What Happened To The Miami Heat?
What has happened to the Miami Heat is the question of the season right now in my opinion. The reigining Eastern Conference Champions are currently sitting in 12th place with a 4-7 record. Miami has struggled coming out of the gate and there 1-4 record on the road is a big part of it. This team looked like it was about to be one of those dominant four teams in the Eastern Conference. That has not been the case this season, as they are struggling. So let us take a look at what has happened to the Miami Heat.
Where Did Their Depth Go?
Miami only lost Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr. from last season’s team that played significant minutes for them. The Heat replaced their two wings with Avery Bradley and Precious Achiuwa. Bradley isn’t as solid as he was a few seasons ago, and Achiuwa is still finding his footing in the league still. The rookie big man has played well for Miami, but yet this team is still struggling. I understand Butler has missed some time and there are only two players to play in all 11 games this season and that is Duncan Robinson and Achiuwa.
Miami looks like they desperately need a solid wing defender that can play the four. Andre Iguodala is on his last legs and can’t be a reliable option on a night in and night out basis. Kelly Olynyk is more of a five then he is a four, and the same could be said for Achiuwa. They started off playing Bam and Meyers Leonard on the floor at the same time. That did not work out as well as they would have liked as well. Also their only reliable scoring option off the bench know is Goran Dragic. Miami needs depth in order to get back to where they were and boy do they need it soon.
Miami’s Young Guns Not Taking That Step Forward
Miami had two young talented guards that broke out in a big way during their postseason run. Those two guards were none other than Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Duncan Robinson would be an opposing team’s worst nightmare last season as there were games where he just didn’t miss. Tyler Herro looked to be the next big thing for the Heat after his post season. He has taken on more responsibly especially when Jimmy Butler is out, but why aren’t they as good as they were in the post season.
Well for starters both of their PER is below the league average right now. Their shooting splits are good as Herro’s are (47/30/77) while Robinson’s are (46/43/83). It just hasn’t been the start that these two were looking for unfortunately. Heat fans are getting a little nervous because looking at these numbers you sit there and say to yourself “Ok … why are we 4-7 right now?” Well this team in reality played well beyond their expectations last season and look to be coming back to Earth. These two guys in the post season at outrageous numbers. Robinson hit 40 percent from beyond the arc, and shot 65 percent inside the arc as well. Herro averaged 16 PPG and stepped up during the clutch situations when his team needed him the most. Is Herro their closer…. we will have to find out, but the way this team has looked this year nobody knows who is “the guy”.
The Miami Heat looked to have come back to reality and it has shown so far this season. Jimmy Butler played out of his mind the entire post season, and so far this season he hasn’t had that spark. Bam Adebayo has taking over the number one role it seems, but this team is still struggling. I think their playoff run was a fluke, and this team isn’t as good as they were during that playoff run. Guys like Herro and Bam Adebayo will be good for this team, but they aren’t as good as they were a season ago. Erik Spoelstra needs to be recognized as one of the top five coaches in the league after leading that underdog team to the NBA Finals last season.
Last season it just looked like everything aligned for them. Goran Dragic came back out of nowhere and made a huge impact in the playoffs. Jimmy Butler played well beyond his abilites, and guys like Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro played to a level that we just might not see out of them ever again. Miami is in trouble and will need to make a move or two fast.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)