Coach Spoelstra staying the course with current lineup amid dreadful 7 game losing streak

Heat Spoelstra
The Miami Heat are in the midst of the worst losing streak in over 15 years. (photo via @kevinlove Instagram)

Last night, the Miami Heat failed to snap this historic losing skid as Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker picked up the win on Miami’s home court. The Phoenix Suns were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but that didn’t stop them from dismantling the Heat in a 118-105 victory.

Phoenix has swept the season series 2-0 against the Heat.

Miami now sports a current 7 game losing streak, the longest since 2008. This team looks completely different as they have in all of the 2023 calendar year and more recently the first few months of the season. It truly does seem that everything that could have went wrong for Miami has indeed gone wrong.

With the team fully healthy, there is no more excuses to use regarding injuries. This is the blunt reality of this Miami Heat roster.

Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier both led the team offensively with 26 and 21 points last night, respectively, but it just still isn’t enough.

The main thing to be optimistic about last night’s performance over anything was Rozier. He finished with a stat line of 21 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds on terrific efficiency at 57% FG and 66% from 3 point range.

It was really good to see newly acquired PG Rozier look very comfortable and confident in his offensive game. At his best, he is a player that can score with the best of them and add some much needed help to Butler and the rest of the core.

Following the loss, todau the Heat and Coach Spoelstra opted to have a film session rather than a team practice. There are some stand out quotes from earlier on this afternoon.

Spoelstra was asked if he believes in Tyler Herro and Terry Rozier as the starting backcourt duo by Wes Goldberg. He responded with “Yes, I do.”

Some more important pieces from the interview to note from Goldberg’s interview with Coach:

Quotes that confirm that the Herro/Rozier pairing from Spoelstra is here to stay is going to gain lots of controversy from Heat Nation. The Miami Heat are currently 63-65 as a team with Herro in the 1st unit, but sport a 93-49 record all time with Herro as the sixth man.

Herro is also a winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award just two seasons ago.

This is not a knock on Herro whatsoever; it’s a knock on ‘potentially’ forcing a fit.

The important thing to note here is that Herro has taken some steps back on the defensive end especially, compared to how he looked earlier on this season. He has struggled to stay in front of defenders and properly rotate in zone defense.

Herro shot 48.2% in the months of November and December. In January, he is shooting under 40%, which is also below league average in that category.

Goldberg asked Bam Adebayo, who has had some serious offensive struggles of his own recently, about the film session today:

“It provided a lot of clarity for all of us. We walked out with a lot of clarity and a lot of confidence.”

Caleb Martin is another key rotation player who has had a pretty rough season following his post season heroics last year. He has had injury issues and inconsistencies on both ends of the floor.

Brady Hawk of Five Reasons Sports network asked Martin for his opinion on the film session as well:

“Things were said that needed to be said.”

Even newcomer Terry Rozier tried to stay positive, but it’s fair to only feel for the young man considering he was not brought in from a losing situation over in Charlotte to be part of something like this.

For those wondering, Jimmy Butler also had his thoughts after the game yesterday.

“I’m not concerned. I still know what we’re capable of.” (via Zachary Weinberger/ClutchPoints network)

The entire Miami Heat organization are saying all of the right things. The problem is when is something going to give?

How many losses in a row can it take until some lineup/rotation and/or trade decisions may have to be made?

It looks like Coach Spoelstra and co. are willing to find that out.

It is a really tough pill to swallow to maybe admit that the talent and development shown by that young Adebayo/Herro/Jaime Jaquez Jr. core wasn’t ever realistically sustainable.

This stagnant, lifeless level of play as of late from pretty much everyone while Butler does his thing has came out early this season rather than deep into the playoffs.

The Heat are not playing with any intensity, passion and even integrity. It is very uncommon for a team that reps the motto of ‘Heat Culture’.

There are so many problems right now that maybe a trade or lineup changes can’t even fix. The Adebayo/Herro prolonged slumps after showing so much progression, Kevin Love looking like a real 35 year old player and the overall team defense that has been such a strong facet to the Heat’s game over the years has just completely fell off.

Jaquez Jr. granted has only played in two games since his six game absence from a groin injury, but he has looked pretty shaky himself since his return.

The thing that’s working in Miami’s favor right now is time. There is still so much basketball left in this season, and Heat teams of the past have proved just how quickly the tides can turn.

It is only reasonable to think with the history of this team in the Butler era that they can turn this corner eventually.

This is not a roster of names that anybody would ever expect to be responsible for the longest franchise losing streak in over 15 years.

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vagibugi

starters are pretty bad, but first bench rotation of Love and Martin means cliff edge.
Why not try with somebody else.

