Boston Celtics

The Miami Heat Act Like They've Been Here Before. They (Mostly) Haven't.

Out of the five teams left standing in the 2020 NBA postseason — a list that includes such heavy hitters as the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers — the most impressive of all has probably been the Miami Heat.

Contrary to the accepted narrative about how to build a championship contender , the Heat have gotten to this stage with historically limited playoff experience and an unusually deep ensemble cast of contributors around star Jimmy Butler.

Center Mehmet Okur had participated in two deep playoff runs for the Detroit Pistons, while guard Derek Fisher had played 117 previous postseason games for the Los Angeles Lakers during their Shaq-Kobe dynasty era .

For instance, the Jazz were ousted in five games by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs, while the Celtics lost an ugly six-game affair against the New Jersey Nets.

The Heat have gotten a lot from the Other Guys For NBA conference finalists, largest share of team RAPTOR wins above replacement (WAR) from players other than their top star*, 1984-2020

If Miami is able to beat the Celtics (which, to be fair, would be an upset, according to our model ), it would represent a pretty unprecedented triumph for a team that has broken many of the normal rules of championship roster construction.

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