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Miami Heat 2022/2023 Season Preview

The Heat were lauded as a fake #1 seed many times last season by my colleagues on the podcast. In the end, they bowed out in 7 games to the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals – hardly fitting of a “fake” first seed, however the team will lament what could’ve been and will look to go one step better this season.

Fundamentally speaking, not much has changed in Miami from a personnel stand point. PJ Tucker left in free agency and signed with the 76ers, but otherwise the same squad that had the best record in the East through 82 games remains relatively unchanged.

The team retained the services of Victor Oladipo, Caleb Martin and Dewayne Dedmon, and also, inexplicably, signed Udonis Haslem to yet another one-year deal. Some undrafted free agents join the extended squad, along with tantalising prospect Nikola Jovic, whom the team selected 27th overall in the draft.

Despite both Bam Adebayo (left) and Jimmy Butler (right) missing time last season, the Heat finished as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will hope continuity on their roster leads to a similar result this season. Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Let’s put this out there right now: PJ Tucker is a significant loss for this squad. He is old, slow and his lateral movement isn’t what it used to be, but as a hyper-versatile defender who can guard nearly any opponent and can spot up for the three on offense, his value to a contending team shouldn’t be underestimated.

I am, however, very glad they brought back Oladipo, who despite coming back from injury showed flashes of his former self in the playoffs when Tyler Herro and other bench options were struggling to contribute in any meaningful way. Another off-season under his belt should only help him contribute in a larger role, and with that hopefully comes added rest opportunities for Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, who both missed extended periods with injury last season.

The Heat are running back a near identical squad from last season. PJ Tucker is a loss worth mentioning, but with a healthy Butler and Bam this season, they should exceed their win total from a year ago and once again be poised for a deep run.

Ceiling: 1st seed

Floor: 5th seed

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