Miami HEAT: From Finalists to First-Round Exits

The Miami Heat – three-time NBA Champions, 2020 Eastern Conference Finals Champions, and 2020 NBA Finalists… that consists of great players, a great coaching staff, and great fanbase… what more could you ask for in a team?

While this particular season for Miami – and teams across the NBA – came with its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, or whatever you want to call it, one cannot deny this team fought all the way until the very end. While injuries and health & safety protocols played their role this season, the Miami HEAT managed to work their way around that and attempt to preform the best they could with what they had at the time.

As most fans know, Miami or not, the Heat had a difficult start to the 2020-21 season winning seven out of their first 21 games (7-14). Essentially, this was an extremely noticeable and disappointing performance on Miami’s part, considering the run they had made in the Orlando Bubble in their previous season. However, with this upsetting deficit that Miami was facing, it was mainly because of the fact their star-forward, Jimmy Butler, was out for 20 days (10 consecutive games), battling COVID-19.

This took a humongous toll on the team, as they performed horribly without him being present on the court. In the 11 games he was out, the Heat won two out of the ten games played (2-8). Finally, Jimmy returned to play for the game versus Sacramento, where they finally won but just by one point (105-104). Amazingly, Butler also scored 30 PTS, 7 REB, and 8 AST… almost like he never left; it was even more surprising for Butler because he had lost 12-15 pounds in the process of battling COVID-19, and for him to play the way he did was phenomenal.

Over the last fourteen games since Butler’s return, the Heat went 9-5, in which Butler had three consecutive triple-doubles (vs. the Clippers, Warriors, and Kings). Although COVID effected Jimmy’s health personally, it surely did not effect his ability to play the game of basketball exceptionally well.

Tweet via ‘Heat Nation’ (@HeatNationCP) talking about Jimmy Butler’s recent performance after returning 20 days later from battling COVID-19

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