Gilbert Arenas thinks Heat lack true No. 1 option: ‘It ain’t no championship team’'
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Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have reached the NBA Finals twice in the past five years but have no Larry O’Brien Trophy to show for in that stretch.

Retired point guard Gilbert Arenas seems to believe the Heat won’t be able to secure a fourth title in franchise history unless they undergo a major roster reconstruction. He also implied that Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are just second and third options.

“Let’s just be honest,” Arenas said on his podcast while discussing the Heat’s future. “With the team they have, it ain’t no championship team, right? You got two players who are technically a second and a third option. Do you just break the team up and just make it just bottom-feeding team, or you try to use them two to get a generational player?”

This season, the team’s dreams of winning its first title since 2013 came to an early end. It lost to the No. 1-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round, managing to steal just one contest in the series.

The round saw Butler not log a single minute after he sustained an MCL injury in Miami’s play-in tournament loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite wearing street clothes, he still seized the opportunity to troll the Celtics after his squad triumphed in Game 2. Last week, team president Pat Riley expressed that he wasn’t too thrilled about the six-time All-Star’s antics.

Without its leader, Miami could only muster 92.2 points per contest in the series. Adebayo tried his best to carry his squad with 22.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per match. But the lack of another reliable scorer proved too tough for the Heat to overcome.

It’s unclear if the results would have been the same had Butler been healthy enough to play against Boston. Some might point to the fact that the Heat defeated their rivals in seven games in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals with Butler suiting up.

However, the Celtics are a much different team in this campaign, having added Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday in the 2023 offseason. In addition, they swept Miami in the regular season 3-0, with Butler recording just 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per match in his two appearances against Boston.

Whether Arenas’ opinion about the Heat is accurate is up in the air. What’s certain is that the organization has to look for insurance for its stars battling injuries every year. Butler and Tyler Herro have missed a significant chunk of games in the past few years, impacting the team’s continuity and ability to keep up with the competition in the playoffs.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.