The Miami Heat’s preseason schedule concludes when they host the Boston Celtics at 6:30 pm on Friday at the FTX Arena. After enduring two seasons in a 12-month span, this past summer of rest and recovery has led to an overwhelmingly positive return to the court for the Heat.
The roster changed during the offseason, energizing a seemingly fatigued team coming off a crushing four-game sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in last season’s playoffs.
So what did we learn about the Miami Heat’s new look this preseason? Here are the top five takeaways heading into his season opener against defending champion Milwaukee Bucks a week from now.
his GP delivered 10 assists in 19 minutes pic.twitter.com/hheN7w0TMO
– Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 8, 2021
Kyle Lowry looks good in a Heat jersey
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this preseason, it’s that the addition of Kyle Lowry will be as big an improvement for the team as advertised. As much as Heat fans will adore Goran Dragic, Lowry is a major upgrade at point guard.
Lowry does whatever it takes every night, and it showed in the Heat’s win against the Rockets last week. He had only scored two points at halftime, but ten assists. He’s a winner and seems to be a perfect fit with the Heat.
Tyler in 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yujmRxnRtS
– Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 9, 2021
Tyler Herro 3.0 looks legit
After a rookie season that ended with some incredible performances in the playoffs, Tyler Herro’s sophomore season left Miami Heat fans wanting more. Attribute to fatigue or distractions off the court, but Herro never delivered on a promise to take his game to the next level last season.
In this preseason, all signs point to the next level being unlocked. Herro seems stronger, faster and mentally prepared to lead the Heat’s second unit. His preseason play made Heat fans believe the team was smart not to give up after the trade rumors.
– Jake Pablo 🎨 (@jakepablomedia) October 12, 2021
Udonis passes the torch to Bam this year
It’s certainly starting to feel like this will be Udonis Haslem’s last season as an active Miami Heat player, now that he’s finally found a worthy young leader with all the right traits to lead the Heat franchise for the next decade. Haslem hasn’t been shy this preseason talking about how Bam Adebayo is the future of the Miami Heat, and it looks like the future is near.
Bam Adebayo has always felt like the future leader and cultivator of the “heat culture” going forward, but Haslem has made it clear this preseason that he plans to pass the torch sooner rather than later.
Max Strus is no longer a top player
The Strus is loose, folks. Max Strus is poised to play a bigger role for the Heat this season. If preseason is any indication, he’s ready for it.
After a solid performance in the Summer League that carried over into the Heat’s preseason, it’s clear that Max Strus is the next shooter when Duncan Robinson comes off the court. His confidence is also through the roof. Now you just need to prove it in the regular season.
Stability will benefit the Miami Heat
The Brooklyn Nets are dealing with the marginalization of Kyrie Irving due to his refusal to get vaccinated, adding a hit and distractions to their championship-level squad. The Philadelphia 76ers are grappling with the aftermath of a difficult situation following Ben Simmons’ refusal to report to the facility until this week after demanding a trade.
Meanwhile, the Heat are rested, ready and fully vaccinated. The latter will give them a tangible advantage; the team will collectively be able to circumvent many of the measures put in place for unvaccinated players.
They’re already getting an advantage on teams that are in disarray, which could be all the advantage they need to finish atop the Eastern Conference.