The Miami Heat Are Catching Fire


NBAE/Getty Images

MIAMI, FL – JANUARY 7: The Miami Heat during the game against the Utah Jazz on January 7, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Jesse Zambrano, Staff Writer

In years past, the Miami Heat were a team whose triumphs were recognized by basketball fans all across the United States. In 2012, the Miami Heat were NBA Champions and were successful in making the NBA Finals the following two years. After the end of the 2014 season, LeBron James made a conscious decision to leave the Heat and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Following his departure, the team was greatly impacted in terms of performance. Dwyane Wade joined James in Cleveland at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season after an argument surfaced between Wade and the Heat franchise regarding the renewal of his contract. News shocked fans as Miami’s “Big Three”—consisting of Wade, James, and Chris Bosh—had come to an unfortunate end.

To secure the last remaining member of the “Big Three” on the team, the Heat franchise presented Bosh with a maximum contract. Losing two veteran players affected the team greatly. The fact that the Miami Heat would struggle after losing so much talent was no secret. In response to the unforeseen circumstances, the team wanted to rebuild their core unit. In doing so, the Heat quickly underwent a serious reconstruction by bringing in new talent. Trusting the talent from the team’s younger players and the guiding staff, the Miami Heat have been playing with hopes of a season title. The team’s loyal fans remained understanding of how difficult reconstructing a team can be, especially in such a competitive sport. However, to the franchise’s advantage, new players rise every day with the passion to play the game and, most importantly, win.

Entering the first game of the 2017-2018 season, the restructured Miami Heat played against the Orlando Magic; the game was in Orlando ending with a 116-109 victory in favor of the Magic. This was a rocky way to start the season, especially after a poor summer and pre-season. Luckily the team was able to improve their game, proceeding to win the following two games against the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. These two wins successfully restored team morale and showed the fans what they were capable of as a unit. The team would then lose the following three home games towards the end of October. Throughout the month of November, they would trade wins and losses with their opponents, unable to gather consistent success.

A surprising turn of events occurred on Dec. 30, when the Miami Heat won against the Orlando Magic, thus beginning a seven-game winning streak. During this streak, the team won against the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks. The streak came to an end on Jan. 15 when the Miami Heat faced the Chicago Bulls, losing 119-111.

Pullquote Photo

Recently, the Heat have turned their season around in comparison to the shaky start they had in the beginning. Going seventeen wins in the last twenty-two games, even without Dion Waiters, has given this team a boost. The battle continues as they now work to make it to the playoffs in the hopes of adding a championship title to their season.

— sophomore Christian Segurola

Currently, the Miami Heat are ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference. Their success raises the question of whether the departures of  Wade and James really affected the team’s dynamics and on-the-court plays. Luckily, the Miami Heat are rising to their potential due to players like Goran Dragic, who brings in the highest points per game at an average of 17.3. Dragic also has 4.9 average assists per game, an elite player who embodies fierceness and competitiveness on the team. Hassan Whiteside has an average of 11.6 rebounds per game, not to mention a 56.5 field goal percentage and 1.3 steals per game. Dion Waiters is also a key player to the team that brings in an average of 14.3 points to a game. However, after a resurfaced ankle injury, Waiters will be forced to have surgery and miss the remainder of this season. Nevertheless, while these are just some of the many dedicated players on the Miami Heat team, they all bring in a type of competitiveness that shows passion to the night’s game when it becomes tight.

“The Heat are a young and athletic team that plays with a lot of heart. They have a great future ahead of them,” sophomore Kamir Larin said.

Ultimately, the Miami Heat are trying to do what every other NBA team is doing, which is win as many games as possible and make it to the finals. While there have been some unfortunate and disappointing losses, the team will hopefully take advantage of the youth of most of the players on the team. Besides winning, all the Miami Heat can continue to do is to play with their heart in their hands and keep bettering themselves, ultimately making their city proud each and every game of the season.