Trailing the Chicago Bulls by six points in the fourth quarter in a win-or-go-home play-in tournament game, the Miami Heat’s season was on the brink. After scraping by the Bulls, the Heat embarked on a historic postseason run to become the second eight-seed in league history and first since 1999 to reach the NBA Finals. In his fourth season in Miami Jimmy Butler earned the first All-NBA Second Team selection of his career after averaging 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game on a career-best 54 percent shooting. The Eastern Conference Finals MVP became the first player in franchise history to log consecutive 40-point playoff games, and his eight postseason games of at least 40 points are also the most for any Miami player. Bam Adebayo earned his second All-Star selection after posting a career-high 20.4 points per game while also securing his fourth straight appearance on the All-Defensive Second Team. The Heat ranked second in the league in opponent points per game and were the ninth-rated defensive unit. Tyler Herro eclipsed 20 points per game for the second straight year and shot an NBA-best 93.4 percent from the foul line. Undrafted gems Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin were all vital contributors on a team that advanced to the Finals for the sixth time in the past 13 seasons. The Heat upset the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the first round, dispatched the New York Knicks in six games in the semifinals and eliminated the second-seeded Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. The club’s magical run ended with a loss to the Denver Nuggets in five games in the NBA Finals.
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