In an interview with The Athletic’s Michael Lee, the Heat’s star forward and marquee offseason acquisition, Jimmy Butler, said that he believes that his team’s ceiling is a championship.
“The ceiling is a championship. And I don’t care what nobody has to say,” said Butler. “If the stars align, we can get it done. If we figure this thing out, we stay together, we get our defense on track, we get our offense on track, and we become top five in both categories, we right there. We right there. We’ve got an opportunity to do something special and we’re working at it every single day.
Miami is ranked 12th in team offense, scoring 112.2 points per game, and sixth in team defense, only allowing 103.7 points per game. When it comes to percentages, the Heat’s opponents are shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from three.
The Heat’s success isn’t all due to one player, as seven Heat players are currently averaging double digit points per game. Butler is the team’s leading scorer at 18.7 points per game and also leads the Heat in assists per game at 7.0, which is a career high.
With how they’ve been playing so far this season, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the Heat have turned into contenders. Besides the main star in Butler, they also have supporting pieces that have played well like Kendrick Nunn, Bam Adebayo, and Duncan Robinson, all of whom are starters in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.
The solid play rolls over to the bench as well, as Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro are averaging 15.8 and 14.0 points per game, respectively.
In the coming weeks, the Heat will be able to test themselves against higher quality opponents with games scheduled against the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and the defending Eastern Conference champion Toronto Raptors.