This season we might see more lineup change for the Miami Heat due to injuries than a consistent line up.
This time it was Josh McRoberts who was out with a knee contusion. Just when you saw McRoberts adapting to the lineup, he's out for an unspecified amount of time. In his place was Josh Hamilton who did a solid job but who are we kidding, it's Josh Hamilton. That was the 9th different starting lineup in 22 games.
The Heat seem to be allergic to defense for the second night in a row. The Nuggets started the game with a 16-4 run, and the Heat responded with a 15-1 comeback. The game was even at 48 at the half and due to the lack of defense, the Heat went down by 17 into the 4th quarter.
Help side defense? Nope. Three point defense? None. Help from the bench? What bench? Entering the 4th quarter, the Heat were outscored 23-8 on second chance points and only managed 14 points in the third quarter. By game's end Miami shot 37%. This is a team that played a back to back the exact way how you'd expect them to play. Fifth loss in six games. Nine of the twelve losses have been in double digits.
Now let's look at some of the players:
Dwyane Wade [10 points, 5 assists] & Chris Bosh [14 points] - Wade's shot was consistently short throughout the night and his first and only 2nd half points came with six minutes left in the 4th quarter. Bosh on the other hand didn't do much better either. Together these guys had 24 points from 27 shots. Never a good combination.
Norris Cole [6 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds] - His energy awas a positive on a negative night. Had a season high in rebounds and assists, but my worry was about Ty Lawson who managed to run the Nuggets offense well and had 10 points and 9 assists of his own. This Heat team is trying to find its defensive identity but Cole has to be better in not allowing penetration from the opposing guard.
Josh McRoberts and Chris Andersen - McRoberts offers a dynamic that can make this team hard to guard. When he's on the floor he is a passing big man with vision. He thrives off moving the ball around and the team is sucessfull from it. When he isn't on the floor..well..then last night happens. As for Bird, please just come back. Never has Heat Nation needed an old white man more than right now.
Hassan Whiteside [6 points, 3 rebounds] - The only glimmer of hope from last night. Considering the Heat have NO interior defense, they should start to put the big man in the rotation. Yes he would be in a young line up with James Ennis and Shabazz Napier but he offered potential in just the few minutes he played last night. Looking forward to him on Friday.
Heat at Jazz on Friday. See you then