Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives around San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HEAT-ing Up

In the 2020 NBA bubble, many thought the Miami Heat had just caught “lightning in a bottle” during its NBA Finals run. The next year, the Heat had been swept by the Bucks in the opening round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Looking to get over the hump, the Heat brought in Kyle Lowry to further deepen its roster. Now, the Miami Heat sit in second place in the Eastern Conference and hold the fourth best record in the NBA. But how did they get here?

Heat Fully Loaded

The Miami Heat franchise has a knack for attracting and bringing in big-time players to its team. Historic stars like Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James were victorious in their time spent in Miami. Now, the Heat had been looking for that final piece of its roster. In the 2021 offseason, the Heat recreated “The Big Three.” This time with the signing of NBA All-Star, Kyle Lowry. Lowry was added to a young, budding roster led by NBA All-Stars, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

But a majority of the Heat’s wins this season have come without its stars all playing together. The Heat’s win over the San Antonio Spurs this past Thursday was only the first its projected starting lineup played together since Thanksgiving. Despite not having its full starting five for a majority of the season, Miami has still posted a top-5 record in the NBA. But Miami’s lineup being whole definitely helped them break its recent three-game losing skid.

Losing Skid Stopped

Walking into San Antonio, Miami had lost its last three games. Also, the team was playing its third game on a six-game road trip. This was only the second time all season Miami had lost three consecutive games. But now, Miami’s lineup is fully healthy and active. Plus, with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson all scoring at least 17 points, the Spurs couldn’t seem to keep up. Winning 112-95, the Heat move to 17-1 when holding teams to under 100 points.

What’s Next?

With a losing skid now in the rear-view mirror, Miami focuses on the end of its road trip. Up next, Miami will face the young, rising star LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets. Then, the team will travel to Washington and New Orleans to close out its six-game road trip. By the upcoming All-Star Break, Miami could see themselves in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference once again.

About David Churba

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