A few notable silver linings for the Miami Heat after dropping back-to-back games

The Heat may have lost two games in a row, but they remain the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with reinforcements on the way.
Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

It was a rough two-game road stretch for the Miami Heat, who first lost a close one to the Dallas Mavericks and then followed that up with a 107-100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

Miami falls to 35-28 on the season but remains the sixth seed. It was going to be a difficult challenge to take down Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on back-to-back nights. However, both games were winnable considering the Heat had double-digit leads during the first half of each one.

The Heat came out looking solid on Friday night in Oklahoma City. They had a strong defensive first half and went into halftime with a 10-point lead. They got some sparks off the bench from Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Patty Mills, who made his Heat debut. Jaquez finished the game with a team-high 25 points on efficient 10 of 13 shooting.

Patty Mills wasted no time making an impact, dropping 11 points on 4 of 5 shooting and 3 of 3 from downtown in his first seven minutes of playing time. 

This already deep Miami roster got deeper. The Heat signed 35-year-old free agent Patty Mills last week. At first, it seemed like a random signing, considering the Heat also snagged defensive-minded guard Delon Wright off the buyout market a few weeks back. But Josh Richardson's season-ending shoulder surgery created a need for another guard on the roster.

Jimmy Butler registered a near triple-double performance, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Bam Adebayo, on the other hand, put in a forgettable outing, totaling just five points on a rough 1 of 9 shooting on the night. Adebayo does so many other things well that can help mask shooting performances like this, but Miami is simply going to need more out of him offensively when matching up against offensive powerhouses like the Thunder. 

Terry Rozier also played well and shot the ball efficiently with 14 points and added five rebounds and four assists. However, when Gilgeous-Alexander is torching teams with 37 points like he did against the Heat, there needs to be enough firepower to combat that. Outside of Jaquez off the bench, not a single Heat player scored over 20 points.

A healthy Tyler Herro could have changed the outcome of this game.

Going up against MVP-caliber players like Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander, Herro could have been a difference-maker for the Heat. His ability to create his own offense at an efficient clip would have helped the Heat keep pace with those offenses.

The bad news is the Heat are now in the midst of a two-game losing streak. The good news is that the hardest back-to-back set on the schedule is now in the rearview mirror. The Heat’s record may have gotten worse, but they didn’t move in the standings and are still in sixth in the East. They are also just a game-and-a-half behind the fifth seed.

Miami gets a good opportunity to bounce back on Sunday at home against a struggling Washington Wizards team.