The Miami Heat need wins in the worst way right now, and on Saturday, it looked like they could get one against the San Antonio Spurs, especially as Tyler Herro lined up to take the potential game-winning 3-pointer.
However, he missed, and Caleb Martin’s subsequent trey was also off the mark, allowing the Spurs to preserve a 115-11 win.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra said afterward he had no problem with Herro and not Jimmy Butler taking the final shot.
Erik Spoelstra on the intention for the final play:
“It was a pick and roll between Tyler and Jimmy. It wasn’t the cleanest, but it was the action everyone felt most comfortable with.”
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) December 11, 2022
The win came on the anniversary of Gregg Popovich starting out as the Spurs’ head coach, which happened in 1996.
Miami played well enough to win, shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc. Herro had an efficient 23 points plus five assists, while Butler was excellent with 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting.
Down the stretch, it looked like Butler was heating up, as he does so often in crunch time, but the Heat couldn’t get over that final hump, dropping them to a 12-15 record on the season.
At 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the Heat are in an increasingly concerning situation. However, they’re just two games behind the sixth-place Philadelphia 76ers and three games behind the fourth-place Brooklyn Nets.
Miami has to do something to jump-start its offense. It’s ranked just 24th in offensive rating.
Team president Pat Riley is apparently canvassing the rest of the NBA to see if any real upgrades are available. The Heat are reportedly looking to move Duncan Robinson, who isn’t anywhere close to the sharpshooter he was the past three seasons.
They may even be open to moving 36-year-old point guard Kyle Lowry, who looks significantly diminished this season.
Some observers, including TNT’s Charles Barkley, even think the Heat should blow it up and start from scratch at this point.