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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Paul Pierce: Miami Heat will miss playoffs

Jimmy Butler

It is a well-known fact that Paul Pierce does not like the Miami Heat, so it should come as no surprise that the Boston Celtics legend is jumping all over his former rival after their slow start to the season.

The Heat fell to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, dropping their record to 6-12 on the season. Although they caught fire in the NBA bubble last year and reached the Finals, Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” earlier this week that he does not think Miami will make the playoffs.

Pierce’s remarks came after the Heat’s blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. He said they simply haven’t shown the toughness they did last season.

“As great as the Miami Heat were in the playoffs last year, they will not make the playoffs this year,” Pierce said, as transcribed by Robert Marvi of Heat Nation. “And we saw a play earlier in the show where [Nikola] Jokic got the ball and threw it full court. That’s not the Miami Heat team we saw last year – full of grit, full of grind like the Memphis Grizzlies. That team was built on hard work and toughness, and I have not seen that this year, and that’s why I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.”

The Heat were just 1.5 games behind the No. 8 seed New York Knicks heading into Friday. That deficit is hardly insurmountable, especially with a talented team that won the Eastern Conference less than a year ago. Jimmy Butler has also played in just six games and Tyler Herro has missed a handful. If they can get healthy, there is more than enough time to turn things around.

Miami’s biggest problem has been scoring, and a healthy Butler and Herro will certainly help address that. Pierce has always been biased against the Heat. We were reminded of that with the comments he made about Herro during the playoffs last year. He’d love for them to miss the postseason.


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