Why the Miami Heat Are Better Than Their Current Record

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IINovember 26, 2012

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 21:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena on November 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 10-3 overall record and a .769 winning percentage.

While that 10-3 record is impressive, there are still a number of detractors who will point to the Heat's three losses as a sign of weakness.

All of those losses came against three of the best teams in the NBA—the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers. Those teams all have one thing in common too, significant post presences.

From the Grizzlies tandem of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, to Lob City's own Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, teams with solidified post talent have given the Heat serious trouble.

While it's certainly concerning that the Heat are simply beating teams they should beat, and losing to the cream of the crop, it's too early in the season to be truly worried about it.

The reason why the Heat are struggling is certainly because their small-ball lineup with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the paint has backfired on them. That doesn't mean the Heat aren't the best team in the NBA.

It simply means that they need to go back to the drawing board concerning how they approach playing bigger teams.

The Heat have room for growth and that's something that will benefit them in the long run this season. Growing complacent is dangerous for any NBA team, especially the 2012 champions.

When you're on top, it's easy to lose sight of your weakness. Luckily, the Heat's three losses have continually exposed their weakness and forced them to focus on it moving forward.

The question now is how they will deal with their weakness and adjust appropriately.

Last season during the NBA Finals, the Heat were able to dominate with their center-less lineup, but that was against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that didn't impose their will in the paint.

That same center-less lineup with LeBron and Bosh in the paint and Chalmers, Wade and Battier on the perimeter worked this season against equally-sized teams.

That means abandoning that lineup isn't smart. But being willing to alter that lineup when it comes to playing larger, stronger teams is something the Heat will have to grow accustomed to.

Another option for the Heat is to pursue signing a player like Kenyon Martin, who's upset that he's still unemployed—according to Yahoo! Expert Marc Spears.

Signing the 6'9'', 240-pound power forward wouldn't exactly make the Heat's interior play exponentially better. It would however, make the Heat a much more physical team on the defensive side of the ball. And that's something the Heat absolutely need.

The Heat currently give up 100.3 points per game, which ranks 26th in the NBA. They can't win the 2013 NBA title playing that kind of defense, and their record against the top teams in the NBA show just that.

A 10-3 record that emphasizes losses to teams that will stand in the way of the Heat's title hopes might seem overly negative.

In reality though, it shows us that the Heat are a team that still has a lot to work on against the elite in the NBA, and while it may seem shocking, that's actually good news for Heat fans.

One thing is for sure, and that is that the Heat won't become stagnant with their success, because they haven't reached a level where they can do that.

The Heat have serious work to do if they want to establish the NBA's next great dynasty, and that gives them something to focus on over the next few months.