter and bench player for them in 2020.  He did a very good job of shooting, scoring, and distributing the basketball,  and he proved to be a valuable player on his team with his ability to make plays consistently on the offensive end.  Dragic has been a solid point guard in the NBA, and he will likely provide the Heat with solid minutes for the upcoming season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starting point guard of the Miami Heat
Projected 2021 Rating: 2.5 stars

Side note: Dragic will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

F Jae Crowder – B- (C- with Memphis, B+ with Miami)

2020 (TOT): 65 GP, 10.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 40 FG%, 34 3PT%, 78 FT%, 28.8 MPG, 12.5 PER, 3.8 WS
2020 (MEM): 45 GP, 9.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 37 FG%, 29 3PT%, 79 FT%, 29.4 MPG, 11 PER, 1.9 WS
2020 (MIA): 20 GP, 11.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 48 FG%, 45 3PT%, 73 FT%, 27.7 MPG, 16.3 PER, 1.9 WS

Crowder had a roller-coaster ride of a season, but he played much better as the year wore on.  After having struggled to consistently make shots with the Memphis Grizzlies, Jae Crowder was dealt in a midseason trade to the Miami Heat.  He then played very well for Miami, as he excelled as an all-around player for them, and he played a pivotal role for them in the playoffs as a 3 and D role player for their team.  He did a good job for Miami down the stretch, and he will likely earn a lucrative contract from an NBA team in the offseason.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2.5 stars

Side note: Crowder will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Miami Heat’s rookie guard, Tyler Herro had a tremendous postseason run that was capped off by a memorable 37-point performance in his team’s Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, and he did a viral snarl in his team’s Game 3 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals.
(Photo:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, via The Rookie Wire)

G Tyler Herro – A

2020 (MIA): 55 GP, 13.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 43 FG%, 39 3PT%, 87 FT%, 27.4 MPG, 12.5 PER, 1.6 WS

Tyler Herro had a terrific rookie season for the Miami Heat.  He is a sharpshooting wing player that really excelled at knocking down shots to help his team on offense, and he had a memorable 37 point-showing in his team’s Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals.  There were definitely times in the Orlando bubble and in the playoffs where he played like a future NBA All-Star, but he did not play well at all in the NBA Finals, as he suddenly struggled with his jump shot and shot selection there when facing the Lakers.  Herro will need to significantly improve his defense, but he is a very talented scorer that could may be a rising star in the NBA.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starter/solid bench player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2.5 stars (3 stars potential)

G-F Andre Iguodala – B-  (B- with Miami, Incomplete with Memphis)

2020 (MIA): 21 GP, 4.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 43 FG%, 30 3PT%, 40 FT%, 19.9 MPG, 10.5 PER, 0.6 WS

Memphis Grizzlies’ fans are probably still steaming over Andre Iguodala’s refusal to play for them, as he deemed their team non-contenders nor worthy of his services, but the fact of matter is that Igudoala was a solid role player for the Miami Heat in the playoffs.  He’s also a decorated player that has made 1 All-Star team, and has won 3 NBA championships, all with the Golden State Warriors, and also has won an NBA Finals MVP in 2015 during his lifetime.  During the regular season in 2020, Iguodala struggled with his jump shot and didn’t take many shots in general, though he excelled as a rebounder, facilitator, and defender on the court. 

In the playoffs, while his passive offensive tendencies continued, he was much more efficient in making shots from all over the court, and he even proved to be a credible three-point threat in the postseason, as he made 4 threes and all 5 of his field goals in his team’s Game 7 win in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Boston Celtics.  Iguodala played well for the Heat in the postseason, and if his solid postseason play shows that the players wield the power in the NBA, especially the good players, and Iguodala was a key contributor in Miami’s run to the NBA Finals in 2020.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

G Kendrick Nunn – A-

2020 (MIA): 67 GP, 15.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.7 RPG, 44 FG%, 35 3PT%, 85 FT%, 29.3 MPG, 12.9 PER, 2 WS

Kendrick Nunn had a terrific rookie season for the Miami Heat.  This year, he far exceeded expectations, as he was the starting lead guard for the Heat during the regular season, and he excelled as a shooter and scorer for his team.  He had a bout with the coronavirus after having tested positive for COVID-19, but he was able to recover from the illness.  When he played in the Orlando bubble, he struggled to find his footing late in the regular season and early in the playoffs.  Nunn was able to finally found his stride during the 2020 NBA Finals, and he excelled as a scorer off the bench for them in the postseason.  Overall, Nunn had a great rookie season, as he finished 2nd in the rookie of the year voting, and he will be a key contributor on the Heat for the upcoming season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)

