Miami Heat president Pat Riley is asking for a little bit of patience

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 23: Justise Winslow
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 23: Justise Winslow /

Miami Heat president Pat Riley says it’s too early to assess the status of his team, and asks fans to have a little bit of patience.

The Miami Heat are just four games into their 2017-18 campaign, and already the hot takes have begun.

The 30-11 team was a fluke. Their defensive identity has disappeared. They can’t compete without a superstar. You name it, a hater has said it. Heck, even some members of Heat Nation have seemingly gone into panic mode, as the team currently sits 2-2.

But the truth is, it’s far too early to make any definitive statements. Something that president Pat Riley recently spoke out about.

"“The one thing about the team that I will say is what we see every single day and what we see every single night is it’s going to come hard. They’re going to come hard. They’re going to play hard. They’re bringing it every night with effort. Once the efficiency catches up with the effort, maybe some of the pace slows down and they get into a real balance. But right now it’s too early to assess.”"

The Heat certainly have plenty to work on. Like say, their inconsistent 3-point shooting. While they shot lights out from downtown against the Atlanta Hawks (with Wayne Ellington going 6-of-8), they struggled to find a rhythm versus the San Antonio Spurs.

And it’s clear they haven’t completely gelled yet, as a unit. Despite the majority of last year’s core coming back, the addition of Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk disrupt the already established chemistry just enough, to throw things off.

Nevermind that Rodney McGruder is sidelined with a fractured leg, and Hassan Whiteside has only played in one game so far, out with a bruised knee. Injuries that absolutely hurt Miami, on both ends of the floor.

But nevertheless, four games into a season does not a body of work make. If the team could turn an 11-30 record into a 30-11 run, there’s no telling how quickly they can bounce back from .500.

Riley also touched upon Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow specifically, two guys who are loaded with talent, but need time to figure out their roles.

"“They’re both young… They’re both 20, 21. I think you could see last night against veteran 35-year-old, 37-year-old players that are very smart and on a great team, championship team, championship coach that they’ve got a lot to learn… But I’m happy with both Justise and Bam. Five years from now I hope they’re on the All-Star team.”"

And there’s no reason to believe they won’t be.

With Adebayo already showing flashes of potential, finishing with 8 rebounds in 20 minutes in his first start of the year against the San Antonio Spurs, Riley and company definitely made the right call in drafting him. As for Winslow, although he’s technically a third-year, he only competed in 18 games last season. Combine that with it never being easy returning from injury, and it’s clear it’ll take a while for him to get settled.

Next: Miami Heat: Dispatch from Waiters Island, week one

The Miami Heat may not have necessarily hit the ground running, but president Pat Riley is right: it’s far too early to predict how 2017-18 will go.