Don’t look now, but we may have been transported to the darkest timeline of the Miami Heat universe.
Just a few, short days ago, the team was riding high atop the East standings with a multi-game lead over the competition. Flash forward to now and Miami has suddenly lost four straight games (including a laugher to the New York Knicks), Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra are throwing down on the bench and the No. 4 seed suddenly seems like a real possibility.
On the flip side, Butler’s BigFace Coffee brand is moving on up in the world. The baller’s boutique beans and brews biz is making waves in the VIP areas of the Miami Open tennis tournament, which is currently taking place at Hard Rock Stadium. So, there’s that.
If his Instagram comments are any indication, though, Heat Nation has no time for the venture. The South Beach faithful are clearly way more concerned with Butler’s ability to make shots and win games.
The Heat Star Gets Lit Up
On Sunday, Butler took to IG to post photos of himself at a BigFace Coffee kiosk, including the caption, “unlocking smilematter.” Although the update has nearly 40,000 “likes” as of this writing, the comment thread has become a sounding board for embattled Heat fans.
Clearly, these weren’t the droids they were looking for.
“Jimmy we on a 4 game losing streak… why?” wondered one disappointed fan.
“‘Unlocking smilematter’ maybe try ‘unlocking’ to show up in big games maybe?” suggested another surly supporter.
“What are you doing? Stop pub and work. Be focus [sic] and work hard…. please please!!!!” pleaded a third fan.
“How bout u unlock some buckets and stop losing?” asked a fourth fed-up follower.
Again, the six-time All-Star’s post wasn’t exactly well-timed. The night before he dropped it, Miami lost to the Brooklyn Nets in blowout fashion and Butler scored just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
That said, not everyone was trolling. One fan wrote, “All these haters in the comments need to unlock some smilematter.”
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Heat Drop in ESPN Power Rankings
The four-letter network put out the Week 24 edition of its NBA power rankings on Monday and, predictably, the Heat have ceded the No. 2 spot. Miami was leapfrogged on the list by a slew of East rivals, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies jumped into second place.
Consequently, Coach Spo’s squad finds itself in the sixth position this week, its lowest placement in a hot minute. And things could get worse before they get better.
“The Heat have a tough three-game road trip coming up this week with stops in Boston, Chicago and Toronto while they try to get things settled going into the postseason,” wrote ESPN’s Nick Friedell.