Sagging, Cranky Miami Heat Need Real Gut Check to Get Back on Track

January 15th, 2013 by Zach Buckley Leave a reply »
The Miami Heat are as close to hitting the panic button as any conference-leading defending champion I can ever remember.

Following their most recent contest, a 104-97 loss to the Utah Jazz that wouldn't have been much worse save for a furious 21-5 run late in the game, Miami has now dropped three of its past four and six of its past 10.

Away from the friendly confines of American Airlines Arena, the Heat have fared even worse. The loss in Salt Lake City saw Miami's road record dip below .500 (8-9). Just two of its past seven away games have resulted in wins, including a 112-110 overtime victory over the 13-24 Orlando Magic.

The Utah loss highlighted a familiar problem that has plagued the franchise all season long.

The Jazz outrebounded the Heat 40-23, and managed a 13-5 advantage on the offensive glass. 

Miami's 38.6 rebounds per game are the league's worst, and its minus-3.2 rebounding differential isn't that much better (25th).

Coach Erik Spoelstra's positionless system has left Miami vulnerable on the interior. No player other than MVP candidate LeBron James (8.2) averages better than 7.2 reboun ...

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