Heat in 5: Caleb Martin back to form, downhill Jaime, missing Bam, and more

This week, we take a look at Caleb Martin playing his best basketball of the season and reasons why the Miami Heat have struggled without Bam Adebayo and Haywood Highsmith.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Craig Porte
Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages

3️⃣ The defense without Bam (and Highsmith)

The Heat's defense is trending downward since Bam Adebayo got injured. Up until then, the Heat were eighth in Defensive Rating, at 111.1. Since then, they are 26th in the league in that same category, with a 121.6 Defensive Rating.

That slip can be attributed to their lackluster perimeter defense.

The Heat are allowing almost 10 more shots in the paint to opposing teams and 1.46 points per possession off drives, with only 0.5 turnovers forced per game, compared to 0.94 points per possession and 1.4 turnovers. They can't stop penetration, their nail help has been close to non-existent and the help at the rim has been way more late.

In the first clip, Josh Richardson has the early angle but Love is late showing and isn't aggressive on the ball, while Richardson is still somehow chasing Schroeder without ever putting pressure on him.

Second clip: Butler is matched up with Donovan Mitchell (this shouldn't be happening to begin with, but that speaks more of roster construction, personnel and Highsmith's absence). Mitchell rejects the Strus screen and attacks the middle, with Orlando Robinson standing in the way of Butler more than Mitchell, allowing two easy points.

In the third, the Cavs are in semi-transition, with Richardson again struggling with a sort of screen, with no real communication from Orlando on how to defend. While this is happening, Caleb Martin is just standing at the top of the key, guarding nobody. Thomspon notices the open space and cuts for a free dunk.

The last clip shows Robinson in too deep of a drop, Butler goes for the fake from Mitchell and that's an open pull-up 3 for one of the best in the league at making those kinds of shots.

The versatility, length and mobility of Bam and Highsmith is missed in so many of these occasions, with their ability to stay with the other team's best players, cover space and guard pick and rolls with a lot more aggressiveness, communication and poise.