Miami Heat have been bad against a small NBA sample size – The Denver Post


At 4-7 it remains somewhat of a challenge to get a definitive read on where the Miami Heat stand due to such a limited sample size against the rest of the league.

Of the 11 games that have left the Heat at 4-7, eight have come in two-game sets against just four teams, with Erik Spoelstra’s team 1-1 against each the Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers. Otherwise, there have been losses to the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.

The trend will continue, with the Heat’s next two a pair of games against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday and Saturday nights at FTX Arena.

“We’re 11 games into an 82-game season,” point guard Kyle Lowry said. “So we just got to kind of chip away at it and take it game by game, one by one, and get to .500 first. And then you just kind of build from there.

“But we can’t even think about .500. We just got to think about getting the next game.”

The numbers in many ways say the Heat are who their record says they are. With the entire NBA off Tuesday, the Heat rank:

– 21st in offensive rating.

– 17th in defensive rating.

– 19th in net rating.

– 21st in rebound percentage.

– 24th in field-goal percentage.

– 20th in 3-point percentage.

– 1st in free-throw percentage.

– 15th in assists per game.

– 23rd in pace.

– 13th in assists-to-turnover ratio.

– 30th in blocked shots per game.

It has left the Heat in an 11th-place tie with the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings, ahead of only the Hornets, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic.

“Bigger picture,” center Bam Adebayo said, “we just got to take it game by game. We can’t look into the future. Next game up, take it day by day. I feel like if we keep that mindset, we’ll end up on a four-game winning streak, five-game winning streak.

“So we can’t look too much into the future. We’ve got to take it game by game.”

Ugly ending

To a man, the most disappointing aspect of Monday night’s 110-107 loss to the Trail Blazers was allowing Portland to shoot 14 of 17 in the fourth quarter, with conversions on their final eight shots.

“For the most part,” Spoelstra said, “where we’ve been very good this season, in the short season, has been defending and really holding down that side of the court in the fourth quarter. And we just were not able to do that.

“That fourth quarter, it felt like we could not get a stop. And that’s very much unlike us in the fourth quarter, where we haven’t been able to string together four or five stops in a row.”

Empty feeling

When Jimmy Butler went scoreless in Monday’s third quarter, it was the first time this season he logged minutes in a period and did not score.. He did not play the fourth quarter of the lopsided victory in Portland . . .

Adebayo played all 12 minutes in the fourth quarter Monday for a team-leading sixth time this season. He leads the Heat in fourth-quarter minutes at 116:37 . . .

In going 13 of 15 from the line Monday, the Heat made it a franchise-record 10 consecutive games of at least 80 percent or better on free throws. The league record is 15 consecutive such games, by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who did from the end of 2010-11 to the early stages of ‘11-12. The single-season record is 14 by Charlotte (2017) and Golden State (2012) . . .

With Monday’s loss, the Heat became just the second team in NBA history to complete a season series against three different opponents within the first 11 games of a season, joining the 2005 Warriors, who did it against the Bulls, Knicks and Bucks within the first nine games of that season.



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