Let that sentence sink in. The rest of the Eastern Conference is looking in the mirror and asking itself difficult questions, or (in the case of the Boston Celtics) preparing to play in the NBA Finals. The Heat fell short, but it was just short; Butler and company made it to the very edge of the Finals despite multiple injuries to key players.
They fought the Celtics at every turn, with huge defensive performances and some insane games from Butler, who transforms into a Top-5 player in the league when the playoffs roll around. The Heat are likely upset that they lost, but they don’t need to be ashamed of where they finished.
The Miami Heat were a shot away from the NBA Finals. What moves can they make to stay strong and compete for a conference crown next season?
That makes this offseason about building on something successful, not tearing something down or swapping out major pieces. Their entire starting lineup and all eight of their most-used players this season (in terms of total minutes played) are under contract for next season. There are no crises in South Beach.
Yet they did ultimately fall short of the Finals, and of the shot at a title it would have provided. They do need to be proactive this summer to set themselves up to be as good or better than they were this season, as the Eastern Conference will likely only get better. Here are three moves the Heat should make this offseason to stay strong and make another run at the title.