The Heat’s losing streak near the beginning of the season was due to the absence of Jimmy Butler, but the current one which ended last evening is because of confidence.
This team lives and dies on the three point shot and when the shot doesn’t fall, we lose the game. Their main floor spacers last season were Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro.
Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic did shoot 3s but in clutch moments, Robinson and Herro were getting the ball and I’ve seen both of them pass up good shots because they missed the past few shots.
Last week’s trade deadline also had an impact on the players. It’s no secret that Herro was having a sophomore slump but that changed the day he found out he wasn’t getting traded; he had a huge 29 point game accompanied by 8 assists and 4 rebounds. Duncan and Tyler ended up combining for 9 3’s hitting 4/6 and 5/9 respectively.
Unfortunately, this game ended up in a 3 point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. All of their recent losses have been interesting though, suffering major deficits up until the 4th quarter. The most extreme occurrence was the 3/26/21 Charlotte Hornets game where they were up by 23 at the half and only won by 5 at the end. There was a lack of fight through the first two quarters that led those in Heat Nation to believe that the game was already decided. Shots weren’t falling, defense was lax which allowed Malik Monk to score 24 points in the first half alone on 8 of 11 shooting.
Monk also made 5 three pointers. The second half of the game the Heat looked like a completely different team from the first half. Shots were falling, defensive rotations were better. The Miami Heat looked like the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, it was not enough to win the game but everyone saw the fight they wanted the team to have in the first half.
Even sitting at 8th seed and losing to teams they shouldn’t lose to, they are still a really respected team league wise. Many still consider them contenders, even though they are not playing like contenders as of this moment. The latest losing streak is a blessing in disguise. They are figuring out ways to score, when their shots aren’t dropping. They also continue to come back from huge deficits, an extremely useful skill for the playoffs.
I am extremely optimistic of their playoff odds and I see them advancing to at least to the Eastern Conference Finals, if they can avoid the terrifying Brooklyn Nets in the first two rounds.
The Miami Heat may have been losing as of late but, they do not play games the way other teams do, they play playoff basketball; Miami Heat basketball. If they make it into the postseason, I am confident in the fact that they will dominate.
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