Although Miami is currently a top-five seed in the East despite injuries to key players, the Heat’s record could have been better if they were able to close out games.
There have been many instances this year where the Heat have had fourth-quarter leads disappear in a matter of minutes due to defensive lapses and stagnant offense. One collapse that stands out the most is the Heat blowing a near-20-point lead against the Knicks in the fourth quarter alone. Miami ranks second to last in fourth-quarter net rating, with the Suns being the only team with a worse rating.
But in recent games against the Hawks, 76ers, and Warriors, Miami was able to win each fourth quarter and hold onto big wins. Let’s all hope that Miami has learned from those demoralizing losses and will make winning the final quarter a trend in 2024. – Alex Villasis