The Miami Heat might’ve needed seven games to dismiss the resilient Charlotte Hornets in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs, but that doesn’t mean the red and black wasn’t dominant in their process.
The Heat is not playing at the ludicrous overall level of the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, outscoring teams by 20.7 and 19.2 points every 100 possessions, respectively, but Miami is right on that next tier with Cleveland and Oklahoma City, with an overall Net Rating of +10.1.
You could even make the case Miami’s been more impressive than Cleveland, despite their sweep, considering Charlotte was a superior first-round opponent to Detroit. The traditional folks will scream, “IT TOOK THEM SEVEN GAMES!” but Miami was untouchable in three of their wins, winning by a combined 77 points, throttling the Crying Jordan memes into overdrive.
On the other hand, Toronto has struggled and looks like a shell of its regular-season self. Like the Heat, the Raptors are coming off a Game 7 but their overall efficiency has been 💩, with their -4.4 Net Rating the lowest of the eight remaining playoff teams.
One important detail is three of the Heat’s routes occurred in Miami. There’s no question their production on the road will need to improve considering they’re most likely not going to have home-court advantage from here on out. Their differential in Net Rating for home and away games is a whopping 25.4 points, the highest of any team.
In the American Airlines Arena, Miami plays at the level of a juggernaut, on par with both Golden State and San Antonio.
Don’t let the seven-game series fool you — the Miami Heat has been among the most dominant playoff teams thus far, and will be even more dangerous if it can show some improvement on the road.
Heat in 5.