Miami Heat identity crisis at the core of T-Wolves defeat and recent others

James Johnson #16 of the Minnesota Timberwolves blocks a shot by Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Johnson #16 of the Minnesota Timberwolves blocks a shot by Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat needed a bounce-back on Wednesday against the Timberwolves after losing on Monday. *Spoiler: bouncing requires inflation and they fell flat.

The Miami Heat have had three pretty awful losses over the last few days, their worst three of the season if you really think about it, but losses that impact the standings regardless. Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, it was the general thought that the Heat had a more than decent chance to come away victorious. That was not the case.

It was a tit for tat game the entire way. The Miami Heat would go on a run to take the lead, while the T-Wolves would then go a run of themselves to take the lead back.

It came down to the final few possessions and the Minnesota team was able to make a play or two more than the Miami Heat. The results aren’t the important thing here though, at least not as important as how they got there. Let’s get into that.

The Miami Heat got here due to what can best be described as a temporary identity crisis. While this can actually reference or describe many different features, symptoms, or characteristics, it actually has manifested itself in two very specific ways with the Miami Heat.

The first way that it manifests itself is in their offense and execution. The Miami Heat are a much-improved shooting team from the outside, but they have often fallen in love with the outside shots too much at times over their last few losses, at least fallen in love with bad outside shots. 

The Miami Heat did most of their damage their prior to the All-Star break off of open looks created by a teammate for another teammate. This may be off of a drive and kick, dribble handoff, off of a screen, or whatever, but it wasn’t the bad shot, iso-ball, hero shot threes they have taken too many of over the past few games. That is the first dynamic of their identity crisis.

The second dynamic revolves around their mentality towards their competition. To be frank, they tend to play down and likewise, up to their competition. While you always want them to play up or has hard as they can every night for that matter, you absolutely would never like to see them be guilty of playing down to their competition.

That has bitten them over the past few games. If you allow teams to hang around that shouldn’t or get out to a decent lead, thus gaining bravado and confidence, they then have just as good a chance of beating you as you do them. That is the second part of their identity crisis, they forget who they are and start to mimic the behavior of their opposition.

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The Miami Heat need to get it together and quick. They have the Dallas Mavericks coming into their place on Friday and the Luka Doncic will be looking to put on a show. Let’s hope they’re ready.