Forget Tanking — the Heat Owes Dwyane Wade One Last Playoff Run

Forget Tanking — the Heat Owes Dwyane Wade One Last Playoff Run
Photo by Amadeus ex Machina / Flickr
The Heat's expensive veteran-rich roster cannot out-tank putrid teams like the Phoenix Suns or New York Knicks. Two-thirds of the season is gone, and the results are clear — the team is terrible at being terrible. Atlanta, which Miami plays tonight at home, has two first-round picks ahead of us in a simulated draft 

The Heat somehow managed to fall to a Suns team on a 17-game losing streak and beat the defending champion Golden State Warriors before defeating the Nets in a walk. This just isn't a team built for ping-pong dreams filled with lottery luck. Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra tried this in 2008 and came away with only Michael Beasley to show for a year's worth of pain and suffering.

Which brings us to what the Heat can accomplish in the last 20 games this season. Some fans want the team to tank in hopes of gaining a few percentage points of likelihood the team could land a top-three selection or even generational talent, Duke forward Zion Williamson. But they are quite obviously trying their hardest to sneak in the playoffs and test their luck against the best.

And if Wade's circus game-winning shot against the Warriors last week proved a point, it's that anything is possible.

The team should aim for another NBA Finals run. Because we've seen crazier shit happen. Look at last week when the Heat somehow beat the All-Star Warriors squad, then the next night had a 24-point lead on the Houston Rockets. And then the Nets suffered their worst defeat of the season against Miami.

The tanking dream is gone. This Heat roster is a mess, filled with players the Heat would shed tomorrow if they could. But there is no going back now.

The Heat should go all out these last few weeks of the season for Dwyane Wade. They should play the guys that give them the best chance to win, even if it makes Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson unhappy.

The Heat still has the best coach in the NBA and Dwyane Wade. Let's see how far they get in the playoffs. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi