Miami Heat Makes and Misses: Third quarter struggles and more

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Dion Waiters /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 5: Goran Dragic /

Miss: Third Quarter Offense

The third quarter has plagued the Miami Heat in almost every game this season and its one of the biggest reasons they sit on the wrong side of .500 at this point in the year.

Yet again this week, the Heat logged a -21 in the third quarter as the worst team in the league coming out of the halftime break continued to tighten its grip on that title.

The “why” of the problem is for another time, but some of the “how” starts with the stagnant offense that leads to poor shot selectons and fast breaks for the defense. There are also the turnovers that allowed the Wizards to seize control of the game, they’d eventually give back to the Heat in the fourth quarter.

Here’s a touch from Tyler Johnson against Washington with the Heat up 18, a quarter they’d lose by 12. There is nothing that tells Johnson to shoot this ball, an inefficient long two-pointer. The Heat are still early in their action and Johnson is just the second guy to touch the ball. The defense didn’t react to Johnson receiving the ball and he still felt the need to shoot.

Again, here is Josh Richardson with an even worse look. First action off a weak screen from Whiteside, and Richardson takes the worst shot you could possibly generate: the long two-pointer.

There is no explanation for why the Heat snap into “quick shot” mode when the third quarter arrives. When they display patience on offense and work together, moving the ball around and moving through their sets, they can be successful.

Outside of X’s and O’s, the Heat simply lack energy coming out of the break. A good team who went into the halftime break with a lead (which they did twice this week) has to come out and continue to establish that lead. Especially when that team is at home.

The Heat cannot sustain having to overcome a fourth quarter deficit every night, or even on most nights. That’s the situation they put themselves in when they don’t play well in the third quarter.

Next: Miami Heat collapse versus Indiana Pacers, falling 120-95

Let’s hope for a better week for the team.