MIAMI (AP) — Udonis Haslem started out the Miami Warmth postseason with an apology.
It wasn’t a serious apology.
Haslem, like numerous other Warmth players, is amused by the idea that the No. 1 seed in the Jap Convention playoffs is not thought of a preferred to get the Eastern Conference title. Miami doesn’t have an MVP applicant, did not have any person qualify for the top 20 in the league’s scoring race, and according to FanDuel Sportsbook only has the 3rd-very best odds of winning the East guiding Milwaukee and Boston.
“It may not be the sexiest,” Haslem, the longtime Heat captain and 19-calendar year veteran, reported of Miami’s 53-29 frequent period mark. “We ain’t obtained nobody out right here scoring 85 factors in one particular video game. Ain’t obtained none of that. But we are winning basketball video games collectively as a device and as a workforce. I’m sorry to most people in the basketball environment that which is not captivating plenty of for you guys, but we’re thankful for the men that we have and the opportunity that we have to be the No. 1 seed.”
Miami opens the playoffs at home on Sunday afternoon the Warmth will discover out their opponent on Friday night time. By then, the Heat count on to have center Bam Adebayo — out because of a stint in the league’s overall health and protection protocols — back again and prepared for Video game 1. He was the only Heat participant missing Wednesday when the crew resumed apply right after a two-working day, gamers-only, bonding journey to the Bahamas.
“In phrases of whether there’s drive mainly because people today are counting us out or not offering us a owing respect, each man or woman can translate that on their very own,” Warmth mentor Erik Spoelstra stated. “I assume the extra impressive drive is what we’re seeking to perform for and compete for, which is the toughest matter you try to do in a group activity, to contend for a title.”
It could possibly look stunning to some that a crew that produced headlines a couple of weeks ago for an in-match argument — All-Star forward Jimmy Butler exchanging terms with Spoelstra in the course of a time out, then Haslem receiving concerned in a instead demonstrative way — went on family vacation together. Regardless of what prompted that argument was forgotten by the future working day anyway, considering the fact that some gamers arrived for get the job done the next early morning and located Butler and Haslem already in the locker space and carrying on with their normal model of discussion and nonsense.
The Warmth insist they are united. They bicker, and that argument was not the worst dustup the staff has knowledgeable this year, but Haslem claimed that is all component this team’s DNA.
“Typical working day in Miami, person,” Haslem mentioned of the time-out mess very last month. “That’s how we get things finished around right here. We think in eye-to-eye communication. … You say what you’ve got to say, I’ll say what I have got to say, I love you, you love me, let us get back again on the basketball court docket, let us participate in.”
That dustup came throughout a 4-activity Miami dropping streak. When that slide ended, the Heat won six straight to lock up the No. 1 seed in the East ahead of getting rid of a meaningless normal-period finale in Orlando. Most Heat regulars did not engage in in that game, and the Bahamas excursion then acquired underway.
Currently being the No. 1 seed assures absolutely nothing no top seed has won the East title since Cleveland in 2016, and a leading seed has only produced one particular East remaining in the past 4 several years — that remaining Milwaukee, when it dropped to Toronto in 2019.
But the Warmth, just as they were being in the bubble two decades back when they went to the NBA Finals as the East’s No. 5 seed, insist that they consider they have sufficient to contend for a title.
“I experience very good. I do,” Butler said. “I really do not place a ceiling or basement on anything, male, simply because we cannot handle everything. I just know that if we emphasis in on us, and what we can manage, and what we’re able of, we’re going to be Okay.”