NBA Playoff Odds: The Miami Heat’s 2021 Title Chances
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat.
Miami Heat NBA Playoff Odds
How the Miami Heat Got Here
The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers had the shortest break between last season’s NBA Finals and the start of the regular season, but it was clear early that their magical run would not carry over. The Heat were 11-17 halfway through the season, well below their expectations entering the season.
Few teams had as many injuries and COVID issues as the Heat this season. Among their top-five scorers, Bam Adebayo missed the fewest games of the group (8). Jimmy Butler missed 20 and Miami’s big in-season acquisition, Victor Oladipo, played four games before being ruled out for the season.
Since mid-February, the Heat have the sixth-best win percentage in the NBA and they rank tied for 10th in the league in Defensive Rating (111.1). More recently, Miami has found its offense and is scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions over their past 16 games. In that recent span, the Heat are 11-4-1 against the spread (tied for the best mark during that span) and 11-5 to the over (tied for third-best).
Oddsmakers think highly of the Heat despite their place in the playoff bracket. Due in large part to their run in the bubble last season, the Heat are listed ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks to win the Eastern Conference.
The Heat are obviously not strangers to being longshots in the playoffs and a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 1 will immediately bring back memories of last season. While they have a difficult path to returning to the Finals, the Heat are a team to watch in the East.