Heat Slammed for Making Key Error Amid Playoff Push: Analyst

The Miami Heat picked up their fourth win in five games on Wednesday night, besting the New York Knicks 127-120 at Miami-Dade Arena amid an offensive explosion. Their bottom-six offensive rating (111.9) and bottom-four three-point percentage (34.1) for the year notwithstanding, the club was able to hit 57.0% of its field-goal attempts and 16-of-28 (57.1%) from three-point range on the night.

For his part, though, starting power forward and multi-time All-Star Kevin Love didn’t play much of a role in the outburst. He may have been brought to South Beach to be a floor-spacer and a scoring threat but, against the Knicks, he contributed just six points on 2-of-6 shooting.

Unfortunately, that has been the trend since Pat Riley plucked him off the buyout market. Over his first 14 games with the Heat, Love is averaging 7.8 points per game and shooting just 38.3% from the field and 28.6% from deep.

As one analyst sees it, the fact that this was the Heat’s big play to improve the roster and avoid a play-in scenario will go down as one of the club’s biggest regrets this season.

B/R: Heat Will Regret Not Making a Bigger Splash at the Trade Deadline

Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale just dropped a feature spotlighting the “biggest regrets from the 2023 NBA trade deadline.” For the Heat, that regret was “relying on the buyout market instead of trades to upgrade the frontcourt rotation.”

Wrote Favale:

Sitting out the trade deadline was certainly a choice — the wrong choice.

Miami shipped Dewayne Dedmon to San Antonio, and that was it, for some reason. This is not a team built for doing nothing, and it shows. Kevin Love was picked off the buyout market and is now starting games. The frontcourt rotation was and is so barren that Cody Zeller became a rotation regular before suffering a broken nose after spending most of the season on the outskirts of the NBA.

Of course, the Heat had more barriers than most clubs given their cap/tax situation. The team has more than $113 million in salary earmarked for just four players — Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson — this season.

Nevertheless, Favale wasn’t letting Miami off the hook:

There’s still no need to give the Heat a pass just because they’re theoretically thorny postseason participants as currently constructed or because they were only fit for bigger trades. Butler is 33, and Miami remains inside play-in territory with fewer than 10 games to play. You don’t get bonus points for patience or playing it safe when you’re built for urgency.

Heat Star Tyler Herro Is Coming Through in the Clutch

Whether the Heat are truly feeling regretful about the deadline or not, it can’t be argued that they haven’t been much better recently. And while Butler has stolen headlines with his clutch play, guard Tyler Herro’s late shooting has been a factor in multiple close wins, too.

Since the All-Star break, Herro has knocked down 22 fourth-quarter threes. That’s the No. 1 mark league-wide, beating Stephen Curry (17), Damian Lillard (14) and Klay Thompson/Malik Monk (13). Meanwhile, his 96 fourth-quarter points are the fourth-most in the Association over the same span.

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