The Heat got spanked again by defending Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics 112-107.
The loss at home was the second beating by the hand of The Big Green in just three weeks of regular season play.
Don’t let the five point spread fool you. This one wasn’t close at all. The following are the three most disturbing trends I’ve noticed with the 5-4 Heat thus far.
1. Toughness - Who is Chris Bosh? He looks like a lost kitten out there. He doesn’t seem to know his place and isn’t the physical big I thought he was. If he’s a guy that’s not going to bang inside and provide some nasty, Miami needs a physical center to compliment him.
When Udonis Haslem at 6’7″, who had 21 points and 10 boards on 9-for-10 shooting tonight, is the sole physical presence down low you have issues. If Bosh brought the heart and toughness that Haslem embodies, he’d be the best big man on the planet.
The fix: Get Chris Bosh a lifetime supply of the energy drink Minotaur from the movie Role Models. I hear it’s supposed to unleash the beast. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for GM Pat Riley to admit he screwed up and go sign a physical big. Erik Dampier is still on the market. Swallow your ego and make the move. The Heat need a badass down low, bad. Hell, give Jamaal Magloire a shot. We all know he’s physical.
2. Offensive Structure - Isolation after isolation isn’t going to cut it against a good NBA team like the Boston Celtics. Boston has exposed Miami’s weaknesses like a black light in a crummy motel room. Compare the shot selection of the two teams tonight. Boston got to their “money” spots on the floor with ease.
And don’t you dare say Riley on the bench is the solution. He was never known as a great offensive mind. With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the same team, how could pushing the basketball not be a priority?
The fix: Coach Erik Spoelstra needs to go back to the drawing board. Keep Carlos Arroyo off the floor and run. Beat people in transition and have more of an attacking mentality.
3. Accountability - Dwyane Wade played the worst defensive game in his NBA career. He continued to not respect Ray Allen from three and gambled on steals that forced his teammates into impossible defensive situations. I can honestly say he looked like he was dogging it during spurts.
Who’s going tell him he needs to step it up? Is LeBron willing to get in his face? Is coach Erik Spoelstra the type of coach who is willing to call out one of his superstars?
If not, we’ve got a problem. Pat would probably help in this area.
The fix: Leadership. For a leader, it’s not just about leading by example. It’s about being the guy who holds everyone else accountable. If someone screws up, tell them. If you screw up, vocalize it.
There are quite a few issues with this new-look Miami Heat team. Although these losses will have no effect on who this team is four and five months from now, there is no doubt there needs to be some changes.
Mental strength is more important than anything else right now. What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.