The Miami Heat’s Worst Season: 2008

The Miami Heat made ten playoff appearances in 11 seasons. They won three championships between 2004 and 2014. The one season they didn’t make the playoffs? They put together an absolutely dreadful 15-67 record. And that record, as it turns out, is the worst in franchise history apart from their debut season. But since it’d hardly be sporting of us to consider an expansion year in this feature, we’ll look elsewhere. Miami bottomed out big-time in 2008. On the bright side, however, it led to a franchise renaissance. Let’s get right to it. This was weird. The On-Court Record What …

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So Are the 4-1 Miami Heat For Real?

The Miami Heat never seem to play a close game. Their four wins have all been decisive, none more so than the 137-95 thrashing they gave the Milwaukee Bucks in their opener on October 21. The double-digit loss on their record may look on the surface like they got smacked around, but that Pacers game went to overtime. Coming into the Charlotte game, the Heat held a plus-14.8 Net Rating, second behind only the red-hot Utah Jazz (plus-18.2 after demolishing Houston to go to 4-0 on Thursday night.) Miami brought a 92.3 Defensive Rating into the contest. After a 114-99 …

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The Miami Heat’s Best Season: 2013

The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, were perhaps an incomplete success story. While they, along with Chris Bosh, promised “not one, not two, not three” championships in a bold press conference upon announcing the superteam, and while four NBA Finals appearances in as many years is impressive, fans perhaps expected more than two rings from the powerhouse roster. Overall, the Heat were very good, going 58-24 in 2011, 46-20 (a 57-25 pace in the shortened lockout season) in 2012, and 54-28 in 2014. But a 58-win peak isn’t exactly the stuff of NBA legend. None of …

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Can the Miami Heat Void Meyers Leonard’s Contract?

Meyers Leonard, the Ivan Drago lookalike center who has been in street clothes due to a shoulder injury and will miss the rest of the season, did the second-dumbest thing an NBA player can do, and now his team is at a decision point. I say “second-dumbest” because “getting caught on a hot mic using an anti-Semitic slur” is only slightly less dumb than the same scenario but using or implying the N-word—see Sterling comma Donald for the fallout of that particular error in judgment. But still, using a word guaranteed to offend not only Miami Heat owner Micky Arison …

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LeBron James’ Amazing Playoff Statistical Legacy

In March of 2019, I took a look at LeBron James‘ amazing career statistically. I talked about the Grand Triple-Double (10,000 each of points, assists, and rebounds; based on his career averages, LeBron will reach that mark sometime during the 2021-22 season if he stays healthy.) I talked about his chances of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list—he has 4,147 points to go to get to 38,388, and at his career scoring rate of 27.1 points per game, he’ll do that in two seasons, maybe early in a third if the NBA truncates the 2020-21 season to 60 …

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The Importance of Shortened NBA Playoff Rotations

During the NBA regular season, bench depth is a vital way to make sure that starters are fresh for the playoffs. Whether it’s pounding weak teams into dust so teams can use their end-of-the-bench guys in garbage time or simply having a second unit that can play 15 or 20 minutes a game and hold a lead, using every one of the 13 guys at a team’s disposal pays dividends in the spring (or, if there’s a plague around, the early fall.) Case in point, the Los Angeles Lakers. During their five-game series win over the Denver Nuggets, eight players …

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Are the 2019-20 Miami Heat Good?

The Miami Heat finished second in the Southeast Division with a record of 39-43 in 2018-19 and came within three games of winning the division—not that this would have done them any good had they not been in the top eight in the East, but that only further underscores how bad 39-43 is when you get a division full of scrubs and can’t post a winning record. But that Heat team might as well be a completely different franchise compared to this year’s edition. Hassan Whiteside is gone. Jimmy Butler is in. Dwyane Wade and his brutal .061 WS/48 and …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part III: Southeast Division

In the previous two editions of this series, we took a look at the best and worst contracts in the Atlantic and Central Divisions, and we finish our look at the Eastern Conference today with the Dumpster fire that is the Southeast Division—a division Orlando won with a 42-40 record and sent no other teams to the playoffs. Which, in turn, points to the wisdom of the NBA making its playoff standards division agnostic. In the old days, the 4 seed Magic would’ve hosted the 5 seed Celtics in Game 1 of the first round, a Celtics team that won …

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Breakfast Special: 182 Fishing Trips Start Today

Last night was a chance to say goodbye to NBA yesterdays before looking ahead to the playoffs and two months of NBA tomorrows. Dirk Nowitzki played his last game with his career ending as it always seemed to go when he played—getting outclassed by the San Antonio Spurs. Dwyane Wade notched a triple-double with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in attendance, reminding Miami that they haven’t won a stinkin’ thing since 2014. An era of NBA basketball is over. Some on Twitter are wondering where we go from here. Regular readers of Pace and Space already know the answer to …

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Was Paul Pierce Really Better Than Dwyane Wade?

Paul Pierce caused quite a stir when he claimed on national television that he had a better career than Dwyane Wade. The reaction on social media was divided, with Celtics fans of course agreeing with Pierce and the NBA Twitter barbershop generally coming down on the side of D-Wade. Plenty of folks advanced the theory that Pierce is still bitter about his legacy since he didn’t get the Kobe Bryant/Dirk Nowitzki/”One Last Dance” lovefest that other stars got. And the statheads pointed out that the race is tighter than you realize. Your intrepid columnist is all set to wade into …

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