Miami Heatmay have woke up on the wrong side of bed on April 1. Through six games in the final month of the regular season, the reigning Eastern Conference champs has struggled right out of the gates going 3-3. During that stretch, owners of Miami Heat tickets saw their team lose at home for the first time since January 22.
Miami’s struggles started with an April 1 loss to conference rival Boston Celtics, struggling completely on the offensive end. What may seemed like a good turnaround for the Heat after winning back-to-back games versus quality teams (Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder), things started to go down once again. Prior to their game versus the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami has won 17 straight games which was the longest home winning streak at that time. The upstart Memphis squad, though, had other things in mind. Memphis dismantled the Heat and handed their first loss in more than two months. Miami won easily on their next game versus the Detroit Pistons but struggled once again in their next two games. In an offensive shootout with Boston, Miami just didn’t have the answer to Kevin Garnett who torched them for 24 points.
In their recent game against the Chicago Bulls, Miami’s bench just didn’t have an answer to their opponent’s bench. To put everything into perspective, in the 97 minutes that Miami’s bench played on that game, they were able to tally seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. What more, they had eight turnovers. The Bulls bench, meanwhile, scored 47 points. Now do the math.
This defeat may seem like another one in the loss column for Miamibut this one is more of a blow on their psyche. In that game, Derrick Rose played perhaps the worst game of his professional career scoring 2 points on 1-of-13 shooting. Joakim Noah and Richard Hamilton scored a combined 12 points. Those three Bulls starters were benched late in the game but the Heat still couldn’t muster to pull away.
In the entire game, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined for 71 points. This number could already assure a win for Miami but without the support from other players, a loss would definitely be in store. It certainly happened in that game when the Bulls bench walloped the Heat. That loss certainly made the Heat reeling. After the game, James said that it was one of the worst feelings he’s had so far in the regular season.
If the Heat wants to return to the NBA Finals this season, they must now pickup their play especially with nine games remaining on their schedule. Entering the post season on the strong note would be a very good momentum builder for them. Four of their remaining opponents are currently in the top 8 of both conferences which could boost even more their moral. The opponents are New York Knicks (April 15), Bulls (April 19), Houston Rockets (April 22), and Celtics (April 24).
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