There came a point in last night’s blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder where it seemed the Miami Heat were literally giving the ball away. This was a game Miami was supposed to win. The defending champs have had the last three days off plus they were at home in the American Airlines Arena. The stage was set for Miami to have another win against a title contending opponent, but instead they turned the ball over 21 times (second-most this season) and lost the game by 17 points.
Turnovers have plagued Miami all season long. You could probably attribute this to the long grind of the regular season, but the fact is that in mid-season Miami is turning the ball over more times per game then they were at the beginning of the season. The Heat also averaged just 13 turnovers per game last season. This year? The defending champs are turning the ball over 14.7 times per game, which is almost two more turnovers a game than last season. It may not seem like much, but consider how many close games Miami has lost. That 2-4 point swing could have made a huge difference in the outcome of the game.
The 21 turnovers Miami had against the Thunder also killed their fast break game. The Heat had just eight fast break points compared to the Thunder’s 20. Fast break points are Miami’s bread and butter, and last night the plate dropped from underneath them. The Thunder’s fast-paced defense and extreme length really bothered Miami in terms of shooting the ball, but the lack of fast break points is what ultimately sank the defending champs in this game. “We were trying to force it a little bit today, and that pretty much messed us up.” (Chris Bosh, ESPN)