Poor road performance raises concern for Heat
While LeBron James anchored the team to a 112-110 OT win over the Orlando Magic another near triple-double performance, the Miami Heat’s road endeavors are raising growing concerns over the team’s recent performance. The Miami Heat avoided a close third-consecutive loss on road Monday night.
“It was a must-win to end the trip and the year off the right way,” said LeBron James. “We had to figure out how to win on the road again and that was a good start.”
LeBron James has been one of the few consistent factors for the Miami Heat through this rather dismal four-game road trip. Following the New Year’s Eve win LeBron James extended his over 20 points streak to 29 consecutive games. LeBron James has averaged 27.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.5 assists in Decembers, marking him as one of the three NBA players in NBA history to ever lock those numbers in a single month of the regular season.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t blind to the sudden drop in the Eastern Conference leading Miami Heat’s performance, but he was inspired that the” competitive desperation” in his players during fourth quarter and overtime (Monday).”
The Miami Heat have lacked consistency during this road trip, putting up lackluster performances through entire quarters or halves, ultimately attributing to losses.
“No matter who you’re playing, who’s in the uniform, you’ve got to fight for every win in this league, particularly on the road. “Consistency, we definitely have to work on that,” said Erik Spoelstra. “We’re capable of it. Again, we’re looking forward to 2013, and the consistency is hopefully right around the corner for us.”
There have been sudden unstoppable stints by the Miami Heat during this our game road trip but never a full game to the team’s credit. Often strong performances were followed by lapse in defense and moments of cold-shooting that allowed opponents to take huge leads or make a lasting comeback.
The Miami Heat gave-in a 15-point first quarter lead followed by a 41-point second quarter comeback by the Detroit Pistons that did irreparable damage accounting for the first road loss. Against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat cleared a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to surrender 23 point early in the fourth quarter, summing up Saturday’s loss.
Earlier on against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Miami Heat nearly surrendered an over 19 point lead in the closing minutes of last Wednesday’s game.
That inconsistency showed again on Monday when the Miami Heat failed to make the most of an early game 9-point lead as they were outscored 32-17 in the second quarter by the Orlando Magic.
Defensive issue prevailed as the Miami Heat failed to cut opponent’s drives at the basket and make an impact on the boards.
The Miami Heat play upcoming three games at home against the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards before playing the next 10 of 12 games on road.
“It is going to be a hell of a grind for the next month,” said Miami Heats’ Chris Bosh. “We just have to keep our heads, play our game and get better every day.”