Is Miami’s play-in tournament disaster a coincidence?
The Miami Heat lost 105-116 in a game against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2022-2023 NBA Eastern Conference Play-in Tournament held at the Caseya Center in Miami, Florida, USA on the 12th (Korean time).
It was a rout. From the start of the game, Miami gave Atlanta an advantage. He could not block Atlanta’s 3-point shot at all, and when Atlanta’s 3-point shot missed, he immediately allowed an offensive rebound and conceded a goal. Miami’s reputation as a defensive team was nowhere to be seen. After finishing the first half 50-65, Miami succeeded in pursuing with Tyler Hiro and Kyle Lowry’s performance in the third quarter, but the score widened again. Again, the rebound was the cause. Miami, which allowed offensive rebounds at every critical moment, collapsed on its own.메이저놀이터
On this day, Atlanta grabbed 63 rebounds and Miami grabbed 39 rebounds. There was a difference of 24 rebounds. That’s an unbelievable number. Offensive rebounds were 22 for Atlanta and 6 for Miami. This is the part where you can see Miami’s biggest loss.
Atlanta’s starting center Clint Capela scored just four points but grabbed 21 rebounds. Offensive rebounds were 8. On the other hand, Miami center Bam Adebayo had only 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Of course, Adebayo is not alone. On this day, Miami showed inferiority in height compared to Atlanta in all positions. Except for Atlanta’s point guard Tre Young, all of Atlanta’s players are taller than their peers. On the other hand, in Miami, all positions are made up of short players. Miami is the shortest team in the NBA.
So, did Miami intentionally build a team that was short? Half right and half wrong. The only difference between Miami, which ranked first in the Eastern Conference last season, and Miami this season is the departure of PJ Tucker. Tucker is a great player and helpful to any team, but he is not an absolute player who can be called a superstar or a team player.
The problem is that Miami sent Tucker and didn’t sign anyone. Miami was rumored to be looking for superstars such as Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell last offseason, but ultimately failed to recruit anyone. While Miami was looking for a superstar, Tucker left for the rival Philadelphia 76ers. Miami ended the offseason by re-signing Caleb Martin, an existing resource.
With Tucker’s departure and Martin’s entry into the starting lineup, Miami’s already small stature has grown even smaller. The players who suffered most from the reduced height were Adebayo and Butler, the team’s key players. The two players blocked a bigger player than themselves and almost blocked the opponent’s attack under the goal alone. Miami, which fell on fire, recruited Kevin Love and Cody Zeller in the buyout market, but the two players did not help much with their power.
In the end, the weaknesses that were exposed throughout the season were properly revealed in this play-in tournament.
The biggest culprit is Pat Riley, president of Miami. As you know, Riley is the person who brought LeBron James to Miami and is absolutely trusted by Miami fans. However, his recent appearance is disappointing. He gets rumors every year that he’s aiming for superstardom, but he’s getting his hands on it. The decision to let go of Tucker last offseason and not sign anyone came as a blow to the team.
Miami will clash with the winner of the Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls match on the 13th at the Caseya Center in Miami on the 15th. The winner will be assigned the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference and play the first round of the playoffs against the #1 Milwaukee Bucks. This is the last chance given to Riley and Miami this season.