5 issues Miami Heat need to quickly address amid their ugly 5-game losing streak

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat can’t seem to do anything right at the moment. Their last five games show they need to address things like their 3-point defense, finding a consistent offensive role for Terry Rozier, lack of passion, whether or not they have enough to make a run and rebounding issues.

With the NBA Playoffs getting closer and closer, the Heat are experiencing their worst stretch of the 2023-24 regular season. After Thursday’s blowout loss at home to the Boston Celtics, the Heat are now on a five-game losing streak, the second-longest in the league right now.

1. Defend the 3-point line better

The Heat’s current five-game losing streak started on Jan. 17 with another blowout loss — this time on the road to the Toronto Raptors. Since that game, Heat opponents are shooting 46.9 percent from deep, the highest mark allowed over that span.

Miami Heat opponents

If Miami can’t make changes regarding how it defends the 3-point line, it’ll continue to be run out of the building each game, as it was against the Celtics, who wound up shooting 55.0 percent from beyond the arc on Thursday.

Perhaps head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff will come up with some new coverages to address the issue as Miami gets set to face three solid 3-point shooting teams in the New York Knicks (37.2 percent this season), Phoenix Suns (37.7 percent) and Sacramento Kings (37.3 percent).

2. Find out where Terry Rozier fits on offense

Three of Miami’s games during the streak were played before acquiring Rozier, and the past two games (his first two with Miami) have felt like feel-out games for him. There’s been some bright moments with him in the fold that show there’s some potential.

He’s only taken a total of 21 shots, however, despite taking more than 18 per game with the Charlotte Hornets this season. Rozier’s ability to attack the lane and hit shots from midrange are going to be really important for Miami. That’ll help collapse defenses and leave shooters open.

The former first-round pick is a solid passer and shown he can find open teammates. He’s even shown an ability to throw some nice lobs, but he’s definitely felt a bit out of place during his games with Miami. Expect that to change as time goes on.

3. Show some more passion

Nobody doubts that when it matters most, the Heat are a team that shows tons of spirit and fire. However, that hasn’t really been seen during this stretch. Of course, it’s the regular season, but it’s still frustrating when there appears to be a lack of energy on the floor.

After losing to the Celtics, Jimmy Butler gave a somewhat concerning answer about what the first step is to changing the energy around the team. It’s pretty worrying to hear Miami’s leader speak the way Butler did, and it’s clear an attitude shift needs to take place fast.

“I don’t know,” Butler said. “Genuinely, I cannot give you an answer for that. I just know that we gotta stick together through the good and through the bad. I know that this will change. This too shall pass, however you wanna put it. But we gotta go out there and do it.

“And it’s not gon’ get any easier, I’ll tell you that.”

4. Figure out if another move needs to be made

Rozier’s adjustment will take some time, but the trade deadline is approaching fast. Upgrades will be limited after. Miami got a key contributor (Kevin Love) on the buyout market last season, but might not be as lucky this season. Therefore, it should try to make upgrades before Feb. 8.

Nikola Jovic is in and out of the rotation, and Caleb Martin seems destined for a payday this offseason as he’s expected to decline his player option for next season. The two undoubtedly have some value around the league, so maybe they could net the Heat a solid player.

5. Grab. Some. Rebounds.

It’s definitely a cliche, but it’s still one of the most important parts of basketball. This season, the Heat are grabbing just 41.4 rebounds per game (27th in the league) and have snagged just 38.4 rebounds per game (29th) over their five-game losing streak.

The streak has also shown just how important Love (12.7 rebounds per 36 minutes) is, as he’s missed two games and left one early in that span. Rebounding has been a problem for the team for the last few seasons, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Perhaps that’ll come in the form of rotation changes by going a bit bigger. That’ll be up to Spoelstra to decide. Miami’s next game will come on Saturday in New York against the Knicks. Let’s see if things start to change by then.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.