Miami Heat: Total 4th quarter meltdown costs them sweep of Toronto

Head Coach Erik Spoelstra looks on during the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Head Coach Erik Spoelstra looks on during the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat came into Monday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors with, not only, the chance to beat the team for a second consecutive time in a row but to also get to 2-2 on the year. Starting the game out being manhandled near the rim and on the glass, the Miami Heat’s lack of size would show up early and often in the first half.

Outrebounded by nearly 10 boards in the first half, 23-32, and being doubled up on the offensive glass by the Raptors, 8-4, the Miami Heat would have to play tougher and smarter in the second half to have a chance. And they would.

Carrying a five-point lead into the fourth period, 76-71, the Miami Heat should have been able to close the door on the Raptors based on all you had seen up until that point. However, that’s where the problem lies, while close or closer are the important terms here.

The Miami Heat’s “closer”, Jimmy Butler, would only play three and a half minutes in the fourth period. Yea, you read that right, three minutes and thirty-eight seconds to be exact.

The Miami Heat had a chance to get the two-game sweep over Toronto on Monday. However, a fourth-period meltdown cost them their chance.

Related Story. Jimmy Butler just reaching the peak of his powers. light

And in that three and a part minutes of action in the most crucial period of the game, most games for that matter, the Miami Heat’s best player and most consistent offensive threat only had two shot attempts.

First off, that’s coaching, which means that’s all on Spo. There is no world where he should let that happen and that wasn’t the only questionable decision (think Duncan Robinson and Max Strus, but more on that soon enough).

You absolutely trust Spo, as he is one of the best in the league and that the game has ever seen, however, those were questionable calls.

You can also look to the team’s execution as a whole down the stretch. Though Butler should have been in the game to close it, the guys that were out there could have been better in his absence.

For several straight possessions in the fourth as the Raptors were seizing, taking control, and pulling away with the game, several Miami Heat guys proceeded to play Hero Ball, no pun intended, though their very own Tyler Herro was one of those guys.

On both sides, connectivity and fluidity are what works for the Heat. It helps them get to good offense, while it allows them to be effective as one moving piece on defense.

Next. Biggest question for Bam Adebayo entering 2022-23 season. dark

This one was a winnable game, but it’ll be a teachable moment and that’s ok. That goes for guys on the team and guys along the sidelines, but you trust they’ll all be better moving forward.