Miami Heat Showing Progress in the Right Direction


While Hassan Whiteside may have been “just trying to get [his] 2K rating up,” yesterday’s win over the Chicago Bulls may have given the Miami Heat the momentum they need, moving forward.

Having surpassed the mid-season mark, the Heat had a less-than-desirable start to 2014-2015. As if LeBron James’ return to Cleveland was not bad enough for the morale of South Beach, Miami was then plagued with injuries and started the dance of sending and recalling players to and from the D-League. And although their record of 20-24 seem to tell a different story, things may finally be looking up for the Heat.

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Blowing past the Bulls 96-84, the team put on quite a show. First, there was the forever overlooked Whiteside, who finished the afternoon with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks.

Dwyane Wade also surprised many with 26 points, finishing slightly before Chris Bosh who totaled 20 points and 7 rebounds.

Luol Deng’s homecoming proved to be a pleasant experience as he stepped up and recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds. Even Mario Chalmers (who to my surprise was mic’ed up, a great Sunday Funday treat no doubt) ended the matchup with 15 points and 5 assists. The triumph against Chicago was definitely a team effort, showing a cohesion that Miami has been lacking for most of the year so far.

Although a win is a win (and the Heat will take them any way they can), hopefully Sunday’s victory will amount to more than simply a ‘W’ in the record books. Health issues aside, Miami certainly has talent in its midst, and the organization is definitely a winning one, but what still needs to be tapped into is a recipe for success. And for that to be possible, a few things need to happen.

For starters, the Heat need to zero in on the issue of guards. With Bosh having a killer season, and Whiteside’s recent stardom, the frontcourt dilemma Miami once had, is no longer an issue. But on the other hand, the team’s rotation of guards has been shaky, at best.

Many have said that Wade is over and done with, and although performances like yesterday prove that is not necessarily the case, his health has forced some inconsistencies.

When Chalmers gets going, he gets going, but he too cannot often be relied on. And then of course, you have Norris Cole, Shabazz Napier and Danny Granger, who have all had horrible seasons. The Heat need their guys to step up or, conversely, find better options if they want to have a better second half of the season.

Confidence has also seemed to be a problem for Miami. With naysayers around the league essentially giving up on them as soon as James announced his departure, the Heat unfortunately bought into that mentality as well. Being an underdog can have its upsides, but there is absolutely danger to it too. In order to ensure results, Miami needs to embrace the doubt and turn it into motivation.

The Heat face the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. Here is to playing on, forward progress and once again remembering who they are. Heat Nation stand up.

Next: Whiteside, Heat Make A Statement In Chicago