Despite being the 6-seed in 2018, the Miami Heat are not guaranteed a playoff spot in 2019. Here are the three reasons why.
For the first time since 2010, the Eastern Conference will not be represented in the NBA Finals by LeBron James‘ team. The King left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in July, leaving the weaker Eastern Conference for the notably stronger Western Conference.
Since his departure from the Cavs severely weakens the team (possibly the biggest understatement of the year), there seems to be a playoff spot open in the East, as the seven other 2018 playoff teams appear to be locks for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, including the Miami Heat.
However, there are no such things as guarantees in the NBA.
While the Heat are coming off two 40-win seasons and a playoff berth last season, they are a vulnerable team. With no superstar players to carry them, the best-case scenario for Miami is a bottom-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. It is very possible, albeit unlikely, that the Miami Heat do not make the playoffs next season, but here are three reasons why it could happen.