Heat vs. Pacers, Round 1
If the NBA were to resume and the playoffs started today, the fourth seed Heat (41-24) would face the fifth seed Indiana Pacers (39-26). During the regular season, the Heat and Pacers played twice, with Miami winning both games. Prior to suspending the season due to Covid-19, the Heat was putting together a run ahead of the postseason. The team saw themselves 11.0 games ahead of the second-place Orlando Magic in the Atlantic Division and making a push on the Boston Celtics to take over the third slot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Winning the season series against the Pacers, Pat Riley and Erik Spolestra should expect more-of-the-same, come playoff time. The real question is, then what? The team has demonstrated to be good in a weak Eastern Conference. This offseason the Heat needs to do everything in their jurisdiction to land one more star.
An un-happy Donovan Mitchell to Miami?
Given the current state of the virus, the Utah Jazz holds an unhappy Donovan Mitchell. Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive with the coronavirus. Gobert’s diagnosis denoted the source of sports leagues being closed around the country. Shortly after testing positive, teammate Mitchell also tested positive. A statement from ESPN that developed swiftly after Mitchell examined positive claimed that Gobert had been touching other players and their belongings.” Mitchell, in an interview with “Good Morning America,” seemed to be upset with Gobert.
EXCLUSIVE: “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus is that you may seem fine.” @NBA star @spidadmitchell speaks out for the first time from isolation since being diagnosed with COVID-19, despite being “asymptomatic.” https://t.co/i9rZzYvW4s pic.twitter.com/wZJBteQjtV
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 16, 2020
Mitchell to the Heat would automatically add star power to an organization that is in playoff contention. In 219 career games he has averaged 22.7 points per game. Mitchell, also known as “Spider” is just 23 years old, and would help the Heat stay relevant for years to come. He will be a free agent next year and presented with the current status of Covid-19 maybe sooner. Mitchell would help Bam Adebayo’s development and help take some pressure off Jimmy Butler. “Spider” already seems to enjoy Dwyane Wade’s game.
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) February 28, 2019
Miami can land Washington Wizards Bradley Beal
Another whale that has been in Miami’s radar for some time is, Bradley Beal. Beal is an absolute stud for the Washington Wizards. Being able to lure in superstars over the years –whether free agency or trade– has given Riley the nickname of “The Godfather.” Adding a player of Beal’s caliber to a playoff-caliber team would make the Heat an automatic favorite to bring another ring to South Beach.
Adebayo is an influential player within the Heat organization. Adebayo, has actively recruited Beal on more than one occasion. Bringing Beal to the Heat would unquestionably bring back memories of the BIG 3 era. Beal is 26 years old and a 2x All-Star. Beal for his career has averaged 21.0 points per game. At the end of a 33-point performance in the AmericanAirlines Arena, during Wade’s last dance season. “He’s part of the reason that I wear number three, ” Beal said commenting on a post-game jersey swap with Wade. “For the first time, I told him that [Friday] night. I’ve never told him that in all the years that I have played against him”.
Bam Adebayo wearing the Bradley Beal jersey in the post-game. pic.twitter.com/QDEBsQxLpa
— Will Manso (@WillManso) March 9, 2020
Miami fans love their current team, but a group with either one of these two players will get the organization over the top. If Riley can land another star to pair with Jimmy Butler and Adebayo, Miami will arguably become one of the top contenders in the NBA.