The Miami Heat Are a Winning Organization, Record Aside

Jan 30, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) celebrates with forward Willie Reed (35) after making a basket against the Brooklyn Netsduring the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Miami Heat defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 30, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) celebrates with forward Willie Reed (35) after making a basket against the Brooklyn Netsduring the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Miami Heat defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat may currently have a record of 20-30, but they have certainly proven themselves to be a winning organization nevertheless.

The Miami Heat are 20-30. They sit twelfth in the Eastern Conference. And yet, it would be a mistake to call them anything less than a winning organization.

Because despite losing Dwyane Wade to the Chicago Bulls this summer, getting the news of Chris Bosh’s inability to play right before training camp, and having to deal with more injuries than should be allowed… they kept on, keeping on.

Tyler Johnson stayed showing us his toothless grin. Head coach Erik Spoelstra said no to tanking. Hassan Whiteside continued putting up that monster hand, recording block after block. And Goran Dragic? He was simply a stud.

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Everyone grinded it out, game after game. No matter how far down the rankings they were. No matter how many players were out. No matter who they were playing.

The team played Miami Heat basketball.

Which is exactly what got them where they are today.

On a nine-game winning streak, the team’s longest since November 2013. And just three games away from the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

But what does that really mean, Miami Heat basketball?

Well, for one, it means never giving up.

Much of Heat Nation wanted Miami to essentially forfeit the season. Lose games on purpose to try and get a higher draft pick. After all, they were doing so poorly anyways that it would not have made too much of a difference.

Except of course, that quitting has never been the M.O. of neither team president Pat Riley, nor anyone else in the organization. Nevermind that putting the future of the franchise in the hands of a guy who was a star in college but may amount to nothing in the pros, is illogical at best.

Jan 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks with guard Goran Dragic (7) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 116-103. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks with guard Goran Dragic (7) during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 116-103. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

So the Heat went to work.

“If you know anything about our organization we’re not going to play for any other purpose or motivation than to win,” said Spoelstra. “Everything we’re building is trying to build habits to learn how to win but learning how oftentimes comes with frustration, anger, disappointment.”

And stayed positive.

“We’re moving forward. None of us is feeling sorry for ourselves. That’s the way this season has been. I’m learning a lot. The guys are getting better, guys are coming in with an approach to not having excuses, just to work to get better every single day. I really commend the group for that.”

But a confident mindset is only a part of what makes Miami successful. The organization also has a certain ability to develop players who have otherwise been overlooked or misunderstood.

Take Dion Waiters, for example.

Waiters, who over the last few years had become somewhat of a scapegoat in the league, has suddenly transformed into someone to watch. Averaging 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists a game in 30.6 minutes, and putting up performances like two 33-point games back-to-back, it is obvious that the 25-year-old finally feels at home.

“Everything, the organization, my teammates, my coach, of course Pat [Riley]. I feel right at home. Like I said before, when I signed, it wasn’t ever about the money. It was about the opportunity and just having a place you could call home, the enjoyment, and having fun. It’s been good. It’s just been consistent love. I’m happy for the opportunity and I’m just happy to be here.”

James Johnson has also clearly found himself the right situation, after all these years.

First drafted in 2009 by the Bulls, Johnson had never quite gotten the opportunity to prove his worth. Ending up in the Developmental League twice, the forward also played for three other NBA teams before landing in South Beach.

Which is undoubtedly where he belongs.

The 29-year-old is currently averaging 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest in 26.1 minutes, getting the team going on both ends of the floor with an unparalleled energy. And oh yeah, has taken on the role of enforcer.

That is the definition of ride or die brotherhood, right there.

How the rest of the Heat’s season goes, is still yet to be determined. With so many variables in play such as health, the upcoming trade deadline, and the inconsistency of the East period… whether or not Miami makes the playoffs is a definite waiting game. However win or lose, postseason run or not, the Miami Heat organization is a winning one, through and through.

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