F Kelly Olynyk – B

2020 (MIA): 67 GP, 8.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 46 FG%, 41 3PT%, 86 FT%, 19.4 MPG, 14.6 PER, 3.7 WS

Kelly Olynyk excelled in his role off the bench for the Miami Heat in 2020.  He shot the ball well as he made shots efficiently, and he also was very effective as a passer on offense.  Olynyk is a versatile scorer that can bring plenty of offense off the bench, but he will need to improve his rebounding, and he will need to show that he can consistently guard upper-echelon opponents in games.  Still, he was very effective in his role for Miami, and he will likely be a key contributor for them for the upcoming season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

C Meyers Leonard – B-

2020 (MIA): 51 GP, 6.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 51 FG%, 41 3PT%, 64 FT%, 20.3 MPG, 10.6 PER, 2.1 WS

Meyers Leonard arguably had his best season in a long time, and while he’s been known to be a solid marksman on offense, he managed to get extended playing time with the Miami Heat, and he excelled as a sharpshooter for his team this year.  He wasn’t used very much in the playoffs, as he’s seen as mostly as a situational use role player, but he was effective in the minutes he played in the postseason.  He will need to improve his rebound and also will need to show that he can consistently guard upper-echelon opponents in games.  Still, he was very effective in his role for Miami, and he could earn some significant playing time with them or another NBA team next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

Side note: Leonard will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

F Derrick Jones Jr. – B-

2020 (MIA): 59 GP, 8.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 53 FG%, 28 3PT%, 77 FT%, 23.3 MPG, 14.9 PER, 4.4 WS

Derrick Jones Jr. is a very athletic, combo forward that won the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk contest that netted him a controversial win after legendary dunk contest performer and runner-up, Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon was awarded just a 9 out of 10 for his dunk over Tacko Fall, of which later Gordon decided to make a rap song that also served as a fun diss track on dunk contest judge and basketball great, Dwyane Wade, who also was a former member of the Miami Heat.  Jones’ dunk contest win was very controversial to say the least, but on the other hand, Aaron Gordon has rap skills!

Anyways this season, Derrick Jones Jr. excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and defender off the bench for his team.  However, he will still need to improve his outside shot and playmaking skills, and he didn’t get much run in the playoffs this year.  Still, Jones is a talented player that could be worthy of getting more playing time next season, as his versatility and tremendous athleticism could could bolster the Miami Heat’s bench in 2021.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)

Side note: Jones will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

F Solomon Hill – C (B- with Memphis, D+ with Miami)

2020 (TOT): 59 GP, 5.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 40 FG%, 37 3PT%, 74 FT%, 18.4 MPG, 9.8 PER, 1.4 WS
2020 (MEM): 48 GP, 5.7 PPG, 3 RPG, 2 APG, 41 FG%, 38 3PT%, 68 FT%, 18.8 MPG, 10.2 PER, 1.4 WS
2020 (MIA): 11 GP, 4.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 31 FG%, 29 3PT%, 88 FT%, 17 MPG, 8.1 PER, 0.1 WS

Solomon Hill is a journeyman NBA forward that got a significant payday when he received a lucrative contract to play for the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016 offseason.  Hill has since been quite injury prone has not really lived up to the hefty expectations placed upon him after being paid 8 figures a year, but he managed to get some minutes on a very good basketball team in 2020.  He still struggled to consistently make shots and was not very assertive on offense, but he excelled on the boards and on the defensive end.  Right now, he could end up fighting for a rotation spot for an NBA team in 2021.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars

Side note: Hill will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

C Chris Silva – B

2020 (MIA): 44 GP, 3.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 62 FG%, 7.9 MPG, 17.3 PER, 1.3 WS

Chris Silva is a rookie big man that hails from Gabon, and he was a member of the 2017 South Carolina college basketball team that made it to the Final Four.  That South Carolina team featured Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier, and Chris Silva was the defensive anchor that excelled as an athletic shot blocker and rim protector for his team.

He signed on with the Heat as an undrafted rookie, and he ended up making the team.  Silva is a gritty, high-motor player that plays bigger than his listed size, and he excelled as an interior player in limited minutes.  Silva excelled as a finisher rebounder, and interior defender when he was on the floor.  He will need to be more assertive on offense and cut down on turnovers and fouls in games, but Silva has shown that he could be a solid rotation player in the NBA.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation-caliber player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 star potential)

F Udonis Haslem – C+  (valued more for his veteran leadership more than his actual basketball skills)

2020 (MIA): 4 GP, 3 PPG, 4 RPG, 36 FG%, 11 MPG, 6.5 PER, 0 WS

He is a longtime veteran forward that has played his entire 17-year career on the Miami Heat.  He has not seen regular playing time in the past five seasons, and at this stage, he’s more like an assistant coach that happens to be a player. Still, he is a vocal leader that inspires his teammates, and that has proven to be very valuable for the Miami Heat.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth forward, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star

Side note: Haslem will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

G Gabe Vincent (Two-Way) – D

2020 (MIA): 9 GP, 2.4 PPG, 22 FG%, 22 3PT%, 9.2 MPG, 1.2 PER, -0.2 WS
2020 (NBA G-League): 21.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 45 FG%, 41 3PT%, 92 FT%, 29.3 MPG, 19.3 PER, 2.6 WS

Gabe Vincent is a skilled combo guard that played his rookie season for the Miami Heat.  He projects into a shooter role off the bench, and he played in the playoffs this year for the Heat.  However, Vincent did not play much, and he did not shoot the ball well during the regular season in the NBA. 

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth guard, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (2 star potential)

C Kyle Alexander (Two-Way) – D

2020 (MIA): 2 GP, 1 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 50 FG%, 6.5 MPG, 4.7 PER, 0 WS
2020 (NBA G-League): 23 GP, 10.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 69 FG%, 25.1 MPG, 23.4 PER, 2.5 WS

He is an athletic big man that played college ball at Tennessee, and he signed a two-way contract with the Miami Heat after having gone undrafted in 2019.  In college, he was a rim protector that excelled as a shot blocker and rim protector, but he was not really a shooter or scorer on offense, but his defensive skills were enough to land him a roster spot in the NBA.  He didn’t play much for the Miami Heat this season, though.  On the bright side, he did play well in the NBA G-League, as he excelled as an interior player at a lower level down there.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth big man, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (2 star potential)

F KZ Okpala – D

2020 (MIA): 5 GP, 1.4 PPG, 1 RPG, 60 FG%, 0 3PT%, 50 FT%, 5.2 MPG, 13.7 PER, 0.1 WS
2020 (NBA G-League): 20 GP, 11.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 37 FG%, 28 3PT%, 63 FT%, 28.6 MPG, 10.5 PER, -0.2 WS

Okpala is an athletic, combo forward that was drafted in the early second round in the 2019 NBA Draft, and he was acquired by the Miami Heat in a trade.  He was considered a first-round talent, but he didn’t really play much in 2019 at all.  He rarely saw the floor in the NBA, but he showed that he can make two-point shots, rebound, and defend in limited minutes. 

However, he really struggled to make shots or score efficiently when he was in the G-League this year.  That he underperformed this season as a rookie in the NBA may be a significant understatement, but it also may be a testament to the immense depth and talent that the Heat have on their roster.  Okpala will need to improve his shooting and get more consistent playing time, though for obvious reasons, minutes will be hard to find for him on his current team.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (2 star potential)

Miami Heat’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra has won 2 NBA titles in 2012 and 2013, and he did a tremendous coaching job this past season in 2020, and he may be the best coach in the NBA right now.
(Photo:
Kim Klement/USA Today Sports, via Newsbreak)

Head Coach:
Erik Spoelstra – A
2020 (MIA): 44-29, 14-7 in the playoffs
Head Coaching career: 567-392, 85-54 in his playoff career, won 2 NBA titles with the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat

Erik Spoelstra had an excellent season in coaching the 2020 Miami Heat, as he took them further than most people imagined they would go this year.  After having led them to a 5th seed in the East, his team swept the Indiana Heat in the first round, and they ousted 1st seed and heavy favorite, the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games in the second round, and his team made Giannis look like an ordinary basketball player rather than the superstar he was during the regular season.  In addition, Miami played so well that their opponents, the Milwaukee Bucks, who were regular-season juggernauts, looked like charlatans in the 2020 playoffs.

He did a great job of implementing zone defenses to confuse players on the Boston Celtics, and he was magnificent in optimizing his lineup uses strategically to help get the most out of his team.  The Miami Heat ended up beating the Boston Celtics in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to go to the 2020 NBA Finals to face off against the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Unfortunately, they were unable to win the title, as they lost in 6 games to LeBron, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers.  Still, Spoelstra was able to help Jimmy Butler become arguably the best player in the East, turned Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro into a superb sharpshooters, and he found a way to maximize the use of his talented and deep roster to near perfection. 

