The Miami Heat are in some serious need of consistency

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 3: Bam Adebayo
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 3: Bam Adebayo /

With the early frustrations of the season, the Miami Heat are seeking some consistency.

Off to an 11-12 start on the season, is not what anyone expected from the Miami Heat. There have been flashes of what this team might be capable of, but what we have seen is a more solidified picture of mediocrity.

After beating the top of the Eastern Conference Boston Celtics, it looked like things were back in order for the Heat. It was a solid offensive performance, as well as defense. That was until the last half of the fourth quarter, when it looked like the Celtics might come back.

Able to hold on for the solid win and grab the next two, there was a reason for optimism.

Things have since changed. Three losses in the last four games have brought expectations back down. Not just three losses, but three very lopsided ones. Games against the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers were one-sided, along with the second half against the Golden State Warriors.

Going into halftime, Miami was running with Golden State offensively. Trading baskets back-and-forth, Miami trailed 62-60.

One of the main struggles this season has been on the defensive front. Even though Miami kept pace with the Warriors, allowing 62 points in a half is not Miami Heat basketball.

The last handful of games converted the Heat’s usual third-quarter woes into first quarter woes. Although it would be nice to get rid of those woes altogether, it seemed a little easier to come back with those issues moving into the first quarter. But, against the Warriors, the third quarter struggles returned as the Heat were outscored 37-17 in the quarter alone.

Right now things seem up in the air. There’s no consensus on what exactly the problems are surrounding this team.

The obvious areas to point fingers are at injuries. Rodney McGruder was injured just before the season with a stress fracture in his leg and will be out for a few more months. Okaro White is out with a foot injury, and Hassan Whiteside is suffering his second bruised knee of the season.

There are some clear issues that the Heat have to address with these missing players. Without McGruder, this team suffers in the mid-range game. Without Whiteside, there’s no rim protector.

The Heat are getting killed on the offensive boards, as they are ranked 27th in the league this year with just eight per game. Whiteside is also the main defender in the paint.

But, there are other areas that can be fixed without those players. With some shifty guards and players who can score driving, Miami simply is not getting to the line enough. Ranked 26th in the league in free throw attempts, Miami is shooting 77 percent from the line. Not a great number, something that can improve, but still good enough to rank 14th in the league. The Heat are shooting 32.6 3’s per game, and it’s preventing them from getting to the free throw line.

What it feels like the Heat lack is a franchise player. Someone who consistently will be able to take over, night after night. It’s great that multiple players can step up and lead this team when needed, but they need one person to rise above the rest.

At times that person felt like it would be Whiteside or occasionally Dion Waiters. Most consistently though, Goran Dragic looked to be that guy.

With a team of players who look almost mismatched to be assembled together, there are times where they mesh well. This team the Heat have right now could work, but there have been too many instances of inconsistent play.

Next: Turning up the Heat: Josh Richardson and lackluster defense

One player on this team needs to raise their level of play, as well as lead, for the Heat to start to find success.