3 Early Bold Miami Predictions for the 2022-23 NBA Season

The Miami Heat had an impressive season, finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference and just one win away from reaching the NBA Finals. A heroic performance by Jimmy Butler nearly carried the team through the playoffs, but it wasn’t quite enough. Heading into the 2022-23 season, the slates have been wiped clean and the franchise must start from scratch on its road to success.

It’s been a relatively quiet off-season for Miami. They added Nikola Jovic with the 27th pick in the draft and brought back Victor Oladipo on a one-year contract. The Heat also lost PJ Tucker in a free hand, a big void they need to fill. As Tucker ages and nears the end of his career, he was a key element of their team last season and has been especially important in the postseason. Failure to properly replace it could be a cause for concern.

Regardless, the Heat always seem to find ways to exceed expectations, and this year couldn’t be any different. While we’re still a few months away from the start of the season, here are three early predictions on what to expect from Miami going into the 2022-23 season.

Miami Heat 2022-23 Season Predictions

3)Tyler Herro averages 23+ points per game

One guy who’s expected to get a few extra eyes on him this season is Tyler Herro. The reigning sixth man of the year has improved his total points in each of his three seasons in the NBA. Last year, he averaged 20.7 points per game while posting a career-high 39.9% on three-point attempts. Herro will continue to be an important part of Miami’s offense and if he can grow on the defensive side of the ball it could allow for longer minutes. The Kentucky product has expressed hopes of being part of the starting lineup and the Heat will likely experiment with that.

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

2) Nikola Jovic averages 12+ points per game

The Miami Heat’s biggest X-Factor this season is Nikola Jovic. The Serbian is a talented young shooter with excellent height. Jovic stands 6’11” and projects as a winger in the NBA. He showed some fascinating flashes in the summer league and may be more NBA-capable than initially thought.

Expect the Heat to use the rookie as a spark off the bench and for him to fill that role effectively. His length and desire to compete on the defensive side of the floor should give Jovic an edge over some of the other rotation figures. Jovic’s willing three-point shot and off-ball movement fit well with the Miami system. Look for the rookie to capitalize on his opportunity and score some points off the bench for the Heat this year.

1)Miami Heat fails to make top 4 in East

The Heat impressed greatly last year, finishing 53-29 and securing first place in the East. Unfortunately for the Heat, several teams in the conference made massive strides forward. The Celtics addressed their greatest weakness by trading for Malcolm Brogdon while keeping their core intact. The Sixers added some important bank pieces and stole freehand PJ Tucker from Miami. The Atlanta Hawks made a big trade to land DeJounte Murray and the Bucks will be healthy again this season.

The bottom line is that the race in the Eastern Conference is as competitive as ever. While the Miami Heat will certainly find their way into the postseason and be ready to compete with any team every night, some kind of decline should be expected. There are still plenty of reasons for optimism around the team, but the loss of PJ Tucker will likely prove more impactful than previously thought. As long as Jimmy Butler and the rest of the core remain intact, the franchise can’t be ruled out, but standing still while the rest of the league progresses isn’t usually a recipe for success.

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