After an amazing run in the 2019-20 season, Miami is off to a very slow start and is looking very different from the team that competed in the Finals less than a year ago.
With Jimmy Butler leading the way, backed up by Bam Adebayo’s All-Star performance as well as the stellar performances of the likes of Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, the Heat looked and played like a team that had a legitimate shot of winning a title.
They are a far cry from the surprise finalists of last year. Miami is not only one of the worst teams in the East, but actually have one of the worst records in the league.
They are currently 7-14 and currently in a two-game losing streak and have lost to non-playoff teams like Detroit, Charlotte and Washington.
Through their 21 games, they have lost to nine playoff teams and have only beaten two in Milwaukee and Toronto.
They had a great game against a tough Brooklyn squad but again came up short in the end.
So, what’s up with the Heat? Why are they looking like a team that can’t contend in this early part of the season?
Is it the because of the departure of Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr? Is it complacency? Maybe it’s self-doubt?
They’ve gone from being one of the best offensive teams in the league last season to being one of the worst offensive teams this year.
They finished last season averaging 112.0 points per game, right in the middle of the pack but their ball movement was impeccable, and they were fifth in assists per game with 25.9. They were also averaging 44.4 rebounds which also put them in the middle of the pack.
They’re now 25th in points per game at 106.5 and currently the worst rebounding team in the league, only averaging 41.6. Their assists numbers went down as well as they now only average 25.7 which is only 10th in the league.
Miami’s game in the clutch certainly looks disappointing as well.
Last season, they had a win percentage in the clutch of 50.0% which was 13th in the league, they were also averaging 9.1 points in clutch situations. This season, the Heat are one of the worst teams in the clutch as they only have a win percentage of 27.3% which is 27th in the league and are putting up just 3.8 points in big moments.
Butler’s absence is certainly not helping the team as he has only played nine games so far and is averaging 18.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Adebayo improved his numbers with 19.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists in 58.4%. He has also taken over without Butler and is certainly playing like an All-Star.
Herro is the third leading scorer of the team as he’s averaging 17.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Dragic is not far behind him with 14.7 points and 5.4 assists under his name while Robinson is putting up 13.4 points and Nunn with his 12.1 points contribution.
Individually, the core of the Heat improved but as a team, they obviously became worse and is looking like a team that is in dire need of their leader.
We’re a little under a third of the way through the season, so there’s still time to right the ship. As they showed last year, the Heat also know how to turn it on in the playoffs. Let’s hope they manage this, as they were a ton of fun to watch last year.
Do you think the Heat will bounce back and have another big run? Sound off in the comment section!