The Miami Heat’s historic playoff run

How did they do it?


Photo Courtesy of Joe Glorioso

Entering the NBA playoffs, the Miami Heat had a mere 5% chance of making the finals— now, they’re here. How did they do it?

The Miami Heat went into the 2020 NBA playoffs as the 5th seeded team in the Eastern Conference, with a lackluster 44-29 record; nobody had Miami on their radar, let alone advancing to the NBA finals. However, behind the leadership of veteran Jimmy Butler, the energy of up-and-coming big man Bam Adebayo, and the clutch, breakout performances of 20-year-old rookie Tyler Herro, they emerged in the first round of the playoffs to sweep the Indiana Pacers. The Heat continued to storm through the playoffs — sending home a favorited Milwaukee Bucks team with back to back MVP Giannis Antetakoumpo in the second round and beating a young Celtics team in the eastern conference finals to advance to the NBA finals.

Playing a large part in Miami’s unforeseen playoff success, in addition to the individual performances of players, is their tough, cohesive, grit and grind playstyle. Everyone on the Heat has gone through adversity in their lives and plays with a chip on their shoulder— they play every game like it’s their last. As Heat all-star Jimmy Butler sums it up,

We been underdogs our entire life, everybody up here got a chip on their shoulder.”

Butler further states,So what that nobody picked us to be here. That’s OK. Pretty sure nobody’s picking us to win, either. That’s OK. But we understand that. We embrace that. Because at the end of the day, we truly don’t care. We’re just going to come out here and compete, play together like we always have and see where we end up.”

As of now, the Miami Heat are down 3-1 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals, and 2 of their 3 best players, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, are out for the series with injuries. It seems as if the Heat’s Cinderella story is coming to an end. However, that is not for sure, as this Miami Heat team has shown us that they can accomplish nearly anything with their confidence, perseverance, and hard play.