The Miami Upset

The Miami Upset

Cooper Rice, sports reporter

The Miami Heat had a very subpar regular season this year. Going 44-38 and finishing 7th in the Eastern Conference the Heat underperformed what many people expected them to do this year.

The Heat had to participate in the NBA’s play-in tournament just to get a shot at going to the playoffs this year, but unfortunately lost their first game to the Atlanta Hawks. Forcing them to play a win or go home game against the Chicago Bulls for the 8th seed in the playoffs. 

Fortunately, the Heat were able to withstand the Bulls in a close victory to move on to the playoffs and face the 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Going into this series every analyst was predicting the Bucks to close out this series in 4 or 5 games. But the Miami Heat had something else in mind. 

“I thought the Bucks were going to sweep the Heat easily. In my mind there was no chance that they could lose.” FHS Senior Crew Frost said.

In these games Jimmy Butler decided to show everyone that watched basketball how good of a player he really was. In game one the Heat shocked the Bucks winning in Milwaukee and taking a lead in the series immediately. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was injured after only playing 11 minutes in this first game. He would go on to miss the next two games which would prove critical to the series. 

The Heat would go on to lose the next game in Milwaukee, which tied the series at 1-1. But this was still considered very good for Miami who would play the next two games on their home court. 

Miami would win the first game on their home court easily, by a margin of 22 points giving them back the lead in the series. But it looked like it may be the end of the line for the Heat, with Giannis Antetokounmpo coming back for game 4 in Miami.

But giving up and losing was not the cloth from which Jimmy Butler was cut. In game four Butler scored 56 points and won the game for the Miami Heat, giving them a 3-1 lead in the series. All they would need to do is win one more game to finish off the Bucks and be the first 8 seed victory since 2012.

The Heat marched into Milwaukee with all the confidence in the world that they could win this series. Once again Jimmy Butler proved that he was a legitimate NBA superstar scoring 42 points in this game and leading the Heat past the Bucks. 

The defense of the Miami Heat in this series was a critical factor of how they won, limiting Giannis’ options and forcing him to the free-throw line where he struggled. Jimmy Butler averaged 37.6 points in this series and torched Jrue Holiday, who was thought to be one of the league’s premier defenders. 

“They call him Jimmy Buckets for a reason, and we see why that is in this series. I think the Heat are going to smoke the Knicks in this series and it wouldn’t surprise me if they went to the finals this year.” FHS Senior Ethan Rivera said.

The Heat now face the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. They have a chance to be just the second 8 seed in history to make it past the second round, and nobody is doubting the Heat anymore.