The Miami Heat have had an underwhelming 2020/21 campaign after making the NBA finals last season. They are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with a 33-30 record and are in danger of missing out on the postseason.
Bouts of COVID-19 and injuries have marred the Miami Heat's season. But the fans won't entertain any excuses, mainly because they play in a comparatively weaker Eastern Conference.
3 Players who will need to improve if the Miami Heat are to make the Playoffs
Since they were 6-12 at one stage of the season, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have played an integral role in steadying the Miami Heat ship. But other Miami Heat stars will have to step up as well. The players need to be more reliable figures for head coach Erik Spoelstra.
With that said, let's look at three Miami Heat players who need to assume more responsibility for the rest of the season:
#3- Tyler Herro
Tyler Herro has not been entirely disappointing this season. The young star has averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He trails only Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in terms of points and has also been a capable playmaker when required.
However, the Miami Heat would have certainly expected Tyler Herro to take up a more significant role this year after a scintillating showing in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The statistics, as mentioned earlier, are above average at best. Jimmy Butler and co. will need the Kentucky product to step up for the remaining games.
#2- Goran Dragic
After being a reliable sixth man in the 2019/20 season, Goran Dragic's form has taken a significant dip this year. The Slovenian point guard has averaged just 13 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting an underwhelming 35% from downtown. The defensive intensity has reduced as well, which has directly affected the Miami Heat's results and performances.
Dragic has been Erik Spoelstra's trump card. The coach has handed him the keys to the offense whenever Butler and Adebayo have misfired. The former Phoenix Suns star will have to return to his usual best if he wants to draw the same kind of trust from the two-time championship-winning head coach.
#1- Victor Oladipo
Currently out with a knee problem, Victor Oladipo has only played four games for the Miami Heat since coming from Houston. He has averaged a dismal 12 points, 3.5 boards and 3.5 assists; compounding the Miami Heat's problems rather than solving them.
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat top brass acquired Oladipo to have another top wing player next to Butler, but the former Pacers man hasn't lived up to his reputation so far. Oladipo has shown the ability to change the complexion of games independently; both the staff and his teammates will be hoping that the swingman gets back to his best version soon.