Miami Heat play one of their most complete games in New Orleans blowout

The Miami Heat came into their game on Wednesday night off a tough defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks in a Martin Luther King Day matchup. Allowing the Hawks to go up big on the backs of their bonkers offensive efficiency to start the game and through the first half, the Miami Heat would get it down to just a few possessions at points late in the game, but couldn’t fully seal the deal.

That must’ve been fresh in their minds as Wednesday night approached. Speaking of fresh, they would start their normal starting lineup for just the 16th time this season as well.

And it paid off. To continue the theme of “fresh”, a fresh-seeming Kyle Lowry would get them started off right. Pushing the tempo and finding two baskets on his own to begin the game in the New Orleans, that set the tone for a Miami Heat blitz all night long.

And here’s the major thing about it.

The Miami Heat may have gotten their most complete win of the year on Wednesday night. And if it wasn’t, then it is no worse than second best.

The Miami Heat did what they did to the Pelicans on Wednesday night with their defense.

Playing with ferocity on defense and converting for scores, after turning them over, were the big keys to the Miami Heat propelling themselves to their, eventually, insurmountable pedestal in their win over the Pelicans.

A team that had gone 17-5 on their home floor, prior to the Heat defeat making them 17-6, they were without two of their top three players on the night in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram (though they’ve had success with Ingram missing quite a few games now) but they are still a team that can score, averaging well over 100 points per game in the seven games prior to this one without Williamson.

And to that point, with the Miami Heat holding to them to under 100 points at 98, it was just the second time this year that anyone has done that to this New Orleans bunch. This was the first time it had happened since November though.

That says a ton about this Miami Heat team’s defense. And this win, along with their last few games, says a ton about where the Miami Heat are headed.

Coach Spo alluded to this team finding something recently and recognizing it internally. But in the last few games or so, wins or losses, you are starting to see that all come together from the outside looking in as well.