Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat have gone from chasing the Eastern Conference’s best record to getting whipped in consecutive games by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but after last year, the Heat don’t seem fazed by the increasing scrutiny.
Still, things are not looking too hot for the Heat as March winds up.
The Heat is 4-4 over their last eight games and just 3-6 on the road since coming back from the All-Star Break. Most of the road losses have been ugly, like Monday night’s Pacers game.
Part of the Heat’s problems in the last two games has been turnovers. Combined, the Heat has turned the ball over 38 times in the last two games. No team, no matter how many superstars they have, can win consistently in the NBA giving up that many turnovers.
The Heat’s problems go deeper than just the turnover problems. It’s almost like the Heat has forgotten how to hit a jump shot in the last two weeks.
For example, the Heat shot 42 percent from the field against the Pacers and just 65 percent from the free throw line. LeBron was 9-21 from the field and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade didn’t much better. Bosh was 4 of 11 from the field and Wade was just 7-16.
Against the Thunder, LeBron was just 8-18 and against the Detroit Pistons, James hit just 6-15 from the field. Perhaps fans were spoiled earlier this season by LeBron hitting nearly everything from the field, but it also begs the question if LeBron is playing through some sort of injury.
The Heat also needs Chris Bosh to play much bigger than has been playing. Against the Pacers, Bosh had more turnovers than he did rebounds Monday night and considering he’s one of the Big Three, he needs to play much bigger than that.
“Every team goes through it at some point in the season,” LeBron said Monday. “It’s not like we’re the youngest team in the league. We didn’t have as much energy.”
That quote should be very concerning for Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. If the players are saying they’re too tired to keep up the pace, than the rotation needs to be extended more and players need to get more rest, especially heading into the playoff race.
Monday, the Heat managed a total of four fast-break points. For a team that wants to run constantly and have a wide-open offense, that’s a recipe for losing every day of the week.
“We hit a little pothole in the road here,” Wade said. “We’ll make adjustments before we get back out on the court.”
The Heat need those adjustments to kick in fast or that pothole could rapidly grow to a sinkhole and worse if the losing continues.