So far, the 2022-23 NBA season has proven to be a disappointment for the Miami Heat. That fact has led one team insider to predict that the ceiling for the team is a first-round exit in the upcoming playoffs.
“At the moment, it would take a significant winning streak for the Heat to escape the play-in round,” Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wrote. “And while the Heat should be able to push into the playoffs from there, the two teams that advance from the play-in round likely will face Boston or Milwaukee. Even the most bright-eyed optimist would have trouble forecasting the Heat winning such a seven-game series. So the upside? At the moment it would be just getting to the best-of-seven first round. And at the moment, that, in itself, will be a challenge.”
As Heat fans know, the expectation in Miami is always that the team will be competing for NBA championships. For that reason, it’s pretty clear that Winderman is saying that this year has been a lackluster one.
Right now, even getting to a first-round series is far from guaranteed for Miami. The Heat sit 2.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 6 seed, the final seed to advance straight into the playoffs without having to deal with the play-in tournament. Though the Heat have to like their chances of winning in the play-in, it is still obviously something that they would rather avoid.
There are a number of reasons why the current season has gone somewhat awry for Miami. Trouble at the power forward position has absolutely hurt the Heat, and injuries to key members of the rotation also haven’t helped the cause.
While the team is surely doing the best it can with the current circumstances, there has to be some frustration behind closed doors with the way the campaign has gone.
So far this season, the Heat are just 34-31. They won their last game, a crucial contest against the Atlanta Hawks, but they are still only 4-6 over their last 10 games.
As the NBA approaches its final stretch of regular season games, it will be interesting to see whether the team will surge forward and regain a bit of confidence heading into the postseason or wilt further and start to show signs of packing it in.
Miami’s next game will come on Monday in a second straight matchup against the Hawks.