Heat Cant Defend, Look Bad in Memphis

DJJ
MEMPHIS, TN – DECEMBER 16: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 16, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Heat Look Bad in Memphis: Over the past week, the Heat have won 3 of their 4 games, but they have not been pretty. All 3 of their wins have had either the Heat start bad and finish strong or vice versa. All 3 of those wins came in overtime as well. Last night against the Grizzles was much different. It was bad from start to finish, as the Heat only led for no more than 2 minutes.

Grizzles Lights-Out First Half

The Heat were down 13 at half, and not much went their way in the first half. For one, the Grizzles made ten of their first fourteen threes. The Heat also had a tough time stopping the pick-and-roll with Ja Morant. Ja sliced and diced his way through the heart of the Heat defense. Turnovers were also a killer for this Heat squad as Memphis, as a team had 21 points off turnovers. The Heat led late in the 4th by 3 but did trail this one by as much as 17 in the first half.

Heat Need to Get Healthy

This 19-8 Heat team through 27 games has been much without guys like Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic. One critical veteran leader who will help late in games and another athletic guard/forward who will help with the load. Goran to start the season was having a nice start to his year. He was contributing nicely off the bench and was big in the 4th quarter like he has so many times previous. The Heat need them these two back if they want to do any damage this season. But, they need them healthy if they wanna shock the playoffs. They will also need them healthy even if they want to use them as trade bait.

Love The Fight

While it is unfortunate the Heat lost this one, you have got to love the fight. They played poorly for a good portion of 40+ minutes. However, for most of the 4th quarter there was fight. Facing a deficit of 10 heading into the 4th, the Heat could have packed things up and moved to Philly. However, they showed toughness from their 2-3 zone. They forced turnovers, showed their athleticism and also their passion for the game. They took a 3-point lead late, but being Bam had 5 fouls much of the 4th quarter, he wasn’t much a threat at the rim and that is where the Heat were attacked. That is where Memphis took control of the game and closed the game on a 14-4 run.

Good Miami Performances

Jimmy Butler had 25 points, including 11 in the 4th quarter. He looked bad through 3, but showed his toughness in quarter 4 to try and claw back into the game. Bam Adebayo, reigning player of the week, was once again good. He may not have shot well, but as I said previously he might be close to a 5×5 game. And, Bam in this one had 14, 13, 5, 3 and 3. Other key contributors were Derrick Jones Jr. and Tyler Herro off the bench. Herro had 22 points after struggling in previous games and Jones Jr. had 15 points to go along with 4 steals. Olynyk was non-existent which really hurt the Heat as they could have used his 7’0 frame in-and-out the 3-point arc and around the rebounding game as well.

heat squad 1217
MEMPHIS, TN – DECEMBER 16: Derrick Jones Jr. #5, and Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat hi-five each other during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 16, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

A Final Word

This season, the Heat are 17-0 when out-rebounding their opponent, 1-0 when tying their opponents rebound output, and 1-8 when being out-rebounded. The Heat have been strong at the rebounding game this season. But over the past week, have struggled a ton. The Heat finish their three-game road trip with a Wednesday night ESPN match up against the 76ers. The Heat could use a statement win of national TV especially after being blown out of the water the last time they were in Philly.

As always, follow me on twitter @Mikekormanik for Heat updates and live reactions and follow @oth_basketball for the best Heat previews, NBA reactions, recaps and everything else!

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