The Miami Heat made the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 season, but not everyone in the NBA world is sold on the idea that the team can win a title in the 2023-24 campaign.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently said that he doesn’t believe the Heat have enough to win a title.
Stephen A. Smith is not high on the Miami Heat
“They don’t have enough” pic.twitter.com/WlwDaTEFMu
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) December 26, 2023
However, it appears that the Heat players themselves think they can win a title this season.
After Miami beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas, veteran guard Kyle Lowry was quick to claim that the team has “enough” in the 2023-24 campaign.
“As Lowry exited the Heat locker room, he strolled past Tyler Herro, who was about to answer a question about beating the Philadelphia 76ers 119-113 while missing four rotation players, including star Jimmy Butler,” The Athletic’s Joe Vardon wrote. “Before Herro could get in a word, Lowry bellowed in a deep, voice-over-like voice, as though he was James Earl Jones: ‘We have enough.’”
Lowry’s confidence in his team might stem from the team’s run to the NBA Finals last season. Also, the Heat weren’t even at full strength on Christmas.
Butler, who is arguably the team’s best player, missed Miami’s win over the Sixers.
While Philly didn’t have star center and reigning league MVP Joel Embiid, it was still an impressive win for the Heat.
Herro echoed Lowry’s statement after the game, showing how much the team believes in itself.
“Like Kyle said, we do have enough, no matter who’s playing and who’s sitting,” Herro said. “As you’ve seen lately, we’ve been winning games. But in order to (get to) our ultimate goal of winning a championship, we’ll obviously need everybody.”
One of the players that stepped up for Miami on Christmas, and has been stepping up all season long, is rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr.
A first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Jaquez had a monster game, scoring a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field. He also added 10 rebounds, one assist and two steals in the win.
Jaquez is averaging 13.7 points per game in his rookie season, and he’s become a huge part of Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.
After the Heat lost rotation players like Gabe Vincent and Max Strus in the offseason, the team has found other players (like Jaquez and veteran guard Josh Richardson) to come in and fill voids in the lineup.
Miami was the No. 8 seed in the East last season, yet the team still made the NBA Finals, even with Herro missing nearly all of the team’s playoff run with an injury.
It’s clear that the Heat are confident that they’ll be in the mix for the title come playoff time this season. Miami is currently the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.