What was a roller coaster season for the Miami Heat continued when they faced the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 20. Winners of 13 of their previous 19 games, the Heat went into the matchup on a high. Unfortunately, they felt pretty down after being blown away by Luka Doncic and the Mavs 115-90.
After the frustrating defeat, Miami’s Tyler Herro was asked about Doncic. He praised the Slovenian star and credited him with his playmaking.
“He just did what he does every night. He does plays,” Herro said. “He’s a great player, making plays for himself and his teammates and making a lot of time for the right play and they ended up taking shots.”
Herro wasn’t as perceptive in Dallas. He led the heat with 4 turnovers and was a -9 in just under 30 minutes. However, it’s difficult to put too much emphasis on plus/minus in a game where Miami lost by 25 points. The 23-year-old actually had the best plus/minus of any heat starter. He also scored 16 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out an assist in the loss.
Besides, it was his birthday. A 25-point loss probably wasn’t exactly what the team had in mind for Herro’s birthday present.
As any coach would do after seeing his team blown out by 25, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was frustrated after the Dallas loss. He spoke to the media after the game and addressed the disappointment.
“There are days in this league when you just don’t play well,” said Spoelstra. “Some days you just get beaten. Some days you just get beat convincingly, sometimes. What was disappointing tonight was that it was just a wasted day. We haven’t gotten any better. We don’t have many days to get started like this.”
Spoelstra has been in his position for so long and fully understands the ups and downs of the long season. However, with Miami looking to climb the table before the playoffs kick off in a few months, he has reason to fret about his roster.
The New York Knicks, with whom the Heat are fighting for the sixth seed, lost their game to the Atlanta Hawks. A win against the Mavericks would have given Miami some much-needed respite in the standings. Instead, Spoelstra’s side gave little chance and trailed by 15 or more points for most of the second half.
As Miami continues to try to string together good basketball, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the team could use an extra shoot. In the loss to the Mavs, the Heat made just 4 of their 20 attempts from beyond the arc.
For the season, Miami ranks 26th in 3-point percentage, shooting just 33.7 percent. That’s quite a drop from last year when they shot the league’s top 37.9% from downtown.
In a Jan. 19 article for the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson pitched two San Antonio Spurs snipers as potential trade targets for the Heat.
Zach Collins and Doug McDermott have been reliable from 3-point land this season. Collins shot 37% from deep and McDermott shot 41%.
None of the players are also making astronomical amounts of money. McDermott is owed $13.7 million next season in the final year of his contract, and Collins’ deal includes a $7.7 million team option.