If the NBA world has learned anything in recent years, it’s that the Miami Heat can never be dismissed in the title conversation.
For that reason, it’s no surprise that Erik Spoelstra believes his squad has what it takes to challenge for the 2024 NBA title.
Spo said Heat has title contender. He said he understands fans want changes every year
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 2, 2023
“We like our group. We have one of the best playoff performers in this association. One of the best two-way players…One of the most skilled 2 guards in the league.”
Says he understands the buzz for change among fans, but he says they have “one of those teams” pic.twitter.com/IL9Pj22FUU
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) October 2, 2023
Spoelstra did admit that the Heat will need to see some internal improvement from their current roster, but overall, he seems very optimistic.
“We have to get better for sure…”
Erik Spoelstra speaking about the internal improvement of current roster
Looking for “explosive learning.”
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) October 2, 2023
Spoelstra: “I’m very excited about this group. We have some collective experiences together.
— alex toledo (@tropicalblanket) October 2, 2023
The Heat’s 2023 offseason has been seen by many as a massive letdown. Additions like Thomas Bryant and Josh Richardson should help the squad to some degree, but fans had bigger goals in mind for Miami when the offseason began.
Of course, the story of the Heat’s offseason can’t be told without mentioning Damian Lillard.
Lillard requested a trade specifically to Miami on July 1, but after months of silence, it became clear that there were no guarantees the superstar was going to land with the Heat. Fears that he’d land elsewhere turned to reality in late September, when the Portland Trail Blazers sent him to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Moreover, Jrue Holiday, who the Blazers acquired in the Lillard deal, was recently flipped to the Boston Celtics.
In summary, as a result of the Heat falling short in the Lillard sweepstakes, arguably the two biggest threats to Miami in the Eastern Conference were able to make massive additions.
On paper, the Bucks and Celtics look like potential problems for the Heat this season following Miami’s quiet summer.
Fortunately for Spoelstra and company, the games aren’t played on paper, and the Heat know that better than anyone. Miami’s run to the 2023 NBA Finals wasn’t supposed to happen, but the squad got there anyway and came within three victories of winning it all.
The Heat also came within five wins of a title in 2022 and were two wins away in 2020.
Miami will open its season on Oct. 25 against the Detroit Pistons and has dates with the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks before the month of October even ends. Those two games will give folks chances to see how the Heat measure up against some of the biggest threats in the East.