Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, left, drives against the defense of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

Miami Heat Moving Forward

The Miami Heat (2-3) have looked lackluster to start the season. Obviously, the season just started, and by no means should anyone be counting them out. Miami has shown how competitive it can be in recent years and should be taken seriously. They have a strongly constructed team with depth and size. They would show that on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers (4-1), handing Portland their first loss of the season. Six players for Miami scored 14 points or more in that game to show the depth of how this roster is constructed. The Heat overall have been a solid all-around team that can beat you in a multitude of ways. However, have not proven much offensively to start the season with the exception of Wednesday’s game.

Challenge Ahead

Things look positive for Miami after a 119-98 blowout against the Blazers but have another hurdle in their way. The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors (2-2) are set to host the Heat in one of Miami’s biggest challenges yet. It is clear that the Warriors have not looked like world-beaters to start the season. That does not mean that they are not a team that can lock in and bury anyone in the NBA with precision and efficiency.

After all, the Warriors have Steph Curry, and there is not much to be said that hasn’t already been uttered. Limiting Curry seems to always be the start of the conversation when playing against the Warriors.

This will be an interesting matchup because the Warriors have struggled on defense this year. Golden State has started off the season ranked 20th in the league in defensive efficiency. Last year they ended the season ranked second.

As for Miami, they have struggled to score this season shooting 44% from the field and 33% from three-point range. They have been able to rely on Jimmy Butler to provide the bulk of the scoring for the Heat. Although, he has been finding much success driving in and getting to the free-throw line. It will be interesting to see which teams weakness will hurt them more this game, the defense of the Warriors, or the Offense of the Heat.

Keys For Heat

A few aspects of the Heat need to be cleaned up to get back to their winning ways. The first is their ability to knockdown parameter shots. They are ranked 21st in the league in three-point percentage and the players to fix that problem. Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have both proven to have the ability to shoot from behind the arc at a high clip. That would be huge for this team going forward.

Miami could also use the help of another shot creator when Butler and Herro are not on the court. When Jimmy Butler is on the court, Miami is 35 points better offensively which is the fourth-biggest differential in the league.

Coming into the game both teams have not looked like themselves to start the season. Whatever team finds its identity first in this game will be the difference maker. On the other hand, if both teams show up on their “A” game, this could be a toss-up.

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