Several star-studded teams have been riddled with injuries and COVID-related woes this season — think Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
But no one seems to be talking about Miami, another wounded squad not only thriving, but topping the East.
The 1-seed Heat (31-17) defeated the Knicks in a blowout on Wednesday — the 17th time this season they’ve won by 10+ points.
The Heat have dealt with their fair share of adversity — and transcended it.
Thanks to a combination of smart offseason moves and continuity, the Heat are once again legitimate championship contenders — despite playing only 12 games with all four of their core players — Butler, Adebayo, Herro, and Kyle Lowry.
The quartet account for 67.1% of Miami’s payroll, the 10th-highest in the NBA ($140.6M), and are all locked in for the next three seasons.
Pat Riley has once again constructed a team-first culture capable of beating all the best in the East.