The team is young and hungry for victory with veteran talent supporting the recent successes.
For the eighth time in franchise history and the first time since 2014, the Miami Heat are heading back to the Eastern Conference Finals. Looking at the big picture, the long game as they say, one can safely say that the Miami Heat under the direction of the legendary Pat Riley have sharpened the developmental system that leads to consistent success. They work to attract players that buy into a system that elevates the “team” over oneself, while selecting players that take pride in the hard-work and hustle that champions are made of. Securing the Game 5 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami became the lowest seed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals since 1999.
In spite of a stunning lineup of young sharp-shooters like Tyler Herro (pictured above) and veteran superstar Jimmy Butler. The team was never expected to make the Eastern Conference finals but they did and with finesse. Regardless of the outcome of those finals, the Heat have already achieved success and proven that they are more than a team on the rise, they are a team that has arrived. How do they do it?
Take a look at sharp-shooter Jae Crowder, who was dangerous from the perimeter the entire series. He spaced the floor and hit some huge threes for Miami, but in true Heat fashion (when they are successful) his defense on Khris Middleton was perhaps even more important. Middleton was phenomenal for the Bucks, saving the season in the previous game with an all out dominant performance. But Crowder stayed on him all night, wearing Middleton down by the end of the game. He could be the poster boy for the Heat system of success.
Riley notes that he focuses on developing excellence in the game, not just an excellent game. Riley said "when you define the word `excellence’ or `to excel’ you’re talking about people who understand how to go above and beyond and how to surpass. Those are the people who simply want to be part of something significant that wins. They are the people who can understand and can define the word excellence. That’s what excellence is about."
While the team has its featured players, it doesn't have a Hall of Fame talent (yet) the Heat won as a team with balanced scoring. Six players hit double figures with two players off the bench. The Heat rebuilt the team without a Top 10 pick. They did what this Pat Riley organization has always done, again, focus on excellence.
Riley adds that "excellence is not about having things, or about having recognition, or about having money or power or position, or any of those ego gratifying things. It’s about being a part of something worthwhile. It develops the attitude where people can go above and beyond. The ones who achieve consistently, year-in and year-out, and those who constantly keep breaking records, keep winning, keep topping themselves, are those people who keep doing inner research, and developing attitudes and different themes about what it takes to go above and beyond. That’s the job of a manager or the coach."
By TC. Lesesne