miami heat vs boston celtics eastern conference finals 2022

2022-23 NBA season, The Miami Heat’s three bold predictions

September 29, 2022

The Miami Heat are wrapping up an impressive season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and just one win away from reaching the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler’s heroics nearly led the team to the playoffs, but it wasn’t enough. The roster heading into the 2022-23 season has been wiped, and this team will have to start from scratch to succeed.

It’s been a relatively quiet off-season for Miami. They selected Nikola Jovic with the 27th overall pick in the draft and brought back Victor Oladipo on a one-year deal. The Miami Heat also lost PJ Tucker in free agency, a significant hole they will be forced to fill. Although Tucker is old and nearing the end of his career, he was a key player on the team last season, especially in the playoffs. Failure to replace him properly could raise concerns.

Regardless, the Heat always seems to find a way to exceed expectations, and this year was no exception. While the season is still months away, here are three early predictions for what Miami can expect in the 2022-23 season.

Miami Heat 2022-23 Season Predictions


3) Tyler Herro has 23+ points per game

The man who is paying more attention to him this season is Herro. As the reigning Sixth Man NBA of the Year, he has to improve his scoring total in his three NBA seasons. He averaged 20.7 points per game last year and shot a career-high 39.9 percent from 3-point range. Herro will carry on to be an essential part of Miami’s offense, and if he can grow on the defensive end, he could expand his minutes. The Kentucky player has already expressed his desire to be part of the starting lineup, and the Heat may experiment with that.

It’s also worth noting that Tyler Herro will be playing the final year of his rookie contract this season. The 22-year-old star player will become a restricted free agent after this season and has yet to agree to a long-term contract deal with the Miami Heat. Herro is eligible to sign a contract extension of up to $188 million over five years, with a salary set at $32.5 million in the first year. NBA players tend to play their best during contract years and expect Tyler Herro to leave everything on the court to prove he’s worthy of that long-term commitment.

2) Nikola Jovic, his average is 12+ points per game

The biggest X-factor for the Miami Heat this season is Nikola Jovic. The Serb is a talented young striker with an incredible physique. Jovic is 6-foot-11 and an NBA wing. He showed some exciting flashes in summer league and maybe a better fit for the NBA than initially thought.

Expect the Miami Heat to use the rookie as a spark off the bench and have him fill that role effectively. His size and desire to compete on the defensive end should give Jovic an edge over other rotation players. Jovic’s willingness to shoot 3s and run off the ball would be a perfect fit for Miami’s system.

1) The Miami Heat didn’t make the top four in the Eastern Conference

Last year, the Heat went an impressive 53-29 and secured the top seed in the East. Unfortunately for the Miami Heat, several teams in the conference took a big step forward. The Boston Celtics addressed their biggest weakness by trading Malcolm Brogdon while keeping the core intact. The 76ers added some key bench players and stole PJ Tucker from Miami in free agency. The Atlanta Hawks made a major trade for Dejounte Murray, and the Bucks will be healthy again this season.

The bottom line is that the Eastern Conference games are as competitive as ever. While the Miami Heat will make the playoffs and be ready to compete with any team on a nightly basis. There’s still some reason for optimism for the team, but the impact of losing PJ Tucker could be more significant than people realize. You can’t count the team as long as Jimmy Butler and the rest of the core remain intact, but staying still while the rest of the league improves isn’t usually a recipe for success.