With the final weeks of the regular season approaching, the heat is on for Miami to actually prove something.
The Heat have yet to show that they can even approach the preseason hype that had sports pundits claiming that a “super team” such as theirs could win 72 games. They lost ten games by early January.
Miami is currently on a four-game losing streak with losses against teams that will be playing in the playoffs.
They blew the lead against a Knicks team that was adjusting to newly acquired superstar Carmelo Anthony.
Orlando overcame a 24-point deficit with a 40-9 run to pull out their second win over Miami this season.
San Antonio demolished them 125-95 in a game that was never competitive.
Yesterday, the Bulls’ stayed a perfect 3-0 against Miami as LeBron James missed another clutch shot.
However, it’s not just their missed shots that are causing such astounding losses. Luol Deng sunk a late game three last week to clinch a win for the Bulls and Chauncey Billups hit a late one as well to help seal the Knicks’ win. This sloppy, late game defense has put the Heat at 5-13 in games decided by five points or less.
We could also blame Karma following LeBron down to South Beach but it would make more sense to blame that bench. That TERRIBLE bench is last in the league in scoring with a measly 22.3 points a game. That same group of players is only dishing out 3.9 assists per game, which is also last in the league. They are 4-6 in their last ten games and their bench has done even worse with just 14 points a game including only six against the Bulls yesterday.
A team will not win with a bench that only scores six points in a game.
They are having starting problems as well.
Erik Spoelstra has gone from Carlos Arroyo to Mario Chalmers to Mike Bibby who has been virtually invisible since coming to Miami. Dwyane Wade sometimes brings it up and sometimes LeBron does. Who runs the floor? Nobody knows.
Now, it has been revealed that players were actually crying in the locker room after the game and Spoelstra is the one that broke the news. Why is he giving the media more fuel to criticize his underachieving team?
It sounds like even he understands how pathetic the Heat’s situation is.
It is he who allowed Chris Bosh to keep taking shots during their game last week against the Bulls and go 1 for 18 from the floor. It is he who keeps giving LeBron the ball at the end of games and it is he who isn’t responding well to having the heaviest thumb in the NBA over his head.
Pat Riley should be embarrassed about his team that cries in the locker room and a coach that can’t seem to get it right.
We have already seen Spoelstra on the hot seat once this season and his crying comments wont help. It took a player-only meeting the first time around to help save his job and more loses before the playoffs will just turn the heat up even more.
Just when things seem to be at their worst, rock bottom hasn’t been hit yet.
In the next week, they have to face Portland that is pulling out the craftiest wins. They will host the Lakers who are currently on a winning streak. They have to play Memphis who is hot and has already beaten them once this year. They have to play San Antonio who we all know is good and they have to play Oklahoma City.
All of the games are at home which will make it even more embarrassing when they lose.
It’s almost too easy to criticize this team that was crowned before the season even started and it’s just going to get easier. The Heat have a lot of problems and not a lot of time to fix them.