Monday, March 7, 2011

Hot Points: It's a Crying Shame

March 7, 2010

  • The Miami Heat suffered their fourth loss in a row at home Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, proving once again that they cannot beat the leagues elite (1-9 versus the top five teams in the NBA).
  • According Coach Erik Spoelstra there were players crying in the locker room after the loss, proving one of two things: either this team truly cares about winning or they are just buckling under the pressure.
  • During Miami's four losses, and a few of their other lackluster games, the team has revealed some troubling tends: poor bench production, lack of execution and stagnant play-calling. 
  • In Sunday's loss, the Heat bench produced a total of six points. In the game against San Antonio the bench produced 26 points but mainly because the Heat were blown out since the first quarter. In the two games before that they averaged 13 points.
  • Miami's lack of execution is perhaps the biggest contributor to the team's struggles. Wide open shooters missing three-pointers has become a frustrating trend with the Heat. Miami's sharpshooters (Mike Miller, Eddie House, James Jones and Mike Bibby) are averaging a combined 27% behind the arc in the last four games.
  • Lastly, play-calling has affected Miami's game in the final moments of close games as the team typically resorts to the same sets. Most notably, the team seems the settle for isolation plays whenever the game is on the line (e.g. See Knicks, Magic and Bulls games). That makes it way too predictable for opposing teams. 
  • Thus, we are left with a huge state of uncertainty in Miami as this team has lost just about all the confidence it built during its mid-season winning stretch. It will take more than just some teary eyes and self-blaming apologies for this team to bounce back and have any shot at a title. Right now many peoples' jobs are on the line.

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