Heat Mailbag: Trying to predict final record; can Miami make an offer for Jimmy Butler

 

 

Heat Goran Dragic sets up the offense during Miami's victory over Minnesota on Monday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Heat Goran Dragic sets up the offense during Miami’s victory over Minnesota on Monday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Miami Heat have become the biggest story that nobody is talking about in the NBA. Miami has won 12 straight games – after winning 11 the entire first half of the season – and is going for No. 13 tonight in Brooklyn.

The Heat are two games out of the playoffs and three games behind No. 7 seed Chicago. But fans are now starting to think big, which leads us to one of mailbag questions this week.

If you weren’t able to submit a question this week, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter to (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).

From @BeltzaCane: what do you think are the chances we make it to 43 wins?

Ok, let’s do the math. The Heat are 23-30, meaning they have 29 games remaining. To win 43 games, which by the way would not have been good enough to qualify for the playoffs in the East last season but would have been good enough for the sixth seed in the West, Miami would have to go 20-9.

Figuring the Heat are going to start losing again sometime this season, I believe getting to .500 is too much to ask. I know the Heat are done with the top five teams in the West with the exception of a road game against the Rockets next Wednesday. Also, they have 15 home games and 14 road games remaining and play 16 of the 29 against teams who entered Thursday with losing records. …

But, the schedule still includes three games against Cleveland and Toronto and two against Washington. In fact, Miami plays nine games against the top four teams in the East. So getting to 41, not to mention 43, wins will be difficult.

But who knows, nobody has been able to slow down Miami the last three weeks so let’s see how long they ride this wave.

@prubin: who do u see Miami packaging for Butler?

So much has changed since Miami was in town to witness the circus act that has become the Chicago Bulls. While the Bulls continue to prove they are a dysfunctional franchise the Heat have gone in the opposite direction winning 12 in a row.

Now, the chances of Chicago trading Jimmy Butler appear to be increasing even though the Bulls are clinging to a playoff spot, currently seventh in the East with a 26-27 record. So could Miami make an offer that interests the Bulls? Depends on who the Heat are willing to part with.

I’m guessing Miami is not anxious to trade Hassan Whiteside, but any other player, yes, including Goran Dragic, could be on the table in a deal for a player like Butler, who will start in next weekend’s All-Star game. And remember, although Miami cannot trade its first round pick, it would be able to choose the player the Bulls would want and then make the trade.

So figuring Chicago would not settle for a package that does not include Dragic, how about the Heat offering Dragic and allowing the Bulls to pick a player from the group of Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson. Probably not enough so the question is does the Heat part with the pick with a combination of one or two of the aforementioned players?

That depends on the pick. But the way things are going that pick will not be as coveted as it was three weeks ago and therefor easier for Miami to use in a trade. But I still see acquiring Butler a long shot, not so much that the Bulls will not deal their best player but other teams, particularly Boston, would be able to offer Chicago a much more attractive deal.

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