The Miami Heat outperformed expectations last year, using their grit and teamwork to make it all the way to the NBA Finals before eventually losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. But this season, the team is on the opposite end of the spectrum, struggling to perform consistently while earning an underwhelming 11-16 record.
And last night, the Heat lost yet another winnable game, with the Clippers holding off Miami for the 125-118 win. Miami forward Bam Adebayo voiced his frustration with his team’s performance in the game, as well as the season in general, saying that the team had lost touch with what made them such a special and feared opponent in the bubble last year.
“We gotta take pride in defense,” Adebayo told the Miami Herald. “I feel like defense wins games for the most part. I feel like if we would have played Miami Heat Culture defense, we would have won.”
Adebayo made it clear he was not making excuses for the Heat. In fact, quite the opposite, as he felt if the team had given their full effort, they would have won the game.
“They got whatever they wanted on the offensive end, were in the right spots on defense rebounding the basketball,” Butler said. “It was a tough one. I’m not going to say we let one get away. We didn’t deserve to win.”
Miami is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference standings and while there is still plenty of time for a playoff run, Adebayo and the rest of the team need to rediscover that Heat culture if they hope to have any chance at competing in the postseason, if they even make it.