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Weekend recap: Miami Heat can’t win, with or without Wade

The Miami Heat endured a painful weekend of back-to-back losses with yet another loss to the Milwaukee Bucks 71-94 at home on Saturday and on the road versus the Orlando Magic 80-96 on Sunday. With these losses the Heat now drop to #9 in the Eastern Conference with more and more doubts surrounding this team at such a late junction in the season. The only good news came in the form of a surprising early return of Dwyane Wade in time to face the Magic. Regrettably, Michael Beasley’s awful stretch of games continues after scoring a career high 30 points in the last Heat win against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 19th. Since that game he has averaged only 9 points on 28% shooting in 4 games. But these 2 latest losses can’t only just fall on his shoulders. The bench has been a non-factor. Quentin Richardson only scored 6 total points in both games, which is unacceptable when the Heat are starving for points with both of the team’s top scorers not being able to provide the usual heavy lifting (even if he did provide some hustle in other areas against the Magic). But what’s telling is that no Heat player in either game failed to produce a positive plus-minus impact in either the Bucks or the Magic game with the exception of one instance: Joel Anthony with a +1 in 10 minutes of work on Saturday. Jermaine O’Neal, Rafer Alston and Dorell Wright had their moments over the weekend but no combination of five Heat players were able to mount any consistent stretch of good ball. The Heat stayed competitive in the first halves of both games before fading in the middle of the 3rd quarter and unable to get back in the game in the 4th. O’Neal played well in the second half versus the Magic but Wade cooled off considerably after having a 17-point first half and wasn’t even looking for his shot in the closing moments of the game. The Heat managed to easily lose both games despite uncharacteristically holding the opposing team’s starting centers to single digit scoring (Andrew Bogut of the Bucks with 8 points and Dwight Howard of the Magic with 7 points). Howard broke a streak of five games where he had scored at least 20 points and pulled down 10 or more rebounds. The Heat opened and closed the month of February with 4 straight losses each and a 5 game winning streak in the middle. Just 4 out of the 13 games were played at home and the Heat only won one of them against the Houston Rockets. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Heat went 2-0 in October (to begin the season), but Miami hasn't posted a winning record in any calendar month since then. Miami went 7-7 in both November and December, 8-9 in January and 5-8 this month.