Takeaways: Heat fall to the Bulls as problems surround depleted roster

The Miami Heat fell behind 33-8 and, though they nearly came back, never led in Thursday's loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Dec 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Kevin Love (42) and forward Caleb Martin (16)
Dec 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Kevin Love (42) and forward Caleb Martin (16) / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Bulls spoil the Miami Heat's chances of sparking a win streak, defeating Miami, 124-116, Thursday night at Kaseya Center. What seemed like a lifeless game from the Heat forces them back to the drawing board to see what they can accomplish with three starters out (Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Haywood Highsmith). 

Why the Heat lost: Bam Adebayo's absence is missed

Miami lacks an offensive hub with Adebyo out of the lineup. It seems like a crazy scenario when your center is viewed as the best facilitator, but the offense is simply stagnant without Adebayo. 

Spoelstra has options to move around the lineup, like Kyle Lowry and Jaime Jaquez Jr., but they’re missing offensive flow that Adebayo provided. He made an impact on the offense at all three levels and opened up opportunities for backdoor cuts, as well as 3-point attempts. Without Adebayo, the Heat are dribbling through the shot clock, forcing unwarranted attempts. 

Since Adebayo has been sidelined, the Heat have found themselves relying on multiple pieces to lead the offense, but that’s varied from quarter to quarter. There isn’t a consistent player that Spoelstra can hand the keys to and trust to usher the offense through four quarters.