#1 — Victor Oladipo returning and contributing
It didn’t happen until March, and it wasn’t seamless, but eventually, Oladipo found his way into the rotation and was a crucial part of what the Heat did in the playoffs. Oladipo finished the regular season with a 40-point outburst against the Orlando Magic. But he started the playoffs out of the rotation.
Once he made it back in with a Jimmy Butler injury, he didn’t leave. And Oladipo’s defense was crucial in what the Heat did. He’s not back to who he was, but he’s getting closer. He can create separation on his shot, and he’s not afraid to shoot. It was great to see Vic back playing and feeling healthy while contributing.
#2 — Tyler Herro wins 6th Man of the Year
It was one of the things I predicted preseason here on HHH, and it was obvious from the first week of the season that Tyler was going to be the best player off the bench in the NBA. He led the Heat in scoring so many times, dropping 30+ point games off the bench for Heat records. He owned the second quarter and energizes the FTX Arena.
Herro was a bright spot this season. He took a leap averaging 20.7 PPG for Miami and he’s eyeing being a starter next year. There are great things to come for Tyler and it may include a big payday.
#3 — Max Strus and Gabe Vincent prove they belong
These guys did not start the season as a part of the regular rotation, but they worked their way there quickly. Gabe Vincent proved he’s a rotation player and is capable of being a spark for Miami. His defense keeps him on the court, and the offense was present enough to make him very valuable in all of Kyle Lowry’s absences.
Strus moved into the starting lineup late in the season and was very successful for Miami. He struggled in the playoffs compared to the regular season, but he was a huge bright spot for Miami even at the expense of Duncan Robinson. Strus and Vincent proved they belong in the rotation and will be great value assets for the Heat next season as well.
#4 — Omer Yurtseven shows slimmers of promise
For one month (Dec 17 - Jan 15) Omer went on a tear for the Heat because of injuries to the Heat front court. Omer played a pick and roll big perfectly and was a rebounding monster. He showed a ton of promise, even making opposing coaches angry the Heat so easily have a quality big stashed on their bench.
Omer struggled defensively but showed great promise on the other end of the floor to be a great asset for the Heat.
#5 — Playoff Jimmy Butler is a real thing in Miami
What more do we want? Jimmy showed up. He had one of the greatest playoff performances in Heat history with his 47-point Game 6 win in Boston. He really just had a great postseason at age 32 and showed everyone he takes his game up a notch when it matters.
And that matters for the Heat moving forward. Knowing that when the NBA Playoffs start, your best player is going to get better.
#6 — P.J. Tucker belongs in Miami and was better than advertised
We knew he had Heat Culture written over him, but Tucker fit the Heat roster better than expected. He was everything you wanted in a role player in the starting unit and at $7 million, it was a bargain. At one point, he was leading the NBA in three-point percentage.
It would be great to have him back.
#7 — Caleb Martin: Another successful Miami Two-Way
It was just remarkable to see the Heat hit gold again in a two-way contract. Previously it was Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, and now Martin joins that and is hopefully back. He had his ups and downs but he was a great find.
Do you have another great thing from the season that’s important for the Heat? Comment below.