In ESPN’s latest power rankings the Heat are ranked sixth behind the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies in that order. It is no coincidence that the Heat have been blown out by the Grizzlies, embarrassed twice by the Knicks and thoroughly outplayed by the Clippers. Not to mention they beat the Spurs by just five points at home without the services of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli.
The Heat have dealt with injuries to key pieces Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier through their first 20 games. Dwyane Wade has slowly recovered from offseason knee surgery and Ray Allen‘s ankle has made him an even worse on-ball defender. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has shifted to a “position-less” offense that is based on playing with the frontcourt of Chris Bosh, Battier and James.
They are ranked 29th in the league in rebounds and ranked 22nd in points allowed this season. Udonis Haslem and Bosh have voiced that the team isn’t as hungry as they were last year but that should have been expected. Bosh and Wade both played poorly against the Clippers and Knicks. Wade also didn’t play well in the early loss to the Grizzlies.
After winning the championship Miami is not that different of a team. In the 2010-2011 season Miami won about 71 percent of regular season games. In the 2011-2012 season they won about 70 percent of regular season games. In other words through 20 games this season are right on par. The difference is that the Clippers and Knicks have a deeper bench than Miami and the Grizzlies are healthy. The Heat may still be the frontrunner for the championship in June but on Dec.13 they are the same inconsistent top heavy franchise.