The Miami Heat are going through it right now. They lose to the 4th worst team in the NBA Charlotte Hornets 108-103 and fall to 32-29 on the season. What makes it worse is that the New York Knicks won tonight, so now Miami has made it more games to climb up those standings. The Heat go 0-2 in Charlotte this season and lose 4 straight games overall. Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler played great offensively and Kevin Love had a solid double double, but with Bam Adebayo struggling and virtually no one else showing up it wasn’t enough.
Miami trailed by over 20 points in the first half of this game but battled back to make it competitive. They brought the lead to within 1 point twice in the 4th quarter, but Charlotte always had the answer. That answer being rookie big man Mark Williams, who had a spectacular career night with 18 points and 20(!) rebounds. Whenever it looked like the Heat forced the Hornets into a tough shot that missed, Williams was always there to clean it up.
Turnovers were an issue all game and it ended up costing it for the Heat. They had multiple crucial ones down the stretch and just couldn’t recover from it. Combine all the turnovers with the once again bad 3 point shooting, it put Miami in a hole they there were never able to overcome. Herro started off struggling to shoot the ball but he was able to put together a 33 point, 7 rebound, 5 assist performance on 10/23 shooting and 6/12 from three.
Another Tyler triple gives him 20 points on the night pic.twitter.com/gSKQRK6Rec— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 26, 2023
Butler set the tone to help lead the initial comeback by being aggressive and effective getting to the free throw line. He finished with 28 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds on 6/8 shooting and 16/20 from the charity stripe. Bam Adebayo struggled all night, but still contributed 14 points. Kevin Love was very encouraging and made a strong impact with his shooting and rebounding. He feasted in the second quarter when Miami needed him the most, being down by 20+ at the time.
Love finished with an extremely solid 13 point, 13 rebound double double. He also had 1 block and 3 triples… could’ve been a bit more efficient, but he’s shaking off some offensive rust himself.
Kevin starting to find his rhythm.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 26, 2023
Back-to-back 3s, scored our last 8 points pic.twitter.com/25iUpaHn9B
Something that is very concerning is this team’s bench production. Victor Oladipo has really struggled as of late. He has shot an abysmal 2/14 from the field the last two games; a complete non-factor offensively. However, a bigger problem has to be the shooter combination of Max Strus and Duncan Robinson. They just can’t seem to find any sort of consistent rhythm and honestly haven’t been able to find it almost all season.
Robinson was a -13 and Strus was a -16 when being out on the floor… yikes.
The entire role player cast is problematic and it's far from one guy, but man Duncan's +/- in that stat sheet in 6 minutes is wild lol— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) February 26, 2023
Heat Nation know what the trio of Butler, Adebayo and Herro can do. The fate of this team in the remaining 20 games and playoffs is going to be the other guys. Somebody else needs to step up and make the most of their minutes. If not, I can personally see coach Erik Spoelstra tightening this rotation come playoff time to get the most out of the starters. Can Kyle Lowry coming back healthy add something? At this point, fans should be willing to want to find that out.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Heat, as they now get ready for back to back matchups against the Philadelphia 76ers. They travel to Philly for Monday’s game at 7:00 PM ET, looking to snap this losing streak and secure the first win post all-star break.