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Evaluating the Miami Heat Roster for the 2020-21 Season
For all of the NBA teams wondering how they can improve, try taking a page out of Pat Riley’s book in Miami.
The Heat initiated a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler. They drafted Tyler Herro and plucked Duncan Robinson off the waivers.
The Miami Heat roster was suddenly reshaped and recharged – ready for a run at the NBA Finals.
That’s exactly what Erik Spoelstra and his group were able to accomplish. Heading into 2020-21, Miami is once again in a terrific position to threaten for a title.
Miami Heat Roster in 2020-21
- Key Additions: Precious Achiuwa, Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless
- Key Losses: Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr.
- PG – Goran Dragic
- SG – Duncan Robinson
- SF – Jimmy Butler
- PF – Meyers Leonard
- C – Bam Adebayo
Meyers Leonard begins the year as the Heat’s starting power forward, although it probably won’t be long until Precious Achiuwa passes Leonard on the depth chart. The rookie from Memphis arrives as a bonafide rim protector with a growing offensive game.
Already being incorporated into workouts with Tyler Herro, look for the product of Montverde Academy to provide a big boost from the get-go.
Speaking of Tyler Herro, the gifted shooting guard emerged as a clutch performer in the bubble and will once again be relied on for big minutes in South Beach.
Miami Heat’s Best Player – Jimmy Butler
Bam Adebayo is a superstar in the making and is deserving of his five-year extension worth (up to) 195.6 million. Nevertheless, he’s still the “1B” to Jimmy Butler’s “1A” in Miami.
The 31-year-old alpha male shined in the postseason and was the catalyst behind keeping the Heat afloat in the Finals. Butler played at least 43 minutes in five of the six games (versus the Lakers) and stuffed the stat sheet in the process.
|Jimmy Butler in the 2020 NBA Finals – By the Numbers|
|Minutes||Field Goal %||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Steals|
After playing for four teams in the last four years, it appears that Jimmy has found a permanent home in Miami. How permanent Butler’s new relationship with Selena Gomez is – that I have no idea.
Miami Heat’s X-Factor – Duncan Robinson
The “hero” in Game 5 of the NBA Finals wasn’t Tyler Herro. It was Duncan Robinson – an undrafted second-year player who was an afterthought heading into the 2019-20 season.
The swingman out of the University of Michigan averaged 3.3 points and shot 28.6% from beyond the arc as a rookie. He played just 10.7 minutes per game and made one start.
One year later, Duncan started 68 times (appeared in 73 games) shot a video-game-like 44.6% from downtown. Robinson accounted for 13.5 ppg, and only James Harden and Buddy Hield made more threes overall. He led the league in free-throw % (93.1%).
The sneaky thing about Duncan is he’s not just a flamethrower. He’s a rangy defender with good lateral movement and someone who will demand minutes down the stretch in Erik Spoelstra’s lineup.
Final Assessment of the Miami Heat Roster
Solidifying a presence in the post and deepening the rotation were two of the Miami Heat’s biggest needs heading into the offseason. By drafting Precious Achiuwa and inking Avery Bradley and Mo Harkless (along with retaining Goran Dragic), they’ve done both of those things.
I like Kendrick Nunn coming off the bench as a guy who can create his own shot, and it’s clear that Tyler Hero is on his way toward becoming a perennial All-Star. As far as talking about the most proficient duos in the game, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are in the conversation.
Perhaps the best part about the Miami Heat roster is that it’s being guided by a terrific group of coaches.