The Miami Heat are off to a slow start this season, going 1-3 after losing to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night. After coming just one possession short of making the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago, the Heat seem to be moving in the wrong direction.
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar believes that the answer to Miami’s problems could come via a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, where they swap veteran point guard Kyle Lowry for All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.
“The Heat and Lakers swapping Westbrook and Lowry makes too much sense for both teams,” Stinar tweeted on October 24.
“Miami would know how to use Russ .. LA needs the shooting and stability of Lowry,” he added.
Kyle Lowry Sounds off on Early Struggles
Not recognized for his immaculate shot-making ability, Lowry is trying to find his role on the Heat this season. He is averaging 10.8 points while shooting 28.2% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc. He also is averaging 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in the Heat’s first four contests this season.
Amid Miami’s slow start, Lowry spoke about how their lineup changes from the previous year could be the reason.
“Honestly, everybody has a different role this year, things are a little bit different, right? Tyler’s in the starting lineup, and Bam’s more aggressive. We’ve got different lineups with this, that, and the other, and we’re just trying to figure it out right now,” Lowry told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“I could probably have the ball a little bit longer, keep the ball in my hands a little bit more. That could help,” Lowry said when asked how he can generate more shots for himself. “But I’m an unselfish player. So sometimes it’s called for you to kind of get off the ball and let the game come to you.”
Eric Spoelstra Sounds off on Miami’s 1-3 Start
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra also had some words about the team’s 1-3 start after the 90-98 loss to the Raptors.
“I don’t think anybody would have anticipated, starting off with this home stretch, that we’d be 1-3,” Spoelstra told reporters via Sports Illustrated.
“That’s sometimes the nature of this league. It’s tough. You can’t just mail in victories. You have to earn ‘em, and sometimes things don’t go exactly how you want them to go. And these are opportunities to come together and develop some collective resolve.”
Spoelstra also admitted his decision to leave Jimmy Butler on the bench in the fourth quarter for as long as he did may have been the difference in the team’s loss on Monday.
“I didn’t have a timeout,” Spoelstra added. “It frustrated the heck out of me. I almost considered taking a foul. In retrospect, I probably should’ve. It was too much time of him sitting on that sideline. Every possession really mattered.”
The Heat look to Wednesday night, where they will start their three-game road trip against the undefeated Portland Trailblazers. Although the season is still young, now is the time for them to right the ship to prevent going into an even deeper hole.