Heat coach Erik Spoelstra initially struggled to verbalize his feelings after Miami missed the playoffs.
Let’s try adding context.
The Heat went 11-30 in the first half of the season and 30-11 in the second half – the best second-half record ever by a team that missed the playoffs. By far.
The previous top mark came in 1999, when the Hornets closed 16-9 to finish 26-24 and one game of out of the postseason in the lockout-shortened season. The best second-half, playoff-less finish in a full season was by the Suns, who closed 26-15 in 1971,
Here are the top second-half records by teams that missed the playoffs: