The Miami Heat fell to the Washington Wizards 103-100 on Wednesday night. Miami is now (7-14) on the season after recording their second consecutive loss.
Tyler Herro led the Heat with 20 points and chipped-in two rebounds. Right behind him was Jimmy Butler with one assist short of a double-double. He totaled nine assists while scoring 19 points and eight rebounds.
Miami center Bam Adebayo successfully got the double-double, scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds, while also contributing six assists. The last player who scored in the double digits was Goran Dragić who managed to get 10, with two rebounds and four assists.
But these were not enough to outscore the Wizards who won behind Bradley Beal‘s 32 points. Beal has now scored 30-plus points in nine of his last 10 games. He also secured his 17th consecutive game with 25-plus points. This is the longest such streak to start a season since the NBA-ABA merger, breaking a tie with Michael Jordan.
Not only were the Wizards excelling on the offense, they were also getting significant stops.
In a game where Herro scored 17 points in the first half, Washington was able to hold him at just three points in the second half.
The Wizards were actually able to hold off the entire Miami offense, as the Heat only scored 31 points during the second half.
Is there another struggle besides roster issues?
Throughout their season, Miami’s struggles have been attributed to the lack of a full roster. Butler was out early in the season due to COVID health and safety protocols. Herro and Dragić were out not long after Butler due to injuries.
There is no doubt that any team will struggle if they are missing three of their best players on the lineup.
But all of these stars have been coming back since last week. Both Herro and Butler joined the team for the Jan. 28 game against the Clippers, and have played every game since then (4).
Could it be that these players are starting to adapt again after not playing for a while? Despite having some disconnect between players and with the basket, the returnees scored in the double digits and made some big plays.
This makes some wonder if their struggles go beyond not having a full roster for all of their games.
Both Adebayo and Butler discussed their thoughts on where their team is struggling.
Adebayo believes that their biggest issue lies on the defensive end.
Bam Adebayo on the biggest issue to fix: “I just think, getting stops. We gotta be on the same page on defense. I just feel like we have mental lapses, or a 2-3 minute stretch where teams get back into the game.” pic.twitter.com/nHRaVsqSz9
— alex (@tropicalblanket) February 4, 2021
Adebayo’s claims were seen in this game as the Heat had a 13-0 run that was quickly reversed by the Wizards. Miami was not able to get any stops which resulted in Washington quickly tying the game after that run.
Butler on the other end believes that their struggles begin when they start missing shots.
“I think we’re just not making shots. When we’re not making shots it kinda gives us an excuse to go down there and not play defense I think that’s what it is.” said Butler “Cause when we make shots we defend pretty well. I think we just gotta grow up in that sense.”
These teams will meet again in the Sunshine State for game two of their mini series. Miami will once again host Washington on Feb. 5 and tipoff is set for 8 p.m.