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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Jan 19 2011 @ 3:30 pm In Miami Heat | No Comments

     Fire Eric Spoelstra!  Pat Riley please come back to the coaches seat!  Fans in South Florida are already beginning to panic after Miami’s 93-89 overtime loss to the visiting Atlanta Hawks.  The defeat was the fourth straight for the Heat after losing the last three games of their five game road trip.  Now, it should be said that the fans are not as outraged as they were when the Heat were 9-8.  It seems like that little run of 21-1 has added some levity to their emotion, but there certainly is some concern on South Beach.  While injuries have played a part during this slide, Miami has only itself to blame for losing to the Hawks.

     The beginning of the game on Tuesday night was horrendous.  The Heat struggled to shoot over 20% from the floor in the first quarter.  The only reason they even scored in double figures was because Mario Chalmers hit a three right before the end of the period to give Miami 11 points.  The Heat found themselves down by 13 in the second, then went on an 18-4 run to close the first half.  Miami led by 1 as the teams came back for the second half.  The rest of the game was similar in how it played out.  It seemed like the Heat were in control, but would then relax and have defensive lapses that would let Atlanta back into the game.  The other issue was not a new one either.  LeBron and D-Wade were the only offensive threat for Miami all night.  When one of them would get hot, the Heat would prosper, but all it took was a couple of bad possessions here and there for the game to tighten up.  Combine that with Miami chucking up 30 shots from 3-pt range and you have a recipe for failure.  The lapses defensively and the plethora of jump shots could be signs of fatigue, laziness, or both. 

     The reality is that as in sync as the Heat looked during their near record winning streak two weeks ago, they looked just as disjointed last night.  I am not about to sit here and call for Spoe’s job, or unduly criticize two of the best players in the world, but as a team, Miami has to tighten up and play more consistently.  Even when injuries become part of the mix, they shouldn’t be a built in excuse for poor play as a unit.  Nor should success lead to complacency.  What does all of this spell for the future?  I suspect it means very bad news for the Heat’s next opponent, Toronto, on Saturday night.

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