The Miami Heat have dropped two straight overtime games in a row.
Panic button, anyone? No, and don't even start with theories.
Miami started off the road trip with a loss to Golden State, in which they blew a huge third-quarter lead. This is the same three-win Warriors team that has also blown by the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. While they obviously aren't the best team in the NBA, they have proven this year to show up against big teams.
The problem in this loss was just how they lost. No defense in the fourth quarter, but they also got stumped by Golden State's defense, who only allowed 12 points in the period.
The next night, Miami traveled to Los Angeles to square off with the revamped Clippers in a heavily anticipated game. These teams were both exciting, but it was once again the Heat that came up with the short end of the stick in LA.
Miami once again froze in the fourth quarter by putting up 17 points—their lowest of the game. However, one positive note was the fact that the Heat won the fourth quarter, allowing only 16 points to the Clippers.
Still yet, no excuses. Miami lost two road games to teams that brought their A-game against one of the league's best.
Now, for the analysis...
Anyone that has followed this Miami Heat team for the past two years has to understand that this is a very streaky team. This very group started out 9-8 last season after a short amount of time on the court together, but they also pulled off 20 wins in only 21 games once they caught fire.
However, right after that, they once again hit a cold spell by losing four straight games.
Hopefully you see the logic in this. Miami has the tendency to be streaky, but when they are hot, they are the best team in the NBA.
Miami hasn't been healthy of late, as both Wade and James have missed some action and neither player is still at 100 percent.
Giving these players significant rest now could be vital when it comes to playoff time. An injured Wade or James obviously is not effective as one that can run the court at full force and not worry about pesky problems.
Wade had a great performance against Golden State, scoring 34 points and swiping four steals, but having him completely healthy heading toward playoff basketball should be the first priority.
While the Miami Heat bring back the same core, they actually look noticeably different this year. Instead of winning on the defensive end like last season, Miami has averaged the most points per game in the NBA at a dazzling 106.4.
Will Miami end the 2-game streak against the Denver Nuggets?
That's an impressive number, but they are also giving up one of the league's worst at 97.7 points a night.
Sure, Miami is winning by 8.7 points a night, but it is much different than the formula of last season.
The positive thing coming out of the Heat defense is the fact that they are creating plenty of turnovers in games. They average 10.4 steals as a unit, but the question remains as to how they can keep a team to 42 percent from the field and still give up so many points.
It's obvious: turnovers on the offensive end.
Miami gives up a NBA-worst 17.9 turnovers a game. That's right, the Heat take and give the ball away statistically more than any team in the league.
With that said, what does Miami do to end this little slump?
Take care of the ball, focus in the fourth quarter, but most importantly worry about the health going forward.
No team has or ever will go undefeated in the NBA regular season. Streaks and losses are to be expected.
However, it is how teams respond after a slump that determines just how great they are.
How will Miami bounce back now?