‘To the hospital first’: Udonis Haslem on where Miami Heat go after playoff loss to Boston Celtics

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night, and when Heat legend Udonis Haslem was asked where his former team will go after getting bounced from the playoffs, the three-time NBA champ had a simple answer: the hospital.

Even when healthy, the Heat roster was arguably outmatched by the talent on the Celtics roster, but a plethora of injuries to key members of the Heat’s rotation made the matchup even more lopsided.

Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson missed the entirety of the five-game series. Their absences were expected heading into the Celtics series, and few experts or fans gave the Heat much of a chance as a result.

The fact that Heat managed to extend the series to five games, as opposed to losing in a four-game sweep, likely surprised some. But even that 111-101 Heat victory in Game 2 seemed like nothing more than a delay of the inevitable. It turns out that feeling was correct.

Now, the playoffs will continue on without the Heat. As Haslem indicated during his television appearance, that is not a fact that Heat president Pat Riley is a fan of.

Going forward, it will be fascinating to see how the Heat approach the 2024 offseason. On Thursday, it was reported that Butler is expected to seek a max extension from the team this offseason. While Butler is still a fantastic player, Riley may have to make a decision about whether or not he wants to hinge his team’s hopes and finances to an aging star.

Butler will turn 35 years old in September, and he only played in 60 of Miami’s regular season games this season. In those 60 games, Butler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

As previously mentioned, he missed all of Miami’s playoff series against the Celtics.

Butler has been the heart and soul of the Heat in recent years, and he’s managed to lead the team to two separate appearances in the NBA Finals. However, he has not managed to get them over the hump and earn another NBA title for the fans in South Florida.

So, once everyone on the Heat’s roster is healthy and rested after the grind of the season, it’s possible that some tough decisions are going to have to be made.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.