Miami Heat must find ways to consistently ‘stay out of own way’

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches from the sideline during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches from the sideline during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat dropped another winnable game on the eve of Christmas Eve. With Friday putting them back below the .500 mark at 16-17, they now sit one game behind the team that beat them in the standings, with the Heat at nine and the Pacers at eight.

But speaking of the Pacers, that’s just where this whole thing should start. Well, actually, let’s put the overall concept on the board, so to speak.

The Miami Heat have all of the makings of a traditional Miami Heat team that can compete. They have the scorers, the elite two-way guys, the superstar, the floor general, the reserve energizers, and the unknown auxiliary pieces that help them bring it all together.

They aren’t bereft of the same pieces that have gone into the makings of many highly contending Miami Heat teams before them. What they haven’t figured out how to do yet though, like many previous Heat teams have seemed to figure out earlier on in the season is this—they haven’t figured out how to stay out of their own way.

The Miami Heat aren’t losing because they don’t have the talent. They are losing games because they aren’t playing how they should be on a regular basis.

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Take the shot that broke them on Friday night in example.

Playing a game of yo-yo with the guy that has mauled you all night, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro clearly miscommunicated or poorly executed the pass-offtrap, or double-team scheme there. No matter how they were meant to handle that, they did it badly.

At all points, someone, at least one guy, has to be right in the face of Tyrese Haliburton. This is the man that did have 43 points, two rebounds, and seven assists on 14-20 from the field and 10-16 from three-point range.

Again, the man was on an absolute heater. But as far as the Heat’s part, things like this are what’s keeping them from fully pulling things together.

You take the defensive lapse above or the poor rebounding throughout the game that almost cost them an opportunity to even tie the ball game up. This same poor execution in sequence finishing, with a rebound, of course, has also cost them at other points and moments this season.

Free throws, lackadaisicalness, not being on one accord, things that shouldn’t be issues—these are the Miami Heat’s main issues right now. With them being so fundamental to the game and traditionally foundational to how the Miami Heat operate, they should all be second nature.

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So, that’s why the Miami Heat must do what they do and try to stay out of their own way so much as they seek their way back into the mix.