The Miami Heat (37-21) currently sit in first place atop the Eastern Conference, but point guard Kyle Lowry belives they could be doing way better. Following the Heat’s 107-99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, the six-time All-Star delivered his brutally honest assessment of where the team stands.
Emotions were running high following yet another second-half collapse at home at the FTX Arena, snapping the Heat’s five-game win streak. During the final two quarters against the Mavericks, Miami shot just 12-of-40 from the field and 1-of-40 from beyond the arc.
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“I don’t think we’re nowhere near where we need to be, Lowry told reporters after the game. However, the 35-year-old veteran looks at the disappointing loss as glass-half-full. “We don’t want to be there yet honestly. We’re only in February. We play for April, May, and June. That’s our whole thing.”
“You always learn from everything,” Lowry continued. “You learn from every game, you learn from every opportunity you get to step on the floor. We don’t take it and say, ‘Oh man, it’s the end of the world’ but we look it and see what we can do better. That team [Dallas] has been playing extremely well for the last two months. They’re a really good team and they came to the challenge and beat us on our floor tonight.”
Lowry scored 13 points against the Mavericks, along with four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.
The Heat are Limping Into the All-Star Break
Miami has just one more game, a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets on February 17, before the All-Star break commences. And based on the Heat’s ever-growing injury list for Thursday’s night game, the timing couldn’t be better.
The following players were preemptively ruled out and will not be traveling with the team to Charlotte: Victor Oladipo (knee), Markieff Morris (neck), Tyler Herro (knee), Dewayne Dedmon (personal reasons), and the Heat’s newly signed two-way player, Javonte Smart, who’s finishing up his duties with the Sioux Falls SkyForce.
As of Wednesday evening, three Heat players remain questionable to play against the Hornets: Udonis Haslem (corneal abrasion), Caleb Martin, who’s already missed Tuesday night’s game due to ongoing Achilles’ issues, and Jimmy Butler, who’s playing through a strained right shoulder.
Spoelstra Is Not Worried About the Heat’s Ever-Growing Injury List
In order for the Heat to thrive as a second-half team as Lowry would like, the roster needs to be healthy. While the ever-growing injury list has fans worried, Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra is not.
“Everything we’re managing right now is manageable,” Spoelstra said, per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “A lot of the guys have the same response to me. They say, ‘If this is the playoffs, I’m playing tonight.’ Well, it’s not the playoffs and we want to make sure that we’re handling things so they’re manageable right now and not leading to something else.”
The only Heat player competing in the 2020 All-Star game is Butler, which means the rest of Miami’s roster will get some much-needed rest following Thursday night’s game. Spoelstra will not be taking a break, as he’s going to be coaching Team Durant for the All-Star game.