While the final result wasn’t what fans were hoping for, the Miami Heat’s run in the bubble-enclosed 2020 NBA Playoffs will forever go down as one of the most memorable sports runs of all time. The Heat playing its best basketball of the season in the toughest possible environment will never be forgotten.
From the actual experience of watching the Heat play anxiety-inducing NBA Finals games in an empty area in Orlando to all the moments that led up to the team pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to six games, there are so many memorable moments to take away from these NBA playoffs.
Here are some of our favorites.
Tyler Herro drops 37 on the Boston Celtics’ heads. Miami was in a dogfight with the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. It seems like forever ago, but the Heat needed someone to step up big to put that series away. Most figured that man would be Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, or Jimmy Butler.
Nope. It was 20-year-old Tyler Herro who effectively killed the Celtics’ will. Herro dropped 37 in a 112-109 win over the Celtics for a 3-1 series lead. After that, Boston was done.
Bam Adebayo puts a fork in the Celtics. Bam Adebayo finished what Tyler Herro started in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics. Bam ended the Celtics with a fury of fourth-quarter baskets that sealed the deal, ending the game with 32 points and 14 rebounds.
The future is bright in Miami, and Bam is the sun.
Jimmy Butler starts a small business inside the NBA bubble. On top of everything else Jimmy Butler did inside the NBA bubble, he started a coffee business. What was a joke, to begin with, is now an actual business. Butler has sponsorships, and if he opened a Big Face Coffee in Wynwood, he wouldn’t be able to keep his brew in stock.
Want a small? Twenty dollars. Want a large? Twenty dollars. Want two smalls? Fifty dollars. None of it makes sense, but in true Jimmy Butler fashion, he’s made everyone buy in.
Goran Dragic somehow plays in the NBA Finals with a torn plantar fasciitis. Before Game 6 of the NBA Finals turned into one big block party for the Los Angeles Lakers, Goran Dragic made a triumphant return with the Heat still in it. After leaving Game 1 with an incredibly painful plantar fasciitis tear, even Heat trainers counted him out. He refused to rule himself out, though, and he eventually made it back into the series in an attempt to provide a spark.
Goran Dragic coming back in a week from an injury that normally keeps players out for months might be one of the greatest moments in NBA Finals history.
Bam Adebayo meets Tatum at the rim. What else can you say about one of the greatest blocks in NBA Playoff history? Some called this the greatest defensive play of all time. EVER! With the game on the line and the Celtics’ best player heading to the basket with a full head of steam, Bam met him at the cup, took the ball out of the basket with only his wrist, and sealed the victory.
Legendary stuff from a man who is sure to provide an abundance of legendary plays for the Heat before his career is through.
The snarl seen around the world. Tyler Herro made himself a household name, and when the 2020-21 season starts, he’ll still only be 20 years old. It’s almost not fair how much he’s done so early in his NBA career.
The basketball world already knew of Herro before he hit them with the snarl saw around the world after a bucket that sealed the Game 5 win, but they got a glimpse into the swagger Heat fans have seen from the Kentucky rookie all season after this facial expression.
Erik Spoelstra gets emotional after the Heat’s playoff run ends. This hit Heat fans right in the hearts. Moments after the Heat lost Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Erik Spoelstra was asked to sit down and talk about the game. It was clear he had other things on his mind.
Spoelstra — like many others — left a family at home, one that includes a son who was born during the season. It was clear he was getting emotional thinking about what a great experience it was for his team, but also knowing he was on his way home to reunite with his family.
Heat fans have to be thankful for what Spoelstra and the rest of the franchise sacrificed to finish this season. It should never be forgotten, and it’s bigger than basketball.
Meyers Leonard being the best teammate of all time. Meyers Leonard started for the Miami Heat all season. Then, he got injured, COVID happened, and when the games restarted inside the bubble, Leonard was relegated to the end of the bench. He could have sat there and pouted and acted uninterested, but he did the exact opposite.
Throughout the playoffs, Leonard was standing literally in front of the bench next to the coaches, hyping up his teammates as if he was there to replace the 20,000 fans who weren’t allowed inside. It will stick with Heat fans forever, whether he stays with the Heat or moves on after this season. Leonard is truly a one-of-a-kind teammate.
Jimmy Butler has the best game of his life in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. With the Heat down 2-0 and both Bam and Goran injured, Miami needed something legendary to happen to make it a series against the Lakers. They got it in one of the greatest performances of NBA Finals history from Jimmy Butler.
40 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists. It was one of the greatest performances Heat fans have ever seen, at the exact moment it was needed most.
Jimmy Butler talks that shit. Earlier in Game 3, LeBron James told Jimmy Butler the Miami Heat was in trouble after a Lakers run. Late in the game, after Butler put the Heat up 9, Butler returned the favor. At the time, this was a religious experience for Miami Heat fans who thought for certain their team was in danger of getting swept.
The phrase “you’re in trouble” will forever have an entirely different meaning to Heat fans for as long as Jimmy Butler plays for the team.