You may have seen a stat this morning about how the Miami Heat are 0-10 in game-tying or go-ahead shots with less than 0:24 left in the 4th quarter or OT of postseason games since 2011.
Last night, the team put up a double goose-egg courtesy of a flailing mid-range wounded duck from Udonis Haslem in the 4th, and Wade going rogue in OT. We see you, Miami. We know what’s wrong, and the good news is there’s time to change.
It’s been well-documented the Heat struggle putting the ball in the hoop with a chance to tie or win. 0.0% places them squarely in last place over the past two years. You’re tied with the Wizards.
We rummaged through the Heat’s close losses and found the following:
- The Heat generally outscore their opponents in the fourth quarter, which means the Heat actually don’t often collapse, they just sorta lead you on like the hot table-dancer at the college party who asks you to walk her home and then says, “Thanks, don’t tell my husband I was out late.”
- At the end of games, Lebron and Wade do the isolation thing so often, I wonder if they’re playing basketball or recording a Bon Iver album.
- No one is open. Ever. You have Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, two of the best in the world at create their own open looks OR if they draw double and triple-teams, you have Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller and Shane Battier, three of the best at knocking down open shots. And you can’t cop some breathing room?
No one – not the shooter, nor anyone else on the floor – ever seems to put enough distance between himself and the defense to make an open play, and the passes (if they even exist) are sloppier than a 14 year-old who just funneled Alize.
The Miami Heat’s problem is not a lack of heart, a lack of focus, or a lack of “clutch” (whatever that is). It’s a lack of creativity, a lack of strategy and an inability to execute. That falls on you, Erik Spoelstra.
You’re either not drawing up effective plays, not drawing up plays at all, or you’re drawing up effective plays and your iso-maniacal superstars are shaking you off. None of the above speaks highly of your crunch-time leadership skills.
I won’t overreact and say Spoelstra’s a bad coach. He’s just fine. He should get plenty of credit for making the right defensive adjustments to bring The Heat back from down 18. Overall, The Heat don’t often beat themselves with sloppy play, and they play with energy and pace, and defend as well as any team I’ve seen in the past five years. And, yeah, I do think eventually The Heat win this series against Rajon Rondo and the AARP All-Stars.
But Spoelstra’s gotta sharpen his coaching saw, and study film of how Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich (two of the best at drawing up plays out of a timeout or to beat the clock) roll, or we’re going to spend another summer playing Doctor with Miami Basketball and Psychiatrist with Lebron James.
And I’d rather spend my off-season hittin’ up BBQs than grilling your runner-up nonsense again.