Jan 20, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) passes from the floor against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Commentary: Heat Defense Struggles Again, Miami Loses To Atlanta 121-114

The Miami Heat defense fell below par again, this time giving up 121 points to the Atlanta Hawks in a 121-114 loss Monday night.

With a team-wide effort, the offense wasn’t the problem. LeBron James scored 30 and Chris Bosh has 21 points and seven rebounds in the defeat. Shane Battier made all three of his three-pointers and Ray Allen was a perfect 4-4 from downtown. Chalmers also booted in 17 points.

That same effort wasn’t shown on defense.

Some of the problem could be Miami’s shaky rotation. Without Wade, the Heat often experiment with some funky lineups. Tonight, for example, Miami played with Allen, Norris Cole and Roger Mason Jr. on the wing–not exactly a stellar defensive front.

However, effort and focus is the self-admitted problem (see quote above).

There is no excuse for allowing seven Hawks players to score in double-digits.

Tomorrow night against the Boston Celtics, the Heat will have a chance to avoid back-to-back losses for the third time this season.

“We have to play much better tomorrow night. We have to defend the way we’re capable of,” said coach Erik Spoelstra after the game.

The Heat have the sxith-worst defense in points per possession since the New Year.

Quotes via Twitter @MiamiHEAT

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