Miami Heat: Are some of the lucky things running out for this team?

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat have been unlucky over their last handful of contests, or have they? Here we will attempt to explore this phenomenon… or lack thereof.

At the beginning of the year, the Miami Heat were outdoing their preseason expectations and were on fire to start the year, going 24-8 through their first 32. Recently, however, with them going 12-14, it makes one wonder “what gives”?

Well, for starters opposing teams were shooting 28.4 percent on “open threes” at that point, the second-worst rate of opponent shooting in the league. As of recently though, opponents are now hitting 37.2 percent of their open threes, a number and a facet of the game that is flat-out extinguishing the Heat.

With those stats in mind though, there are a lot of questions to be asked. Numero Uno, What has changed?

To begin to answer that question, we will look at the basics of functioning as a winning team. I don’t think the communication has been as consistent recently as it was to start the year. Although this may coincide with Meyers Leonard being down a few games with injury and having yet to return, it is a noticeable issue when watching the games from any perspective.

Many times during the game, it seems like Miami doesn’t know when to hedge/switch/drop low or blitz the screen and roll. As far as the whole “luck” thing, and with myself included, we have to remember that even though opposing teams have been bad that they are still all pros and have a job to do.

For example, in the last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, T-Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell hit quite a few backbreaking threes against Miami. He was so effective at times that during the game, I began thinking to myself, “why isn’t Miami trapping him off the pick and roll?”

Miami has a hard enough time with guarding quick and/or shifty guards as it is, that I thought that trapping him would be the best way to possibly go about neutralizing him, while simultaneously making someone else beat you.

Another factor recently is that Miami has been playing against teams that just aren’t that good and have nothing to play for. This tends to make it easier for them to go out there, just play ball,  and have freedom. Not using that as an excuse, because most good teams and let alone contending teams, would of beat the Hawks, Cavs, and Timberwolves.

The Miami Heat’s offensive numbers have been good throughout the season and will likely continue to be just as consistent, so that is definitely not luck when it comes to offense. Hopefully, Miami’s defensive communication regains its form which should then begin to run parallel with consistency on that side of the ball as well.

This would be much better than to potentially have to rely on opposing teams to miss open threes, as obviously that’s not good defense. Basically, Miami’s defensive shortcomings and the offensive explosions that they have allowed aren’t luck-based or lack of luck-based, but lack of defensive discipline and principle-based.

Next. Imaginary skid or idiosyncrasy of Miami Heat… Saturday is the test. dark

Miami needs to look past luck while working hard to change that wording to consistency, discipline, and awareness. Then and only then, will their fortunes start to change. See what we did there?