Miami Heat's historically bad start too much to overcome in loss to Toronto Raptors

Never has a Heat team attempted to climb out of this kind of hole.
Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Miami Heat suffered a 121-97 loss to the Raptors Wednesday night in Toronto. Miami started the game down 13-2 and things just got worse from there. By the end of the first quarter, Miami was down by 23.

The first half was ugly for the Heat on both ends of the floor. From the tip, the Heat just didn’t look like themselves.

Poor First Half

The Heat couldn’t make anything in the first half. Miami had a hard time scoring over Toronto’s length. The 3-point shooting was the worst part. Miami went 6 for 27 from beyond the arc in this game. Miami was impatient in their offense and settled for jumpshots, which ultimately led to several missed opportunities.

If the Heat are struggling offensively, they can usually stay in games with their defense. That was not the case Wednesday night in Toronto. The Heat were down by as much as 37 points in this game. They did not defend the perimeter well. Toronto knocked down 20 3-pointers in the game. Some of these shots were made because the Raptors were having a hot shooting night. Most of those shots could have been prevented with better rotations and more attention to off-ball action.

Miami didn’t defend the paint well, either. If a team can’t defend the paint or the perimeter well in the same game, it makes it nearly impossible for them to win.

To put things in perspective, the Heat held their opponents to under 100 points in their last three wins. The Raptors almost scored 100 points through three quarters in this game.

Strong Third Quarter

Broadcasters Eric Reid and John Crotty described the Toronto Raptors as a team that was playing “more desperate” due to the opportunities that could open up due to the Pascal Siakam trade. In the second half, Miami was the team that played with more desperation and effort. They were able to go on a 21-3 run that cut the lead to 19 points.

One of the major differences between the first half and the third quarter was that the Miami Heat made shots. The Heat opened up the third quarter by shooting 10 for 11 from the field. They also looked more like a Miami Heat team in terms of their hustle and effort. There was a possession in which Jimmy Butler and Nikola Jovic seemed to grab at least four offensive rebounds before one of them drew a foul.

The Heat outscored the Raptors 30-16 in the third quarter. Their momentum carried over into the fourth quarter, as they were able to cut the lead to as low as 13 points. However, the lead was too big to overcome. The Raptors hit a few more 3-pointers and wiped away all momentum Miami was carrying.

The Heat made an impressive run in this game, but they dug too big of a hole to steal one on the road. The Miami Heat will look to bounce back as they host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.