Report: Rivals Were ‘Chuckling’ and Had ‘Genuine Concern’ for Miami Heat During 2017-18 Season'
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The Miami Heat’s turnaround this season has been a hot topic across the NBA.

After signing All-Star Jimmy Butler this past offseason, Miami has shocked the league and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, Miami reportedly was looked down upon by the rest of the NBA not too long ago, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

“By the midway point of the 2017-18 season, it looked as if tanking the prior season might have been the ‘smarter’ move,” Lowe wrote about the Heat. “Rival chuckling at the Heat’s expense morphed into genuine concern and curiosity: How was one of the league’s glamour franchises going to get out of this? When I traveled to Miami to cover the team that winter, I could sense a certain discomfort within the franchise. It wasn’t demoralization: more like the realization that most of those contracts were turning out worse than expected, and that climbing out would not be easy.”

While Miami had been in a bad cap situation a few years ago, shrewd moves by Pat Riley and the Heat front office have put them back in contention.

That, along with the drafting of Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, has helped Miami achieve success during the 2019-20 season.

Now, the Heat lead the Boston Celtics 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It would be an even more amazing story if Miami were to make it all the way to the NBA Finals this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.