Last year’s NBA Finalists the Miami Heat have dropped six games in a row and their star players as well as their coach have given insight into the team’s failings.
The Heat’s latest loss came against the Knicks on Saturday, who scored 125 points on 51.7 percent shooting from the field.
The loss before that to the Celtics was even worse, as the Heat let them score 143 points on 63.8 percent shooting.
When asked if he’s concerned about Miami’s defense, big man Bam Adebayo gave an honest answer.
“A lot,” Adebayo told the Miami Herald. “Just because it’s all effort. If we don’t show enough effort on the defensive end, games like that are going to keep happening.”
The team are only one loss away from their first seven-game losing streak since the 2007-08 season – where they only won a total of 15 games.
Heat star Jimmy Butler says he can’t quite put his finger on the issue, but he knows that his side wants to win.
“We all just want to win, so I don’t know, we just got to figure that part out. We ain’t making nobody miss, we’re fouling, it’s a lot of bad, not containing the ball, our close outs,” Butler said. “It’s all stuff that we know that we’re not supposed to be doing. It’s everybody, it’s myself, all the way down to line.”
During their six-game slump, Miami have put up the league’s worst offensive rating, after scoring just 106.5 points per 100 possessions.
“Our defense, that’s the biggest takeaway right now that we’re not defending with the Miami Heat level of toughness, physicality, force and discipline to be able to win games while we’re figuring out all the rest of the stuff,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Saturday’s loss to the Knicks.
With their 24-22 record, things could get worse before they get better since the Heat’s next two games are against the Suns and the Kings.
“Right now we’re going to rally around each other, rally around our identity,” Spoelstra said. “It’s a tough time right now. If we treat this the right way, this can be a great opportunity for our team to be able to respond to adversity, things that are making us angry. If you respond to it appropriately, you start to correct some things. That’s what we’ll focus on.”