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

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5. Lack of Team Identity

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I mentioned it earlier in this piece, and I’ll mention it again—what kind of team are the Heat?

Are they a top-tier team that has a solid record in the regular season, but you know will come up short in the postseason? Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks have fit this mold over recent years.

Are the Heat a team that can legitimately challenge the Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy? Can they at least consistently win in the postseason versus the East’s best, despite amassing a 4-6 record versus the top eight teams in the conference?

No one knows what kind of team the Heat are, not even their own players, according to Wade after they lost to the Grizzlies on December 29th:

“We’ve had 30 games together and we ain’t figured it out yet,” he said. “We haven’t played together long enough to figure it out. Either this is gonna be our season or we’re gonna figure it out. Or we’re not. We’re a good team, and if we’re satisfied with being a good team then we’ll keep playing like this throughout the year. If we want to be a great team, we’ll put it together. There’s only one way to find out. We’re about 52 games away from that, so I don’t know.”

While it’s clear the Heat are good enough to get into the postseason this year, what’s not clear is how far they can actually advance once they do get in.

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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.