The Miami Heat are officially under the .500 mark for the first time since losing to the Boston Celtics in 2010 when the Big Three first came together. Even though they have only played three games into the regular season, the Heat are already showing signs of complacency, and more importantly, key areas of weakness in which opponents can plan for and feast on throughout the span of a 48 minute game.
When the Heat lost their second consecutive game on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets, there was one noticeable difference between both teams on the court, and that was size. This was a major factor in how the Nets were able to wear down the defending champs and more or less take control of the entire game. This has always been an issue for the Heat, but because of how lethal their small ball approach has been, it has counteracted some of their more noticeable flaws. The problem now is, teams have had two to three years to build their rosters specifically to take down the Heat, and it seems the best way to do that is by having a dominant front court that can impose their will on the Heat’s small lineup.
The Heat will face off against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, and although on paper the Heat should beat the Wizards handily, this should not be a game the defending champs overlook. These Wizards, like the Nets, have a solid frontcourt who will be looking to dominate the paint area against Miami. Martin Gortat, Nene Hilario and Trevor Ariza make up the starting frontcourt for the Wizards, and these are all players who are extremely aggressive around the rim, both offensively and defensively. This will be a great opportunity for the Heat’s frontcourt of Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and LeBron James to assert their wills at home against a potentially dominant Wizard’s frontcourt.
The Heat should bounce back from their consecutive losses and win one in front of their home crowd on Sunday against the Wizards. It will most likely be a close game, due to the Wizards most likely out rebounding the Heat on the glass. It will be up to the Heat’s fast paced offense to overcome the Wizards down the stretch.