This coming weekend, the Miami Heat and the rest of the NBA will gather in Cleveland for the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend to celebrate the best the league has to offer.
But, only one member of the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference as of Monday will be taking his talents to northeast Ohio in what may be the biggest oddity of the season’s first half.
Even that player, forward Jimmy Butler, is someone who has missed 19 games over the first half of the season but has still managed to lead the team in points per game. Miami’s longtime head coach, Erik Spoelstra, will get to coach the Eastern Conference team as a reward for the Heat having the top record.
In total, 21 of the players selected to the All-Star Game rosters are from teams with records currently worse than what the Heat are rocking at this point.
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On top of that, no Miami player was selected for the All-Star Saturday night events, including Duncan Robinson (11th in the NBA in three pointers made) and Kyle Lowry (sixth in assists).
Yes, the NBA All-Star weekend is more about personal success than what a team is doing (amplified by the fact the best player in basketball history, LeBron James, is a captain despite the Los Angeles Lakers being well under .500), but the Heat can’t even get more than one player selected?
The scary part? The Heat currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference despite many of the team’s best players (Butler, Lowry, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo) missing at least 10 games or more so far in 2021-22. Miami hasn’t been able to play together as a unit and is still the top team in the east right now.
Are there still plenty of questions involving the Heat? Of course there are. Miami, despite having the best record in one conference, still is just the fourth best team right now in the entire NBA record wise.
Last week’s monster trade involving the Philadelphia 76ers (a team two and a half games back of Miami) and Brooklyn Nets (six and a half games back) could change the way things play out in the East and this is still a Heat team who got swept out of the first round of the playoffs last season.
Despite all that, the fact of the matter is that the Miami Heat are not getting a lot of respect from people outside of South Florida. It would be smart for people to recognize what’s taking place and get on board with the reality that the Heat are a legit NBA Finals contender.