NBA insider sends warning to rest of league about Miami Heat’s reputation in playoffs: ‘Nobody wants to see these guys’

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently indicated that opposing teams are likely hoping to avoid the Miami Heat in the playoffs despite Miami’s inconsistent play in the 2023-24 regular season.

“I don’t care what their record is,” said Zach Lowe. “I don’t care what their seed is. Nobody wants to see these guys. Nobody wants to see Jimmy Butler beatin’ people up, Bam [Adebayo] beatin’ people up and Spo (Erik Spoelstra) on the sideline crafting zones and schemes and being one step ahead.”

The Heat were the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the 2023 playoffs, yet they went on to represent the conference in the 2023 NBA Finals. Miami made history, as it became just the second No. 8 seed in the history of the league to secure an NBA Finals berth, joining the 1999 New York Knicks.

But Miami came up short of the ultimate prize, as the team lost to Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in five games in the championship series.

The Heat  — who are on a quest to avenge their loss in the NBA Finals a season ago and get over the hump — have been playing some of their best basketball over the season over the last couple of weeks after getting off to a slow start to the campaign. Miami is riding a five-game winning streak, which is the second-longest active winning streak of any team in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Boston Celtics, who are winners of their last nine contests and own the best record in the NBA by a wide margin at 46-12.

Miami hasn’t lost a game since falling to the Celtics at home on Feb. 11. Sans Butler in the lineup, Tyler Herro led the Heat in scoring in the losing effort with 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field and 4-of-12 from deep. He also chipped in five rebounds and four assists.

The Heat will take on the Nuggets on the road on Thursday night in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. Like the Heat, the Nuggets are also on a winning streak, though theirs isn’t quite as long at four games. Denver owns a 40-19 record on the season and is two games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.