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:
Asked Erik Spoelstra about Tyler Herro adjusting to a new role as “a catch-and-shoot guy.”
“A couple of these games, with his shot profile, I think he’s due for an eight/nine 3-point game. … those shots are in the right wheelhouse.” pic.twitter.com/v1nlR6MAzG
— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) January 30, 2024
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.”
Asked Caleb Martin what needs to change mentally about the team after losing seven straight.
— Zachary Weinberger (@ZachWeinberger) January 30, 2024
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.
This man was brought here expecting to play for a contender https://t.co/6RUjdFfN6E
— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) January 30, 2024
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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