The Good And The Bad: A Miami Heat Mid-Season Review


With their 95-83 win over the Sacramento Kings, the Miami Heat have played 40 out of their 82 games so far this season; and as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, they will have reached the halfway mark.

Currently, the Heat stand at 18-22 (seventh in the Eastern Conference), far from a desired record. But while on paper things may not look so hot, this year has not been all bad for Miami.

More from All U Can Heat

For starters, despite his lengthy injury, Chris Bosh is having one heck of a season (which if you recall, is something yours truly herself predicted…) Not only is he is averaging 21.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a game, but he has stepped up to be the type of leader this team needs. Back in the days of the Big Three, Bosh may have been producing on the court, but seemed to lack a voice off of it. But with LeBron James out of the picture, things have changed; Bosh definitely has a whole new outlook on his role with the Heat.

Hassan Whiteside is another name to remember. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the second-year center has given fans something to get excited over. And like Bosh, his contribution goes past sheer numbers. Averaging  7.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks on the season, it is his improvement that has gotten people talking. Approximately 12 games with no face-time to 23 points and 16 rebounds in 29 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers anybody?

Miami’s defense is also on the rise. Right now they are ranked fourth in points allowed, only letting one team (the Golden State Warriors) in the last six games, score more than 100 points. If being a Chicagoan has taught me anything, it is that defense for a NBA team is like water to a fish. A team cannot be successful without a good grasp on it.

On the other hand, the Heat do still have some work to do.

The two biggest issues right now seem to be finding a point guard to count on, and getting all of the injuries under control.

We all know that up until recently, I have ridden the Norris Cole train more than anyone else out there. I was around (via another Horizon League’s sport information department) when he played for Cleveland State, and I loved what I saw. I was even more delighted when he ended up with the Heat (after yelling at the Chicago Bulls for passing him up, via my television). He had a great rookie season and I assumed things would only go up from there, but for whatever reason once James left, so did Cole’s confidence.

Mario Chalmers certainly has his moments, but neither I, nor head coach Erik Spoelstra apparently, feel good enough about things to put him in a position of permanently running the show. Chalmers has not (in my opinion) yet shown the maturity needed to be labeled as the choice for a point guard.

This brings us to Shabazz Napier, whose NBA career so far has turned into the roller coaster ride of his life. Napier was once a heavy part of Miami’s rotation, only to be sent to the D-League via the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and then called back, after which he went from being left out of the rotation, to having started the last two games. Can someone say, total fail?

Of course, it does not help that Dwyane Wade is proving everyone who called him “done,” right (bringing me to my second point). Yes, he is currently leading the Heat in points per game with 22.1, but while he is red-hot one night, he is nursing an injury the next. For example, right now he has a hamstring injury, which has him listed as day-to-day. And while something of the sort could happen to anyone, unfortunately it happens to Wade more often than the rest. He has already missed about 10 games thus far, and what the future holds for him is anyone’s guess.

Wade’s injuries combined with Bosh’s were enough to shake things up for Miami this season, but throw in Josh McRobert’s woes, Chris Andersen’s sidelines, and Danny Granger’s troubled start, and well…health is not something the Heat have had luck with so far this year.

While the start of this season may not have bred much hope or joy, the good news is that in the NBA, anything can happen. Tuesday marks the start of a potentially new slate for Miami, and I for one am ready to see how the second half of 2014-2015 wraps up.

Next: Q&A: Andre Dawkins on Getting Cut, Playing for Miami Heat