The Miami Heat were the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference a season ago and a playoff contender. However, they are currently off to a 1-3 start to the season. Not the start Miami hoped for, but what’s going on with them so far?
Miami’s offensive struggles
While defense is Miami’s calling card, their offense was one of the better units in the league last season. In the year In 2022, their offensive rating was 113, good for 12th in the league. Coupled with the fourth-ranked defense, he can see how they won 53 games a year ago. But this year it’s a different story with the temperature at 106.9 in 27th place. The Heat also rank 22nd in assist-to-turnover ratio, 23rd in field goal percentage, and 26th in offensive rebound percentage.
The first player to immediately appear is Kyle Lowry, who started the season cold. Through the first four games, Lowry is averaging 10.8/3.5/4.5 on 46.7% true shooting. With Tyler Hero in the starting lineup, he has to work more off the ball. So far, 75% of Hero’s two-pointers and 86% of his three-pointers have been assisted. It makes perfect sense for Lowry to move to the mid-level as the season progresses because of his reputation as a great shooter, but he could be off to a shaky start.
Kyle Lowry wants the ball in his hands more to create more shots for himself
“Maybe I could have held the ball a little longer, put the ball in my hands a little more. That would have helped.”
(via Miami Herald) pic.twitter.com/oiNFcrF2dy
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) October 25, 2022
Miami’s three-point shooters are also underperforming out of the gate. Max Struss is shooting 32% on six threes per game so far. In more ball-handling opportunities, Tyler Hero is shooting 33% on seven threes, while assisting on a career-low 55.6% of those attempts. And while Duncan Robinson is shooting 50% from beyond the arc, he’s down to just three attempts in 11 minutes per game.
Miami on defense
The good thing about the Miami Heat is that they are still very good on defense. Their defense level is not as good as it could be. They are 18th in the league with a 110.7 rating. However, most of the same personnel from last season is still in Miami, and last year’s team ranked 4th in the league. Another positive sign is that they rank in the top 10 in defensive rebound percentage, 11th in turnovers and 13th in opponent fast break points.
The biggest positive for Miami’s defense is the rim protection. They haven’t been a team that gets a lot of blocks in the past. The Mortal Kombats have finished last in the division two seasons in a row, as well as this year. However, they are third in points allowed in the paint, a specialty of Erik Spoelstra’s defense, as they ranked first in that category the past two seasons.
It should be noted that the Heat had a difficult opening schedule. They played Chicago, Boston and then Toronto twice, all three teams were playoff teams a year ago. Things won’t get any easier for the Miami Heat when they face Portland and Golden State next.
The Heat may be as good as recent history suggests, but the offense needs to find its foundation first. It’s a bit of a new-look offense with Tyler Hero playing a big role, so adjustments will have to be made.