The 2020 Los Angeles Lakers may have been favored to win the title coming into the Orlando bubble, as they were a strong team with definitive superstars that are on another level and stratosphere, and they did win the NBA championship. That said, Erik Spoelstra led his team further than a lot of people thought his team would go, and if there was a playoff head coach of the year award, it would probably have ended up being a two-man race between Spoelstra and Mike Malone, with Spoelstra likely having won that award if it had existed.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Head coach of the Miami Heat
Projected 2021 Rating: 4.5 stars

The 2020 Miami Heat’s season grade: A

The Miami Heat had a tremendous year, and they came away as being the definitive best team in the East.  They ousted first seeded Milwaukee Bucks in just 5 games in the second round, and they made most prognosticators look like sheer fools for having made the wrong team pick in that round.  Their deft coaching, and all-around team play allowed them to get the Eastern Conference series win over the Boston Celtics in 6 games.  

Each time, the Heat managed to overcome odds and obstacles to go further and further into the playoffs.  The Heat culture really has spawned something new perhaps, and it is a way of life for them.  Their teamwork, chemistry, persistent determination, and commitment to the team system and the defensive end has allowed them to consistently outwork teams in the East, and they were able to be competitive and get two wins before losing in 6 games to the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals.

The Miami Heat’s Projected 2020-21 NBA Rotation

Projected Starters:
C Bam Adebayo
F Duncan Robinson
F Jae Crowder* (UFA)
G Jimmy Butler
G Goran Dragic* (UFA)

Key Reserves:
G Tyler Herro
G Andre Iguodala
G Kendrick Nunn
F Kelly Olynyk

Others competing for a spot in the rotation next season:
C Meyers Leonard* (UFA)
F Derrick Jones Jr.* (UFA)
The 20th Overall Pick
F-C Chris Silva

Other players that are currently projected to be on their next season’s roster:
F Udonis Haslem
G Gabe Vincent (Two-Way)
C Kyle Alexander (Two-Way)
F KZ Okpala

Players that will be Restricted Free Agents:
None

Players that will be Unrestricted Free Agents:
Goran Dragic
Jae Crowder
Meyers Leonard
Derrick Jones Jr.
Solomon Hill

Prediction

 I am predicting that the Miami Heat will try to keep most of the players they have on the roster, but if the bidding gets too much for Dragic, Crowder, Leonard, and Jones, the Heat might allow another team to sign them instead.  As for Solomon Hill, the Miami Heat already have a lot of players vying for rotation spots, and as Hill didn’t really make much of a difference on their team this season, they may let him go to another team in free agency.

Players that have a player option:
None

Players that have a team option:
None

Projected Players Cut from Next Season’s Roster:

None

2020 NBA Draft Picks:
#20

Projected Offseason Plan for the Heat:

 The Miami Heat are a prime title contender for the 2020-21 NBA season, and they will likely try to bring almost everyone back, but they have enough cap space to make some upgrades via free agency as they have almost $25 million to spend in free agency according to Spotrac.  Of course, they may spend most of their time trying to re-sign Dragic and Crowder, so there may not be much, if any cap space left if they keep both of them.

The Heat have one draft pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and they could use some extra depth to bolster their roster.  They are building their team around Butler and Adebayo, but they could draft a player that would best fit both their team and around those players.  Dragic and Iguodala are in their mid-30s, so they could use more guards, but Crowder, Jones, and Leonard are all impending free agents, so they also could use more players on the front court in addition.

Expected Regular Season Win-Loss Record in 2021*: 43-29, 4th in the Eastern Conference

In this scenario, the 2021 Miami Heat would play against the 5th seeded, Kevin Durant-led Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs.

Expected 2021 Season Outcome:  The 2020 Miami Heat were a 5th seed coming into the 2020 NBA playoffs, and so statistical models may not project the 2021 Miami Heat to win as many regular season games as anticipated, because they are more concerned with their playoff performance.  They still project to be a top 4 seed in the East in 2021, but other teams such as Milwaukee and Toronto will likely try to win a lot of games in the regular season, so Miami’s regular season win total in 2021 might be lower than expected.

Still, don’t let the lower than expected playoff seed fool you.  The Miami Heat are a very good basketball team that will probably play much better than expected in the playoffs in 2021, and they are a very talented, well-coached team that has a deep roster.  They made a deep playoff run to get to the NBA Finals in 2020, and they could get back there in 2021.

(* – The asterisk denotes that the expected regular season win total is adjusted for the 72-game schedule that the NBA will play for the 2020-21 season.  The initial projection for the Heat was for them to get 49 wins in an 82-game season.  Also, the projected record does not take into account for the NBA draft or free agency, as those events have not happened yet.)

In case if you need the rubric for my player rating system of projecting NBA players for the 2020-21 season, here is the link. In addition, Basketball-Reference and Spotrac were vital information sites that I used to look at player and team statistics, as well as contract information.

Side note: Also, the letter grades attached to the player name was my grade for their 2019-20 season, as it is my judgment of their performance and whether or not they met or exceeded my expectations, and didn’t have much bearing on my projection of how they will perform for the 2020-21 NBA season.

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