The Miami Heat split their recent back-to-back road games against the Bucks and Nets. While the former was a heart-breaking loss, the latter was well on its way to being another blown fourth-quarter lead before the Miami Heat sealed the deal.
Something has been off in these last two games. The ability to put a game away has been noticeably absent in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
While Jimmy Butler’s injury could explain one game’s struggles, it cannot be used as an excuse for both contests.
Some may say that the Heat are missing Kyle Lowry, who just stepped away from the team due to personal reasons once again. While he is definitely missed, it does not explain the whole story.
Playoff teams have to be able to put opponents away in the fourth and the Miami Heat have struggled recently. Perhaps Victor Oladipo helps there.
The Heat can never have too many players who can close games effectively. With Victor Oladipo set to return at any moment, this coming Monday the 7th to be precise, Miami is ready to welcome back one of the most consistent closers over the last few seasons in the NBA.
Oladipo, who was the main closer in Indiana, earned a reputation for his ability to take over and dictate the pace of a fourth quarter. While he is coming off of a major injury, again and while he may take a while to get up to full speed, that killer mentality will be a pleasant addition to the Heat’s fourth quarter crew.
By the time the playoffs are in full swing, the Heat could have a closing offensive lineup of Lowry, Butler, Oladipo, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo. With P.J. Tucker and Caleb Martin substituting for defensive purposes, this could be one of the scariest closing units in the league.
When it comes to the playoffs, teams have to be able to put their opponents away in the fourth quarter and the Heat have struggled mightily with that as of late. While Oladipo does not have to get back to his “main guy” mindset, he is still a bonafide closer that makes for an excellent third or fourth scoring option on a potentially elite closing unit.