“You live by the three, you die by the three.”
This is something that has many contexts for the Miami Heat this season. So when it does emerge and you do not have the context of the game at hand, it might end up being one of several things or one of the major symptoms of something underlying that seems to handicap them at times.
There were games in which it meant that the opposing team simply was able to light them up. On this night one of the main reasons was that the Heat were unable to create and convert shots from that part of the court. One of the players that was looked at a great deal was Duncan Robinson, he went 1-for-9 from Three Point Land and only contributed with three points. Those were the only shots he took the entire night.
The problem was exacerbated in the second half when the Heat were down 20 and they depended solely on a shooter finding himself in the middle of a slump.
Robinson seemed out of sorts and his inability to find a groove with this long distance shooting also complicated the other facets of his game. On top of his shooting performance, Robinson also ended up with the worst plus-minus in the game with a -14.
In his defense, it is much easier to focus on him as the lone consistent perimeter threat for the Heat, especially with no Tyler Herro. This compounds even more when Jimmy Butler was forced to sit out due to a bruised tailbone.
Still the major issue here is that his level of play is becoming a source of concern for Erik Spoelstra and his team.
“Maybe we kind of just let him play decoy for a little bit and get him some shots, the easier ones,” Lowry said via the Sun-Sentinel. “A lot of our offense is him moving and getting open and getting handoffs from Bam [Adebayo] and getting shots off. Who knows? We just need to say, ‘Single-side tag [a screening action for Robinson]. If someone helps you, you knock it down.’
“That’s not my decision. That’s just thoughts.”
The Heat Lacked The Fire And Focus
One of the sayings that is quite often said by locals in South Florida is that “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”. To say the least, the team looked bogged down. Their collective energy level was low and the played the part of a side that just came back from a nine-day road trip.
To point a finger at the team’s lack of precision from the perimeter alone would be basically be giving the other nine fingers the night off. There were several things that seemed off with Miami against Denver. That lockdown defense was not there against the Nuggets.
While the basketball world was expecting a “sequel” to a fight as both Jokic brothers were in attendance- one of them ended up doing all the “talking” on the court as he showed why he was MVP material once again.
And The Good News Is…
There was little to cheer about for Heat Nation, that is quite obvious. Once again, there were some bench players that did give this team some sort of life and showed the personality necessary to step into the fray when needed most and helped to make a lopsided game not look as such when looking at the scoreboard.
Max Strus is emerging as a great option off the bench as he contributed 19 points. Gabe Vincent also added 14 in the losing cause.
They helped out Bam Adebayo (19 pts., 10 reb.)and a record-setting Kyle Lowry (14 pts., 13 asst.) who surpassed Scottie Pippen in 33rd place all-time in assists, in a game that got very complicated very quickly.
Erik Spoelstra can chalk it up as a bad night and the team having to do better, but these are the types of bad nights that can turn into sleepless ones if the “bunch of different plans” that he had ended having to be ditched after falling into a hole.