Five Reasons Why the Miami Heat Aren’t Championship Contenders…Yet

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2. Lack of Signature Victories

Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game Recap: Heat Dominate LeBron-Less Cavaliers

It’s true that it’s only two months into the season, and the Heat have defeated opponents who are considered elite.

Those “elite” teams would be none other than the Cavaliers, Hawks, Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the Heat defeated the Cavaliers without LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. That automatically “disqualifies” that victory from this category.

Miami defeated OKC in perhaps the best game of the NBA season so far, while they defeated both the Raptors and Hawks rather convincingly.

While those victories were impressive, it’s not enough—and it’s not necessarily the Heat’s fault.

Although the Eastern Conference is the stronger conference of the two this year, the Western Conference’s elite is still better than the East’s elite. With the exception of the Thunder, the Heat have yet to play the top four teams in the West, including the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers.

Miami will play both the Warriors and Clippers on their upcoming road trip in mid-January, and will play the Spurs in February. Depending on how well the Heat play on their West Coast road trip, we’ll have a better idea of where Miami is as a team compared to the rest of the league.

Next: Not Enough Offensive Output

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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.