The Miami Heat has always been one of the more competitive organizations in the NBA. The ‘Heat Culture’ is portrayed by the gritty, aggressive, and, more importantly, winning mindset President Pat Riley and Coach Erik Spoelstra have established. One of those fearless competitors in the Heat locker room is Gabe Vincent, who stated “We have what it takes to get back to the NBA Finals.”
The Miami Heat come off a 53-29 record that earned them first place in a loaded Eastern Conference. Their championship dynamic seemed to have shined all post-season long as they knocked off the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Vincent scored 17 points to go along with three blocks, helping Miami rally to a 118-107 victory over the Boston Celtics. Vincent’s production took a slight decline for the next few games as Miami ended up finding themselves down 3-2 in the series.
The back-and-forth bout left for a critical Game 6 in Boston’s roaring TD Garden. Players and fans around the league had already written off the Heat before the pivotal game, as Draymond Green boldly said that the Warriors were prepared to face Boston in the NBA Finals.
The confident statement from Green sparked Jimmy Butler to go off for 47 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists to force a series-deciding Game 7.
The Heat had fought through Game 7, even when trailing by 15 with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter. It came down to a transition three attempt from the top of the break by Butler that, had he made it, would’ve punched Miami’s ticket back to the NBA Finals. However, the ball went off the rim and landed in the hands of Boston, allowing them to ice the game and have a date with the Warriors.
That miss started the off-season of the Heat, and there were many rumors about everyone not named Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo. PJ Tucker joined the 76ers while Max Strus, Tyler Herro, and Kyle Lowry were linked to trade talks for big-name superstars around the League like Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving or now-Cleveland Cavalier Donovan Mitchell.
The summer of rumors had worn off, and the Miami Heat kept most of their pieces together. Miami will be on the short list of Eastern Conference Finals threats that can make it out of the conference and into the Finals.
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