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The Heat have lost four of their last five games. Don’t panic.

Despite the worrying trend of closing games badly, it’s still early.

Miami Heat v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The pendulum has swung on the Miami Heat’s season in the last 10 days. The Heat dominated the Dallas Mavericks 125-110 Nov. 2 to improve to 6-1. And the one loss came without Kyle Lowry, leading some fans to discount it as a one-off. Last night, Miami lost 112-109 to the Los Angeles Clippers, falling to 7-5 on the season.

Jimmy Butler is injured. (On the other hand, LeBron James was out for the Lakers, and Kawhi Leonard was out for the Clippers.) Duncan Robinson, after shooting 2 of 11 from 3-point range against the Clippers, is mired in something that’s more than a normal slump. Bam Adebayo dominated the first quarter, and Kyle Lowry dominated the fourth quarter against the Clippers. They both needed to show up more than intermittently to pull off that win, though.

And Miami’s next game is at the Utah Jazz.

After a strong preseason and a hot start to the season, the Heat are experiencing some growing pains. Erik Spoelstra said last night that he has “no doubt” that Robinson will break through. Spoelstra and Robinson talked about imposter syndrome when Robinson rocketed from a two-way player who couldn’t get on the court for a lottery team (2018-19) to a starter on a contender (2019-20). Perhaps the two have already spoken about the pressure on Robinson to now live up to his contract.

A bigger concern than just one player, though, has been Miami’s inability to close games. Even the Heat’s win over the Jazz last Saturday was a bit concerning; the Heat nearly squandered a 19-point fourth-quarter lead. Aside from the Utah win, all of Miami’s victories have been blowouts.

When the Heat have played in close games — like the Oct. 23 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers and these back-to-back losses in Los Angeles — they haven’t found ways to win. Miami missed multiple opportunities late against the Lakers Wednesday night.

Despite the worrying signs, it’s still early. Teams often battle through skids during the 82-game slog (remember the 2010-11 season, when Miami started 9-8 and then went on a five-game losing streak in March?) Spoelstra called these two losses “opportunities to improve.”

And it’s also worth pointing out that Pat Riley discussed Miami’s challenging start in his October press conference previewing the season. Thirteen of the Heat’s first 20 games are on the road. These struggles aren’t surprising. The Heat players and coaches know what the issues are; they just need to work on them and improve.