Stephen A. Smith Says Miami Heat ‘Can Go as Far as the Conference Finals’'
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The Miami Heat are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes they could reach the conference finals by season’s end.

Shortly after the Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-104, on Wednesday night, Smith was asked what he thinks the ceiling is for Miami.

“I think they can go as far as the conference finals,” Smith said. “I think they have the ability to upset anybody. They’re a bit undersized, but they’re athletic. They’ve got skywalkers. They can finish at the rim. They can hit three-point shots. They can defend individually, and if you ask them to switch to a zone, evidently they know how to do that too.

“I’m not saying they’re gonna do it, but outside of Milwaukee in my estimation, because there is no answer for the Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo) on Miami. The bottom line is this, the Miami Heat look like they can beat anybody else in the Eastern Conference. So I say the ceiling is the conference finals. I’m not saying they’re gonna get there, but they could.”

The Heat’s win last night certainly proved that they can play with the best teams in the NBA. The Sixers had not lost at home this season, but the Heat showed that they are capable of stopping a team that boasts multiple All-Star caliber players.

Miami held Philadelphia’s bench to just 19 points on a horrendous 6-of-16 shooting from the field. The Heat played zone defense, frustrating the Sixers to shoot a mere 42.2 percent overall from the floor including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.

If the Sixers matchup is any indication, it shows that this Heat team is a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.

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Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.