The final night of the 2016-17 featured jubilation and heartbreak.
Kind of like the entire season.
But in the end, the Miami Heat were on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
Though Miami has so many reasons to be proud of what it accomplished and can look back at so many special moments, there were some disappointments.
Here are our top 5.
The Heat led the league with 328 player games lost during to injury/illness, including Chris Bosh missing the entire season. Coach Erik Spoelstra was forced to come up with 22 different starting combinations. Every player with the exception of Tyler Johnson, Udonis Haslem and Okaro White started at least one game. Among the projected starters: Justise Winslow missed 64 games, Dion Waiters sat for 36 and Josh McRoberts, who could have secured the starting power forward spot, was injured for 60.
Justice Winslow’s lost season
The Heat had high hopes for their second year player out of Duke. Winslow showed such promise his rookie year after being the 10th overall pick. He worked on his jumper during the offseason and was ready to take over the starting small forward spot. But then the season started and Winslow could not stay on the court. First it was a wrist injury that forced him to miss 16 games, then shoulder surgery Jan. 5 that ended his season. And to top it off Winslow regressed with his shooting, ending the season with a .356 percentage.
Derrick Williams not working out
Williams signed a one-year contract for more than $4.5 million and then led the team in minutes in the preseason while starting five games. But once the season started he was out of the rotation, playing just three minutes in the first seven games. Williams had his opportunities, starting 11 games, but by January it was clear he was no longer a part of the plan. Williams was waived Feb. 6, joined the Cavaliers on a 10-day contract and eventually signed with Cleveland for the rest of the season.
Record against the Knicks, Magic, 76ers
The Heat had success against some of the league’s best teams this season, beating Washington four times, Cleveland three times, Houston twice and Golden State once. But it was games against some of the worst teams in the league that cost the Heat a playoff spot. Miami lost seven times to Orlando, Philadelphia and New York, three of the six worst teams in the league. And four of those were at home. Miami was 1-3 against the Magic, 1-2 against the Knicks and split four games against the Sixers.
The bittersweet ending
Very few nights in Heat history had the emotional swing of Wednesday. Miami took care of its business, disposing of the Wizards and finally reaching the elusive .500 mark. But the out-of-town news was grim. While Heat fans knew the Pacers and Bulls were having little trouble in their games (one of them had to lose for Miami to sneak into the playoffs), Heat coaches and players resisted the temptation to scoreboard watch. When the Heat game ended Chicago was closing out Brooklyn. Then the players watched the final few minutes of Indiana’s win over Atlanta which ended their season.