I was quick give the Heat a pass for their less then inspired home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night. They were coming off of five straight road games, with the last four coming in a 5-night span. Considering they won four of the five, doing most of it without their best player, and that they suddenly seemed to find that illusive ‘consistency' thing, a little leniency on my part seemed alright.
Apparently, Erik Spoelstra doesn't feel the same way. Far from it, actually. One day after his club lost at home to the worst team in the Western Conference, Spoelstra ripped his teams offense, saying "the majority of our possessions were not committed enough and some of them were outright disgraceful". Coach seems to be getting fed up with a season full of games in which you could basically flip a coin and guess as to whether or not the Heat would show up that night.
For the most part, Coach Spo has done a good job of not dwelling on the plethora of disappointing and disheartening losses that he's witnessed this season. For that I've given him a lot of credit because it's been damn frustrating to watch this team full of talent stumble around the way they have. I guess after the 5-game winning streak and the hope that things were finally turning around, the loss to Minnesota in which the ‘crappy' Heat showed up was a little too much for Spo to handle.
"It's going to take a whole lot more than we gave yesterday. But it's also going to take a lot more than we've given this year, in terms of our consistency."
"We've been able to turn it on, then we relax, and that's been a pattern that has to stop right now. And it will. If it's going to take me to force a change, I'm going to do it. The inconsistency is, at this point, unacceptable."
These comments came just outside the Heat locker room following a video session and team meeting that went for more then two hours. He also said that these ‘changes' he speaks of don't necessarily mean lineup changes, but if they aren't then what the hell kind of changes could he mean? Do changes to the rotation not count as a lineup change?
One change in the lineup heading into Saturday's game is that Rafer Alston should be back in the starting lineup, as his bruised right hand has healed quite a bit over the past few days. I am still in favor of Carlos Arroyo being the backup over Mario Chalmers, but I'm not against a 2a and 2b depending on matchups and situations. Chalmers is much more explosive offensively, but that goes only for himself. Arroyo does a much better job getting his teammates involved, and also holds a slight edge defensively. Yes, Rio has the more active hands which lead to steals, but Arroyo does a much better job of not letting guys get by him.
Now I just want to touch on the topic of Super Cool Tito. He had two great games when Wade first got hurt, scoring 23 in New Jersey and a career-high 30 in Memphis. Since then however, Beasley had the game in Dallas where he scored just 1 of 12 points in the 2nd half, and the home game against Minnesota where he started the game 1-of-8 and at one point was 3-of-15 before finishing with 14 points on 5-of-18. Check out Ira Winderman's blog about Beasley and you'll see how almost all of his shots were from the outside.
As is often the case with Beasley, he needs to get things together in his head. Maybe a pre-game pep talk with Dwyane Wade would help him get focused on what he needs to do. I'm not sure what magic combination of words and from what individual it will take to get Beasley playing the dominant offensive game he has shown us on several occasions, but it's the job's of Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley, and to some extent D-Wade and Udonis and the other team leaders, to get Super Cool to play that inside-out game that keeps defenders completely off-balance.