Following Monday night’s 102-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets, the twice-defending champions are 7-1 in postseason play and have downed both the Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats with a perfunctory ease and unconcern. Miami's postseason has been such a breeze that it's prompted some to question whether they’re working hard enough in these games, getting the tune-up it needs to fire on all cylinders in the finals, should it come to that.
So, yes, the Heat have demonstrated some strengths during these playoffs—promisingly, in several areas that frustrated and thwarted Miami during the 82 games that preceded the dance.
But even in victory, weaknesses and liabilities have come to the fore as well. This is not a perfect basketball team. The Heat ran off a 54-28 record in 2012-13—a 12-game drop from what they accomplished the season before—in part because they paced themselves in preparation for this time of year, but also due to legitimate flaws in the group. Some of these—including issues with rebounding and defense—have persisted through the early part of the second season.
Below, from offensive rebounding to a fairly shocking turnaround in protecting the basketball, we survey the strengths and weaknesses of the Miami Heat. Sometimes you have to squint a little to see the weaknesses, but they’re there. The strengths, on the other hand, are a bit more apparent.