Heat vs Rockets Observations: Is This Rock Bottom?


The Miami Heat lost by 36 points tonight, and that was with the Rockets taking most of the fourth quarter off. The Heat fell to the Houston Rockets 115-79 and all the way to rock bottom.

At first, it seemed like the Heat were going to be able to hang with the Rockets. Houston was playing in their second game of a back-to-back following a disappointing performance against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Heat actually took a 27-23 lead into the second quarter, and that’s when the spiral happened.

Houston opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run and finished the period with a 10-0 run to take a 61-49 lead in the half. Then the Heat were outscored 33-11 in the third. All of that amounted to the Heat being outscored 71-33 in the second and third quarters.

So what happened? The Heat seemed overwhelmed by Houston’s speed. The Rockets were jumping passing lanes, forcing 21 turnovers (including five in the first six minutes) and scoring 27 fast break points. Dwight Howard abused them in the paint, going for 23 and 13. The Rockets as a team had 52 points in the paint. James Harden finished with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were limited, each of them scoring just 15 points. Hassan Whiteside provided some silver lining, scoring a season-high 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting with five rebounds in 24 minutes.

During The Heatles Tour, this is what the Heat could do to other teams. They could overwhelm teams with their speed and execution, get easy points and go on runs in a blink of an eye. That’s not this team anymore, and we are being reminded of it pretty often lately.

Heat vs Rockets Observations

  • Heat had Mario Chalmers defend James Harden, Luol Deng defend Patrick Beverley and Dwyane Wade defend Trevor Ariza. The Rockets allowed Harden to defend Wade, despite Patrick Beverley being “a bull dog.”
  • Most of the Heat’s early success came off small-big pick-and-rolls. Houston ended up sniffing that out. The PnR is Miami’s bread-and-butter but, man, are they limited to just that.
  • Hassan Whiteside did some nice things on offense but got pushed around by Howard on defense.
  • Andersen got hurt in the second quarter and went straight to the locker room. Looks like a right ankle injury. The team announced he “tweaked” his right ankle. He promptly returned after getting it taped up.
  • Spoelstra limited the time Cole and Chalmers shared the court. Played James Ennis as the backup shooting guard rather than subbing in Cole and sliding Rio over.
  • Dwyane Wade wasn’t very aggressive. Not sure why. He had some knee issues pop up but did go through shootaround. He didn’t take a second-half shot until there was five-and-half minutes left in the third quarter. I know he was having some knee issues, but he participated in shoot around this morning. According to the Miami Herald’s Joseph Goodman, he came out of the halftime locker room with heat wraps on his right knee and left calf.
  • Andre Dawkins saw some action in the fourth quarter. He was aggressive shooting, but went 0-3 in nine minutes.
  • This game may have sucked the soul out of the Heat. It’ll be interesting to see how this team gets up for Brooklyn Sunday.

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