After 60 games, it is time to evaluate where the Miami Heat are at as we are three-fourths of the way though the regular season.
In our first quarter progress report, we evaluated the Heat as unstable. They were 10-11, losing at home and shuffling their lineups while beating good teams and losing to bad ones.
At our Mid-Season Progress report, we said they were finding their rhythm. They were 24-17 and at made it up to 4th in the East.
RECORD, STANDINGS and STATS
8th in the Eastern Conference
PPG: 101.1 (28th in NBA)
RPG: 43.0 (18th in NBA)
APG: 22.0 (22nd in NBA)
OPP PPG: 101.6 (4th in NBA)
Points: Goran Dragic (17.4 PPG)
Rebounds: Hassan Whiteside (11.9 RPG)
Assists: Goran Dragic (4.9 APG)
Steals: Josh Richardson (1.4 SPG)
Blocks: Hassan Whiteside (1.7 BPG)
Significant Injuries: Rodney McGruder (yet to play this season), Dion Waiters (played 30 games, will miss rest of season), Hassan Whiteside (missed 19 games), Justise Winslow (missed 14 games).
The return of Dwyane Wade
That’s probably the most significant thing that has happened to the team over the last 6 weeks. He’s the franchise player and brings an instant respect along with him. He is a leader and although he’s not the same Wade that led Miami in 2016, he can still shows flashes of it.
He’s learning how to fit in on this team, and the hope is that he can help them make a push and hopefully some noise in the playoffs. The return of Wade is all around good.
The up and down play has returned
The Heat were playing great, and Tyler Johnson got hurt. Once that happened, they weren’t the same team. And now, they have lost 8 of their last ten games. Once at fourth in the East, now, they are in 8th and and need to hold off the Detroit Pistons.
They have lost games they should have won and now the close games they were winning aren’t going their way. An incredible 17 straight games decided by single digits until their last win. The Heat have returned to the team they were at the beginning of the season, sometimes good sometimes not.
Wayne Ellington is back to normal, almost
That simply means he isn’t scoring and hitting at the clip he was. He is still lethal and teams respect him. But he’s not dropping 6 threes every night like it felt like he was. In fact, he’s had nights where it really isn’t good Miami focus so much on him. He’s back to normal Wayne, but he can break out anytime.
He’s the reason Hassan has gotten used to sitting the bench in 4th quarters. This kid is special and we hope to see continued improvement from him.
Status Report: The Heat are a good team who can’t have a bad game
3rd Quarter Grade: C
And that’s really it. When they play well they are pretty good and capable of beating nearly everyone. But if they don’t, it’s hard for them to overcome it. They get close but it seems like they just can’t close the gap to overcome mistakes.
The Heat get a C because they are just average at this point. Hovering over .500 and capable of more, but it’s just potential. They have to start winning more games and closing the gap to a better playoff position.
With 22 games to go, the Heat have 14 home games and 8 road games left.