Just a week or so ago, a lot of the sports media talking heads were putting the Heat on ice and had Coach Spoelstra shipped off to Siberia. What a difference a week makes, or at least 5 games.
The Heat have won their last 5 games and are seemingly on a roll. They are now 5th in the Eastern Conference and have a record of 14 and 8. They are 4 and 1 in their division. Over their last 10 games they are 6 and 4. It all sounds like things are moving in the right direction, but in reality the team still has flaws.
Let's look at who they have played the last few games - They won games vs the 76ers, Wizards, Pistons, Cavs, Hawks, and Bucks. They lost to the Mavericks and the Magic. Out of their losses, only the Hawks are considered to be an upper level team with the Hawks currently in 3rd place in the East. The Mavs and Magic are in the top level of teams and the Heat lost to both teams. In their wins, the big 3 were the games. The Heat are lacking beyond the big 3 in ways that they are not going to be able to compensate night after night against the good teams in the league. The triplets will not be able to put up enough points consistently by themselves vs a Celtics, or Spurs, or the upcoming game vs the Jazz.
The Heat still have a problem moving the ball past their big 3 because they have nothing to move it to. The bench for the Heat scored a total of 14 points vs the Hawks. The other 75 were scored by James, Wade, and Bosh. They had a total of 15 assists for the game, meaning they passed the ball very, very little. One of the 3 got the ball, ran the floor, and scored. Now this worked for this game, but it will not consistently work over the length of an NBA season. You have to have a bench that can come in and provide points and defense, and rest for your starters. Without it, you end up with a starting front that is tired or worse yet injured.
The Heat face the Jazz tonight. Their last meeting was won by the Jazz. The Jazz are on their own roll and they have far more tools to use than just 3 players. I think tonight's game will be a pivotal one for the Heat. If they win, it could put them on a winning path for some time. If they lose however, it could expose further the issues with the team and Coach Spoelstra may need to start packing his ice gear.