Miami Heat’s second consecutive defeat spoils Big Apple visit

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks battles Meyers Leonard #0 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks battles Meyers Leonard #0 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat suffered their first back to back losses of the season, losing Sunday to the Knicks by a score of 24-121. Yea, they gave this one away too.

The Miami Heat were looking to bounce back against the New York Knicks after giving up the lead to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Sunday evening, Miami came out playing decent basketball to start the game.

Kendrick Nunn, who finished with 20 points, came out attacking the rim to begin the game, while also getting to his mid-range jumper. Meyers Leonard really struggled defensively, specifically in boxing out on the boards, letting Taj Gibson get quite a few second-chance points, in example.

Across the past two games, opposing teams have been having an easy time attacking Miami at the rim and this is something to be concerned with. Bam Adebayo really struggled at times on Sunday.

His indecisiveness led to Miami turnovers and fast-break points for New York. Going into halftime, Miami had a five-point lead due to James Johnson buzzer-beater. Johnson has played in back to back games and has looked good for Miami, so in an otherwise gloomy situation, he was a bright spot.

The second half of the game Miami saw fans hoping that Miami could put the New York team away, especially after Miami had a double-digit lead at several points throughout the half. Goran Dragic looked his age today defensively, getting attacked a couple of times with New York guards penetrating to the rim.

At this stage in Dragic career, fast guards hurt him because he can’t seem to consistently stat y in front of them. Miami’s defense has been slipping as of late, which has only been compounded by the fact that after playing poor defense, they allow offensive rebounds and thus second-chance points. Second chance points that have killed the Heat in back to back losing games to average to below-average teams.

Down the stretch, Miami could have put this game away, but timely turnovers really killed them. Jimmy Butler had 25 points, six assists, and 10 rebounds, but in crunch time, he failed to hit a crucial free throw to tie the game, missing the last of a trio of free throws after being fouled on a three-pointer.

He also made a bad decision on the final play as he was attacking the rim, before he then made a last-second pass to Bam Adebayo who wasn’t anticipating the pass. Butler should have just went up with the shot there, where at worst he probably could have gotten back to the line.

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These were really bad back to back losses for Miami and the first truly rough patch of the season thus far. Hopefully, the Miami Heat can find a way to lock in defensively a bit more while also getting back to the fundamentals, like protecting the paint and the importance of rebounding.