The Miami Heat have endured a rough start to the 2022-23 season, losing both of their first two games.
Things haven’t looked pretty at all, as the Heat have struggled on both ends of the floor. While many fans have pointed to offense as the team’s main issue so far, Heat stars Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler seem to believe that the team’s defense is mostly to blame for the poor start.
“We gotta get back more,” Butler said regarding transition defense. “We gotta close gaps no matter who has the ball. … I think the defense is where we lack right now.”
Adebayo echoed Butler’s feelings during his own postgame press conference.
“It’s really not our offense,” Adebayo said. “I feel like 104 points can win a game. I feel like it’s the other side we really need to lock in on.”
Things haven’t been pretty through two games for the Heat, but it’s still early in the season. Teams go through lots of ups and downs.
However, it is important to note that Miami’s defense has seemed to take a bit of a step back. It lost P.J. Tucker over the offseason and didn’t really directly replace him.
Furthermore, Miami is allowing more points and rebounds per game through two contests in the 2022-23 season than it did during the 2021-22 season. It is important to note, however, that those are two completely different sample sizes.
Fans are surely aware of the sayings that state "offense wins games" and "defense wins championships." The Heat have always had a strong emphasis on defense. Everything with them always begins on that end of the floor.
It's not as if the team has no capable defenders. Butler and Adebayo are two of the best defenders in the league. Caleb Martin, who seems to have a stronghold on the team's starting power forward position, is also a solid defender that routinely guards standout players on offense.
As promised good (x2), bad, and ugly from last night's loss
My first good: Kyle Lowry's 2nd half defensive performance. It was great to see him playing active defense on and off ball. His effort on that end fueled the Heat's Q3 surge. Good to see this level of energy from him. pic.twitter.com/U8XZcLLECl
— optimistic Heat fan (@kellyoburner) October 22, 2022
Lowry helped Miami go on a 20-6 run to start the third quarter and reclaim the lead after entering halftime down eight.
Hopefully, this is nothing more than a slow start for the Heat. Sometimes, teams stumble out of the gates and take some time to get things going.
The Heat have lots of time to get things back on track and still have two games left on their current home stand. They will take on the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night and play them again on Monday night.