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The Heat may have had some dysfunction on the sidelines recently, but they’re still a legitimate NBA title contender for these five reasons.
Jimmy Butler might not be the most popular teammate in the NBA, but anyone believing his recent friction with head coach Erik Spoelstra might rule the Heat out as title contenders should think again. Miami is heading into the postseason as the probable No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and possesses a great opportunity to make it to the NBA Finals.
It’s unlikely that the Heat would be favored against a healthy Western Conference team in the Finals, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t pull off an upset. GM Pat Riley has assembled a deep, versatile roster for his protege Spoelstra to coach. Every player acquired by Miami in recent years has been obtained to achieve postseason success.
Things won’t be easy for the Heat in the playoffs, but they’ve got more than enough juice to bring another championship parade to fans in South Beach. Miami fans should count on these five reasons as to why their favorite team is a legitimate title contender.
5. Kyle Lowry can turn it up another level
The 35-year-old point guard has averaged just under 34 minutes per game in 62 games played this season so it’s not as if he hasn’t been relied upon as a key cog for Miami to date. The former champion can still take his game to another level once the postseason arrives.
Specifically, Lowry can start to look for his own shot more when the stakes are at their highest. He’s been a terrific assist man this year, but opposing defenses will look to force him to score in the playoffs. Heat opponents should only employ that strategy in times of desperation. Lowry still has the juice to score in bunches when the need arises.