Trouble is, they have been banged up for a good part of the last four seasons.
When they haven’t been banged up, they reached the NBA Finals in 2020, and despite being less than 100 percent in last year’s playoffs, they came within one play or two of reaching the championship series once again.
For a good chunk of this season, the Heat again had to deal with key rotation players being in and out of the lineup due to injuries and health reasons, and as a result, they started 7-11.
But since then, they started perking up, and they have now won 18 of their last 28 games, giving them a 25-21 record, which puts them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Is Miami reestablishing itself as a contender?
When the Heat reached the NBA Finals in 2020 and came close to getting back there last season, it did so with defense.
So far in January, it has ranked first in defensive rating, and on the season it is fifth in that category.
They’re slowly getting healthier, and big man Bam Adebayo has stepped up his game lately.
Bam Adebayo's leap back to the All-Star game continued in New Orleans:
+16 in 31 minutes.
NBA's leading scorer in the paint.
Top 3 center in the league. pic.twitter.com/89VTou1ENN
— Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) January 19, 2023
Miami still needs to do something about 36-year-old point guard Kyle Lowry, who looks like a shell of his old self and is still owed $28.3 million this season and $29.7 million next year.
But fans can always count on one thing from the team: No matter who is in uniform, it will fight, scratch and claw as hard and ferociously as any team in the NBA until the final second of the playoffs.