6 Biggest Disappointments for Miami Heat So Far

Joshua CarrollCorrespondent IIJanuary 4, 2013

6 Biggest Disappointments for Miami Heat So Far

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    Despite sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-8, it hasn't been all peaches and cream for the Miami Heat so far this season. 

    With such a talented roster, it only makes sense for the Heat to keep up these winning ways as the season progresses. 

    But with the good comes the bad and the ugly, and just like the positives, the negatives must too be addressed. 

Rashard Lewis

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    Slowly, but surely, Rashard Lewis has finally fell almost completely out of the Heat's rotation. 

    A bright spot for Miami at the beginning of this season, Lewis could not sustain his impressive production off the bench. His role as a spectator was cemented once Udonis Haslem came around.

    The disappointing thing about this whole situation is that Lewis really has all the tools to be the perfect fit to play alongside Miami's Big Three. 

    But, just like his career as a whole, this looks like another disappointing individual season for Lewis. 

Blown Out by the Bucks

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    Less than a week ago, Dwyane Wade returned to Miami's lineup after his one-game suspension to play the Milwaukee Bucks.

    The Heat had already lost to less opponents this year, including the Washington Wizards.

    However, this wasn't just another loss for Miami. They were embarrassed by the Bucks 104-85 and had their six-game win streak snapped. 

    Now, I know you can't win them all. But it's important for a team as good as the Heat not to lower their level of play no matter who they step on the court with.

    LeBron had six turnovers, resulting in slopping play for Miami. 

    A disappointing game for the Heat indeed, but was it season altering? Doubtful.

The Defense

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    The defensive intensity of last season just isn't there. 

    Last year, Heat opponents averaged just over 92 points a game. Thus far this season, they are giving up 98.

    That's unacceptable for a team that has shown they have the potential to be one of, if not the best defensive unit in the league. 

    Sure, the Heat play at a fast pace, which usually leads to giving up more points than a slower team.  

    However, just by watching them, it's not hard to miss the late rotations and lazy close outs. 

    Just like all the other aspects of basketball, defense takes practice and is not a switch you can turn on and off. The Heat may be on the verge of finding this out the hard way.

Nuisance Knicks

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    Let's not overlook the fact that the Heat have yet to conquer Carmelo Anthony and the new-look Knicks this season.

    Although Miami easily defeated New York in last year's playoffs, this year's Knicks team is much different, and apparently Carmelo is much better.

    That being said, with Amar'e back and Iman Shumpert on his way, NY is going to be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time. 

    The Heat clearly struggle with Chandler's size, and the Knicks are a team Miami really has to start viewing as a threat in the East. 

    The two losses they have suffered at the hands of New York have been disappointing ones. Both by double figures. 

    It wouldn't bode well for Miami to allow New York to continue to build confidence and sweep them this season. 

LeBron James' Minutes

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    LeBron James' is averaging 38.4 minutes a game. For those of you who need help rounding up, that's nearly 40 mpg for the reigning MVP.

    Although James does superhuman things on the court, Spoelstra has got to understand that even LeBron gets tired. 

    As a matter of fact, LeBron said he was "dog tired" after Miami's recent blowout loss to the Bucks. 

    Hint, hint Spo, it's time to start getting your big gun some more rest. 

    It goes without saying that you'd rather have a healthy and well-rested LeBron in May/June rather than in January. 

Hunger

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    What I've been disappointed in most this season concerning the Miami Heat is their lack of hunger. 

    This is not something that can be backed by stats, but is instead an emotion rarely seen from the Heat players this season. 

    Granted, it's January. It's not the playoffs and this could quickly take a turn for the better. 

    However, contrary to popular belief, the great don't just turn it on and off. The hunger to win it all persist all season long, and as a result, there is no reason to fire them up any further in April. They know what's at stake. 

    I need to see that look in Miami's eyes sooner rather than later if they are too repeat as champions this season.