Can the Miami Heat Turn Their Season Around?

Can the Miami Heat Turn Their Season Around?

Miami Heat v Portland Trail Blazers

Is this team capable of making a second half comeback?

Miami Heat pre-game warmups

The Eastern Conference is pretty tough this year. Whereas in prior years it was the Pacers and Heat and nothing else in the East, the top four teams in the conference are looking pretty tough this year. The Atlanta Hawks have won eight straight games and currently have a 29-8 record, best in the conference. Both the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls are just three-and-a-half games behind, with Kyle Lowry establishing himself as an early MVP candidate and Pau Gasol having posted a 46-point, 18-rebound performance in a victory over the Bucks over the past couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Wizards stand at 25-12 with victories over the Houston Rockets and Bulls this season. The Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling at the moment, but with the return of LeBron they could easily make a push during the postseason.

So where does that leave the Heat?

Even with this team at full strength, the 2014-15 Heat just aren’t very good. The team has one too many issues and a propensity to blow third quarter leads versus subpar squads. While Bosh has posted nice stats (21.2 points per game), he continues to look lifeless on the glass as he averages just 7.8 boards as the team’s leading rebounder. CB has failed to establish himself as an inside post threat, continuing to make a living on mid-range jump shots while Wade remains the aggressor. This lack of aggressiveness on Bosh’s part has contributed to his dismal rebounding and free throw attempt numbers (5.8 per game).

The point guard situation is a major issue. Cole is not a guard capable of setting teammates up, ‘Rio is very hot-and-cold and Napier has yet to find his footing in the NBA.

The rebounding issue won’t be solved by any of the team’s veterans. As odd as it may be to hear it, the rebounding will only improve if Whiteside continues to improve. The 7-foot center had played in just 19 career NBA games before this season, but the Heat are so thin along the front line, that their best hope is for Whiteside to establish himself as a dominant threat on the glass.

If this is the reality, what is the Heat’s glass ceiling for 2015?

Miami will likely end up between the sixth and eighth seed for the playoffs in April. Clearly, the team falls in the tier of the Bucks, Nets, Pacers and Hornets at the moment. With this being the reality, this squad would face the Hawks, Raptors, Bulls or Wizards in the first round.

While the Heat could give a feasible fight to some of those teams considering their veteran pedigree, there simply isn’t much hope for an Eastern Conference championship banner in 2015.

This is a roster that needs to be further reloaded by Pat Riley during the upcoming offseason if it hopes to remain an elite team in an upstart conference.

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