Looking at the past six games, this troubling trend can be spotted with clarity. Here are the point differentials of the final scores in those games:
- Jan. 11 @ Utah Jazz: -29
- Jan. 13 @ Golden State Warriors: +13
- Jan. 15 @ Houston Rockets: +9
- Jan. 16 @ Oklahoma City Thunder: -18
- Jan. 19 vs Indiana Pacers: +30
- Jan. 20 @ Charlotte Bobcats: -39
For one thing it cannot be said that this team "just isn't good enough" as they have handed losses to teams like the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns; all of which are elite teams in the league. And the potential to succeed is there with solid performances from Michael Beasley and occasionally from Jermaine O'Neal, Quentin Richardson and Udonis Haslem.
One thing that is certain is the prototype of the teams that hand Miami their toughest losses. With the exception of the Utah Jazz' 29-point loss, the Heat are highly vulnerable to the young, hyper-athletic teams in the league. It is no coincidence that the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats have all defeated Miami by 10 points or more this season. In fact, the Heat have not secured a single victory against any of those three teams.
Combining the five losses suffered by those teams, the Heat have faltered by an average of 21.6 points.
While the 2010 offseason is just a few months away, the team must find a way to focus on the remainder of this season. There is no excuse to perform while firing on all cylinders one night and falling asleep at the wheel the next night. If a 39-point loss does not wake up this team and push them towards consistency, then it's unsure what else will.