The title may give you the impression that there was displeasure for this writer in the Heats play. Well, you guessed it, you are correct as Miami struggled against a strong opponent once again this time against Houston. Not all was doom and gloomy this week for Heat fans. They still went 2-1, as I predicted once again, so they have plenty to look forward to. So what does the Miami Heat need to do to win these big games? What are they doing right against their lesser opponents? And lastly, how will the Heatles do in the coming week? Let’s look at the numbers and the tape to figure these things out.
Heatles Beat Poor Teams Handily Once Again
There is no denying that the Heat’s schedule thus far has been weak. Of their 13 wins, only two of those teams are above .500. You cannot fault them; however, for their schedule, as they do beat teams they should. They beat Charlotte at home by seventeen, As Adebayo and Olynyk both had double-doubles. Jimmy Butler scored 21 on six of eleven shooting, and Tyler Herro dropped 18 points. Four nights later, they beat Golden State by the seventeen. Miami had six guys with double-digit scoring led by Goran Dragic 20 point outing. The Heat are third in bench scoring and continue to show they have an elite second unit.
Young Guns Struggle Against Top Talent
Miami was dealt a significant blow on Wednesday night when Jimmy Butler was ruled out due to illness. That being said, Houston was also without elite center Clint Capela as well. Visiting Houston is always a tough game, but Miami put up little fight against James Harden and company. Miami was down four after one-quarter of play, but then the onslaught began. Houston outscored them 39-19 as this game was over early. Westbrook and Harden combined for sixty-one points as Miami could not stop them all night. Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson had off nights once again. They combined for 22 points on 7 for 19 shooting. Bam Adebayo had a double-double, and rookie Tyler Herro had a team-high 22 points. The bench scored a ton once again, but their starters need to start showing up against top teams. They will have a few opportunities this week to show they can.
What To Expect This Coming Week
It is a busy schedule for the Miami Heat this week, as they have four Eastern Conference opponents. It starts on Sunday as they visit the Brooklyn Nets. With no Kyrie or KD, I see no reason why the Heat cannot pick up a win. They then have a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday in Toronto and then Boston. The Heat have yet to prove they can beat quality opponents, especially so close together. Until they show they can, I have to go with Toronto and Boston picking up home victories. Both Toronto and Boston will be missing key players, but they have bench depth that can match the Heats. Their final game of the week is a home game Friday against Washington. Bradley Beal has been spectacular for Washington, but with Jimmy Butler guarding him, I expect him to have a tough night. Beal also lacks help, so expect Miami to end this week with a home win.
The Heat will go 2-2 this week, bringing their record to 15-7. Book It.
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