Our Heat season companion part 24 discusses the Heat’s 94-89 loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Nuggets. The Nuggets won the Finals 4-1 and are now NBA champions. This is a disappointing end to the Heat’s 2022-23 season. Let’s discuss Game 5 and the 2023 NBA Finals as a whole.
Heat Season Companion Part 24: The Heat Only Scored 89 Points in Game 5
A lack of scoring was a major problem for the Heat throughout this Finals series and that problem was quite evident in Game 5. The Heat only scored 89 points in Game 5, shooting 34% from the field and 25.7% from three-point range. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both scored at least 20 points in this game.
Adebayo had 20 points and 12 rebounds while Butler had 21 points and five assists. Still, it was not enough for the Heat in Game 5. The Heat’s bench did not play well in Game 5. Lowry had 12 points and Martin scored 10 points in Game 5. Overall, the Heat’s bench only scored 27 points in Game 5.
Duncan Robinson played 17 minutes but only had five points. In terms of the starters, Kevin Love only had a measly three points, Gabe Vincent only had six points, and Max Strus only scored 12 points. Naturally, that was not enough scoring to help the Heat overcome the Nuggets in Game 5 to prolong the Finals.
Heat Season Companion Part 24: Nikola Jokic Dominated in Game 5
Nikola Jokic is a former MVP and he demonstrated that in Game 5. Jokic finished Game 5 with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists. Nikola Jokic dominated the Heat throughout most of the 2023 NBA Finals. Jokic won Finals MVP as a result and was the driving force behind the Nuggets’ championship run.
The Heat Have to Make Major Moves to Upgrade the Roster
Almost no one expected the Heat to make it to the 2023 NBA Finals. However, having said that, the NBA Finals demonstrated that the Heat do not have a championship-caliber roster at this point. Herro’s injury hurt the Heat majorly in the Finals, especially given how well Herro tends to play against the Denver Nuggets.
Still, the Heat have to make major moves this off-season to build a team that is truly capable of winning the NBA championship. Specifically, the Heat need to add a big-time scorer and more size to the team. Bam Adebayo did what he could against Jokic, but his comparative lack of size allowed Jokic to dominate on the offensive end against the Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals.
The Heat Should Be Active in this Off-Season
It is vital for the Heat to make major moves this off-season. It is clear that the Heat are not yet capable of winning the NBA championship with this current roster. Retaining Caleb Martin is crucial, but so is adding more size and more scoring to the team. I would bet that the Heat will finish higher than eighth in the East next season after all the moves that they make.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.