The first half of the NBA regular season has come to an end and the Miami Heat have done a good job trying to recover from their poor start. In the first half of the season the Heat started with a record of 2-8 in their first 10 games.
This was a sign of changes in the locker room as players came and left during the offseason. The way the team started to play changed, as they got more comfortable with each other and in their positions. In the second half of the season the Heat still have an uphill battle trying to make it into playoff contention.
Before the break the Heat would extend their winning streak to 13 with wins against the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. In both of those games the Heat would hold both teams under 100 points. The Heat have been playing great on defense, but they have also been explosive on offense.
They take high percentage shots and they also capitalize on second chance scoring opportunities. On fast breaks they make sure they find the open man in order to come away with points on that possession. The little things the Heat do during games help them get the wins that they need.
The Heat would also have their streak snapped before the all-star break by the Philadelphia 76ers. In the 117-109 loss the Heat stopped playing the way they know how. They reverted back to the way they were playing at the beginning of the season.
The 3-pointer really cost them the game because they shot 30.4% from downtown. Hassan Whiteside had a big game with a double-double.
He would score 12 points and grab 19 rebounds. Goran Dragic would also have a big game scoring 30 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. 7 of the 10 available players on the76ers scored in the double figures.
The Heat would also lose their next game against the Orlando Magic 116-107. The Heat would have another poor shooting night from the 3-point line only shooting 27.3%.
It would be a different story for the Magic from downtown because they were on fire shooting 57.1% from there. Heat starters would combine for 71 points, but they did not get much help from the bench.
The Magic bench would outscore the Heat bench 49-36. That cannot keep happening if the Heat are looking to claim the 8th spot or higher in the eastern conference. The Heat would bounce back right before the break with a big win.
The Heat would play against James Harden and the Houston Rockets and win 117-109. This was a big win for the Heat because they went up against a team with 40 wins, and swept them in their season series against each other.
Harden would have a triple-double in this game with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists. That would not be enough to top the Heat who would have four starters in double figures.
Whiteside would have another double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Dion Waiters would also score 23 points and nearly have a triple double with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. The Heat will have to keep winning after the break in order to make the playoffs as the season starts to wind down.