Takeaways from the Miami Heat’s loss to the Denver Nuggets

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 03: Jamal Murray
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 03: Jamal Murray /

The Miami Heat fell short, 95-94, on the road against the Denver Nuggets.

Things aren’t getting any easier for the Miami Heat.

After being handed a lengthy home stand on a silver platter, the Heat went into their road trip just 3-4. Not terrible per se, but certainly nowhere near where a team with such talent should be. Especially after being given the chance to have home court advantage, six games in a row.

Then, they faced off against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, and came up short, 95-94. Putting them at 3-5.

So what happened?

For starters, turnovers. Again.

Going into Friday night’s contest, the Heat were averaging 15.6 turnovers a game. An embarrassing number on its own, but even more so when its coupled with an average of 48.3 points in the paint allowed and 16.9 second chance points allowed.

Last night, Miami finished with a whopping 22 turnovers, giving Denver 16 second chance points and allowing them 50 points in the paint.

So really, it’s astounding they only lost by a point.

The third quarter was also an issue once more.

For some time now, Heat Nation has a rather crude name for the team’s third quarter play. And unfortunately, the squad has been living up to it recently.

Against the Nuggets, the Heat shot just 3-of-18 in the third, while also racking up six turnovers.

Even Goran Dragic, who is usually the team’s rock, went just 1-for-7 from the field in the second half, after having 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting at halftime.

An Hassan Whiteside seemed a bit… lost.

Although the big man had a solid performance against the Chicago Bulls, his first game back after being sidelined with a knee injury, he didn’t seem himself on Friday. On November 1, he totaled 13 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 6-of-11 (including going 1-for-1 from downtown). And while yesterday he scored another 13 points (on 6-of-9 shooting), he grabbed just three rebounds.

Even worse, he alluded to not being clear on his current status. A sign that perhaps communication amongst the team, isn’t at its best.

"“I don’t know, man,” Whiteside said after playing 24 minutes. “I think I’m on a minutes restriction or something. I don’t really know what’s going on right now.”"

The center also took a bit of a dig at the second unit.

"“Man, I don’t know, it’s frustrating. It happens every game — first quarter we get a big lead, [head coach Erik Spoelstra] takes out the starters, they tie it up and then we’re back and forth.”"

Obviously, no one is expecting Miami to be perfect right from the get-go. They may have come off a 30-11 run at the end of last season, but enough changes were made to the roster to set the guys back a step or two.

However, there is simply no excuse for a bad habit like turnovers to develop.

Next: How to get Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson back on track

The Miami Heat take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 3:30 PM ET on Sunday, November 5.