SunManFromDogBone

Just looked at the schedule. The way Miami is playing and the fact they are doing terrible against teams with winning records, they will be lucky to go 3-7 in next 10 games. If that happens, they will be 27-30 and battling Chicago for 9th place.

  • Wed, Jan 31 vs Sacramento,
  • Fri, Feb 2 at Washington
  • Sun, Feb 4 vs LA Clippers
  • Tue, Feb 6 vs Orlando
  • Wed, Feb 7 vs San Antonio
  • Sun, Feb 11 vs Boston
  • Tue, Feb 13 at Milwaukee
  • Wed, Feb 14 at Philadelphia
  • Fri, Feb 23 at New Orleans
  • Mon, Feb 26 at Sacramento

Note: Five more games until next week’s (Feb 8) trade deadline. Still time to make one more trade for a two-way PF/C. Otherwise, Pat will be combing the trash heap (released and bought out players) for possible table scraps.

GO HEAT!!!

oregoner

By my quick math, it’s 8 games until the all-star break, and the Heat need to rediscover their mojo before the break, so they can come out of the break ready to win some actual games.

I think they could probably go 3-2 through the next 5 (if they stop playing like literal dog crap), and if they can sneak a quality win or two against the Bos-Mil-Phi trio, they will go into the break with some of their momentum back, and at least within striking distance of a top-6 seed.

There’s still plenty of time to turn things around. But as Jeff Van Gundy used to say, it gets late early

SunManFromDogBone

As UD says: “Stay ready so you don’t need to get ready.”
Several Heat players apparently have forgotten to follow UD’s advice cuz they sure AF don’t look ready.

vagibugi

At the moment, getting a win against Washington and SA would be a reason to celebrate. There is no chance to beat anyone else playing like that.

The best game lately was against NY, and the difference was 20.

ManilaHeat

One thing is obvious with this Heat team is that they do well even if players are out. The past seasons and this one. Sometimes even better. Now they’re near complete and they struggle so much. Maybe they’re just bored and want the more competitive games in playoffs. Well if they continue to suck there’d be no playoffs lol. And that’s the ultimate disappointment. Also Heat went through something like this last season but they were able to overcome to the tune of a finals appearance. Can they pull it again? No one knows but for me trust the process….oooops sorry, I mean believe in the culture 😅😁😊

oregoner

I don’t mind that Spo isn’t messing with the lineup. This losing streak started when Jamie, Love, Lowry, and Jovic left the rotation and Butler, Caleb, and Terry entered the rotation.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there have been a bunch of huge changes to the rotation over the course of this losing streak. This team has lost a lot of it’s identity from the past few months, guys seem unsure of their roles, and it feels like they’re playing preseason basketball while other teams are in midseason form.I don’t think this team needs to make any major changes. I think this team just made a bunch of major changes, and they need to settle into who they are.

I was watching on NBATV last night, and Udonis was on the Suns broadcast. He mentioned a lot of the things that have been bothering me, specifically the lack of passing, and too much isolation offense. This team knows what they have to do differently. Doing it is the hard part. I’m willing to give them time to figure it out.

Reality Czech

The losing streak did not start when Rozier got here. They had already lost 3 straight and were 5-7 in their 12 games before Rozier played his first game against Memphis.

oregoner

I remember exactly when the losing streak started. Love and Jamie got injured the day before Butler and Caleb came back. The first game with Butler and Caleb they played like crap against the Nets but made a big comeback. The next game was against Toronto, which was Lowry’s last game, and the beginning of the losing streak. And as they pointed out on the Lowe Post Podcast, the Heat aren’t just losing. They’ve gotten crushed by like 20 points every game since then.

I don’t think it’s one thing or one player that caused the losing streak. I think it’s the combination of Lowry, Jovic, Jamie, and Love falling out of the rotation while Butler, Caleb, and Terry play their way into the rotation. Duncan, J-Rich, and even Bam have been in the rotation the whole time, but they are obviously less sure about their role on the team. It’s just a lot of changes to the rotation, and I think they’re all still figuring it out.

Reality Czech

Sorry to disagree with you O, but Lowry’s last game was against Orlando. He played 25 minutes and was 1-9, 0-6 on 3p for a total of 2 points. That was loss number 3 of the 7.

Reality Czech

He also played 24 minutes in the game prior, against the Hawks, going 1-4, 0-3 on 3p, also for 2 points.

oregoner

wait really? i know he was away from the team after the Toronto loss, maybe he missed game 2 and came back for game 3? Anyway, after the Toronto game, the rumor mill announced that Lowry would be traded by the end of the week. Lowry is also Jimmy’s best friend on the team.

I guess my only point is that there are a lot of factors that contributed to this losing streak that are not a simple fix of running different plays or starting a different combination of players.

