Despite the fact that the Miami Heat were one of the two teams competing on TNT’s broadcast on Thursday night, discussions about the team were virtually nonexistent during the studio portion of the broadcast.
That’s with the exception of a shot delivered by Hall of Famer Charles Barkley about the state of the franchise.
No real discussion about the Heat from TNT's award-winning studio show last night aside from Charles Barkley saying "there's a chance we may never go to Miami again" for a conference finals.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 21, 2018
The Heat ended up defeating the Houston Rockets on the road, 101-99, using a strong third-quarter performance to help deliver the win. That improved the injury-plagued team’s season record to 14-16, which (entering Friday night’s action) ties them with the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Long ago, Barkley established himself as a loose cannon when it comes to remarks on any number of topics. In some instances, such comments have gotten him in trouble, but it’s that controversial approach that continues to ensure his employment.
The last time the Heat reached the Eastern Conference Finals was in 2014, the last season in which LeBron James was with the team. During his four seasons with the Heat from 2010 to 2014, James played a huge role in leading them to the Finals each year. Prior to his arrival, the team had competed on three other occasions: 1997, 2005 and 2006.
In the first two instances, the Heat came up short. However, in the last case, they defeated the Detroit Pistons in six games before then capturing their first NBA title by defeating the Dallas Mavericks, also in six games.
The Heat return to action on Saturday night when they host the Milwaukee Bucks, followed by a Sunday night clash in Orlando.