The Miami Heat appear to be cruising towards their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals. But unfortunately for the Heat, this year’s playoff run looks a lot more like 2011 when they lost in the Finals, than 2012 or 2013 when they lifted the trophy.
In the championship seasons of 2012 and 2013 the Heat had outscored their opponents by 115 points and 133, respectively, through the fourth game of the conference finals. That number is just 83 this season, much closer to the 67 points in 2011 when the Heat lost to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
The chart below is a look at the Heat’s cumulative point differential during the playoffs since 2011.
The difference between this year’s team and the championship seasons is that the Heat are not dominating their opponents even though they are winning more often.
Like the 2011 Heat, this year’s team is cruising through the first three rounds with just two losses (the Heat lost 3 games in the first 3 rounds in 2011). But while they are losing fewer games before the Finals than they did in 2012 (6) or 2013 (4) the Heat’s wins are less impressive.
In the Heat’s 11 wins so far this postseason, they are winning by an average margin of 9.8 points, marginally better than 2011 (8.6 points), but well below 2012 (13.4 points) and 2013 (14.4 points).
This is a terrible sign for the Heat as they march through a weak Eastern Conference field. But it is also a good sign for the team that wins the West.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.