And you are fine to disagree with me. I think there’s a mutual respect. And I’m not looking any of this up, just going off memory.

Last edited 1 month ago by oregoner
Reality Czech

I agree. The streak has been a real team effort, or lack there of. Yes, of course there’s mutual respect.

oregoner

I also just looked at the standings, the Heat are two games out of the 6-seed and a first round date with the Knicks, who they eliminated last season. There’s still plenty of time to right the ship.

heat for life

Ty can get to the rim very well. nobody can stop him he can go left or right finish left or right why the f is he shooting 3s makes no sense.

ZechMerquise

its not gloom and doom, hey at least were not the pistons, wizards, or nets. Even after all these losses, were still ahead in the standings against the magic, raptors and bulls. We got this guys, we’ll gonna string some wins again, just have to get that monkey off our back. When do we play the hornets again?

ManilaHeat

Hornets? I thought monkey? 😆😂

oregoner

agreed. I just don’t want to see them fall too far down the standings before they get their mojo back. How many more games until the al-star break?

Max Pain

Bam looks unsure of himself, Love looks lost, Caleb is in his own head right now because he feels he might get traded, Duncan has the same look on his face that he had all of last season and Poor Rozier, he looks like a dude that was thrown into the middle of the atlantic ocean with only a rubber ducky as a flotation device.

Spo doesn’t want to change the starting lineup again this far into the season.
That’s understandable, I’m cool with that.
Continuity matters.

But the bench needs a change.

Here’s something that’s 100% real.
We’re too small.

Want to hear something else that is a 100% real?
Jovic and Orlando Robinson are 6-10 and 7 feet.

How about sitting Love and Caleb for the time being.
Give them some time to gather themselves.
They’ve both been warriors for the Heat but they’re both in their heads right now.

Replace them with Jovic and ORob.
That should improve the rebounding and when the rebounding improves the defense should improve along with it.

Ever heard of that slogan “Better ingredients, better pizza, papa Johns?’ 
Well here’s my slogan, more size, better rebounding, better defense.

It won’t suddenly make them a juggernaut but it should make them more competitive because it would’ve shored up a major weakness.

heat for life

theres a reason they call him spobot .stubborn and robotic

oregoner

When they were in the Finals last year, I was wondering how long it would be until someone brought back the Spobot nickname. Apparently the answer was ‘half a season’

heat for life

butler was tne 2nd best player in playoffs behind jovic think had a little to do with that

oregoner

how much playoff success did Butler have before he came to the Heat? I think Spo had a little to do with that

Reality Czech

“They?” Primarily you

heat for life

ive seen it posted on other blogs before i named him it.so im not going to take credit for it.dude is stubborn and very robotic with his substitution patterns.been blessed with great players good for him.has a great resume hof coach no doubt

Reality Czech

Yes, as we’ve discussed, the coaches with the most wins were blessed with great players. But we’ve also seen coaches blessed with great players who didn’t win (hello Doc Rivers).
And, yes, Spo can be too stubborn at times.

oregoner

I think O-Rob is not ready yet. But I’m down with more Bryant and definitely more Jovic

SunManFromDogBone

Staying the course will not resolve Herro’s record with starting unit vs Robinson’s. It will also not resolve the many issues with “small ball” in today’s evolving NBA. Bam needs help that Herro’s presence can’t provide. Pat needs to trade Herro for a legit big and re-insert Duncan in starting unit. At minimum, move Herro to 6th man and trade Duncan for a big. Jimmy can play SG and Jaquez can play SF.

Bout30man

This is my formula to fix our illings also.

ManilaHeat

Maybe we also need some film session here in HHH lol. Its the last day of January, a forgettable one. Hope Feb brings in the Ws. Trade or no trade GO HEAT!!

Bout30man

I guess you’re ahead of us. We still have another day in January tomorrow.

ManilaHeat

Yezzz…I can see one day in the future lol.

Bout30man

Staying the course? When you have lost seven straight? I guess that’s all there is to say for now but that doesn’t sound too confidence building. All we can do is watch and be supportive.

heat for life

seems like the losing streak started when shnozic was pulled out of starting lineup hmmm

Bout30man

I know that is what some have taken note of on these threads. I have to say, that may not be the most direct cause and effect relationship. But, who knows anymore. I am concerned for Jovic’s proboscis as it is quite protrudent. Seriously, let’s hope he has a great career and turns out to be as good as some people on here think he has the potential to be.

heat for life

proboscis learn something new every day .

Bout30man

Yes, you can say I am a font of knowledge. But I sure don’t know how to help our beloved Heat. Everyone has such diverse opinions, and it seems like only SunManFromDogBone sees it like me.

Bout30man

Maybe Reality Czech too.

Reality Czech

Yay! Thank you from the bottom of my left ventricle! 😆

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