The Miami Heat may have shown in the 2022-23 campaign that a strong regular season isn’t always necessary for a deep playoff run, but a 1-4 start to the 2023-24 regular season likely isn’t what they had in mind.
After winning their season opener, the Heat have dropped four straight games and blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
Tyler Herro has been a bright spot for Miami, but he isn’t happy with the way the squad has performed through five games.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves at this point in the year,” Herro said in the locker room. “It’s still early obviously. But at some point it just has to matter to us. We can’t keep losing games and think it’s okay.”
Herro has done his part to help the Heat get things moving in the right direction. The 23-year-old is averaging 26.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game this season while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from beyond the arc.
While the blame certainly can’t fall on one individual, Jimmy Butler hasn’t played up to his standards in the early portion of the season. He’s averaging just 16.5 points per game while struggling from an efficiency standpoint (shooting 35.7 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from deep).
Butler is the straw that stirs the drink for the Heat, so they’re naturally going to struggle when he isn’t playing like himself.
The good news for Miami is the squad’s current home stand still has a couple of games remaining, starting with a winnable matchup on Friday against the Washington Wizards.
The Heat finished the 2022-23 regular season with a 44-38 record and had to navigate the play-in tournament in order to secure a playoff bid. Obviously, the journey ended with a trip to the NBA Finals, where Miami came up just three wins short of a championship.
That’s just one of several reasons the squad can never be counted out, but after a frustrating 2023 offseason, the Heat’s 1-4 start to the new campaign certainly hasn’t done much to settle the nerves of fans. Herro seems to understand that the way the team is currently trending can’t continue.
With any luck, there are brighter days ahead for the 2023-24 Heat.