One thing that the NBA calendar offers with its imbalance is compensation as the season progresses. There seems to be this potential for opportunity since continued adversity can either see a team crumble or fortified because of it. This is what the Miami Heat are looking to thrive upon.
Erik Spoelstra and company find themselves as one of three teams that played 11 or more games on the road at this stage of the season. The month of November will see Miami be on the road more than they were able to sleep in their own beds. To put those things in perspective, that puts into a better frame how much of a grind this can be for players both from a physical and mental standpoint. When one sees it from this vantage point, then the understanding of not having the same focus is quite understandable.
For many fans, it seemed as if the sky was falling on Saturday after having blown a double-digit lead against the Wizards. Yet it now seems like a lesson learned for a team that seems to thrive and draw upon tough times to become much harder collectively as they bounced back from that tough result.
Their win against the Detroit Pistons by 100-92 put them amongst the road warriors in the NBA as they are one of seven teams that won six or more games up to this point in the season. Yet to make this happen, some things had to change in order to get the job done.
The Players That Needed To Show Up… Did
After the Wizards game, the fourth quarter was the talking point of many conversations surrounding the team. On Monday, the team was a completely different one and outscored the home team 33-16 and had a 27-6 run in the first 8:17 to be able to take over the game and put it out of reach, just not the way many were accustomed to seeing.
There was no doubt that someone else had to show up other than Jimmy Butler, the All-Star did not have his best night as he had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Of those 15, Butler was only able to score two, but on this evening it was not necessary. The reason for that was the emergence of Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.
Herro led all scorers with 31 points and it was only when he found his own groove while his competitive juices were flowing during that final stretch of the game.
Meanwhile, Lowry scored seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. He also added seven assists of his eight total assists in that final frame. Lowry was being pointed at as one of the players that needed to step up in this stanza of the game and he was capable of doing that. Yet he was the one that had to be looked at when it comes to the offensive struggles that the Heat had running its offense was seen in the fact that he was only able to have just a single assist after three quarters of play.
During that fourth-quarter run, the Heat was able to will their way past a Pistons team that was gritty but showed their set of limitations even without the suspended Isaiah Stewart. But, credit has to be given as there were other protagonists in this
The Worst Is Yet To Come?
If there is a positive to look at all this, Miami will play 12 out of their last 18 games at home. That said, that is still a long way away. In the meantime, Miami have to find a way to achieve balance. While being able to rally is a great sensation for Heat fans, the prospect of having to rally back in order to get the result is also something to look at. We do know that Miami can do this, but having to do that on a constant basis ends up.
Miami should not depend on “career highs” to have to rally back from an adverse start.
When the Heat end their current road trip, they can say that they played 13 of their first 20 games on the road, yet their focus will be on being able to To be able to say that they ended up over .500 in those games will be a huge positive.
Yet, if you think November is bad, wait until December and the early part of January rolls around when they will once again head on a west coast swing.
For them to be able to come out of this in a similar position than they are now, it could be something quite interesting to see come the final stretch of the season.