Jimmy Butler
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are one of the NBA’s most dangerous teams. Hoops Habit’s Collin Loring joins HAA to discuss their restart and path to success.

The Miami Heat are currently 41-24 and occupy the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. With seemingly less talent than some of their counterparts, the Heat have put together an impressive record against the other top-seeded teams in the East.

Amongst the other pillars of “Heat culture” All-Stars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and teammates such as Duncan Robinson, Goran Dragic, and rookie Tyler Herro, have created a frightening playoff squad that no one wants to face.

Hoop’s Habit’s Collin Loring joined HAA hosts Geoff Campbell and Chip Murphy to discuss the 2019-2020 season, restart, and offseason outlook. When asked about the most surprising element to the Heat’s success this season Loring provided the guys with an interesting answer.

“I’ll tell you what, I’m not sure what the most surprising thing is, but one thing I would notice is, the seamless transition between star-less team to being led by an alpha in Jimmy Butler,” Loring explained. “To go from not having a guy that’s demanding the ball like that…but you’ve got an All-star now that you’re giving the last shot, and for them to incorporate that so seamlessly, over a couple of months. … I think it’s an even bigger testament to the culture and what they have going on down there.”

The conversation shifted to the Heat’s offseason approach and potential year-long preparations for a stout 2021 free-agent class. Miami has been linked to plenty of star players via trade or free agency including Giannis Antetokoumpo, Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, and Victor Oladipo.

Loring offered his thoughts on who Pat Riley and Heat might target in the future.

“In my mind it would be Chris Paul, just grabbing him through trade,” Loring said. “I think if you grab Chris Paul right now, it’s Eastern Conference Finals most likely. … But also, when you’re talking most likely to join, I gotta say it’s Beal man. Beal was already close to signing with them before, and that’s before they had Jimmy. I love that Beal is sticking around in Washington, but as soon as things go wrong, I think he’s gonna make a business decision, quickly.”

The Heat are bound to be an interesting team as we move closer to the NBA’s re-start. Despite Butler’s unilateral respect around the league, he’s never made it out of the second round, and you have to wonder if the narrative around him shifts if the same holds true this season.

As always, a big thank you to Collin Loring for joining the podcast! Be sure to check out his great writing at Hoops Habit and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button on all podcast platforms for HAA.