It has been an online sports betting season of inconsistencies for one of the top teams in the NBA Eastern conference, a rocky road that continued Wednesday night in South Beach. Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder dismissed Lebron James and the Miami Heat with a 96-85 victory to end the home team’s three-game winning streak.
The loss was also the sixth Heat loss in their last 10 games. Miami has struggled with consistency all year, which could in big part be due to how short of a period of time that this team has had to grow together, but there is another possibility that is beginning to make its presence more and more relevant. It’s one that Heat fans don’t want to be true.
[adinserter block=”2″] Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade led Miami with 21 points each, while Lebron James pitched in with another 19, but despite a combined 61 points from the top three players, the Heat ended up losing by 11. That would be baffling in most circumstances, but it’s become all too common for a Miami team that is considered to be a legitimate contender to fight for an Eastern conference championship.
A look at the NBA standings would reveal that Miami is right there with the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Orlando Magic in the top-four of the East, but there is much more to this situation than people have realized. The Heat have a major hole in their supporting cast, and it goes beyond their bench and to the starting lineup where head coach Erik Spoelstra has struggled to find the winning formula.
[adinserter block=”1″]While the Big Three combined for 61 points, the other two starters registered just one. Center Erick Dampier dropped one of his two free throw attempts in 14 minutes of play, while guard Mario Chalmers failed to record a single point in 23. Those two starters combined for four turnovers while failing to capitalize on a couple of touches by either missing their shots or passing them on to another player, and whether it’s a lack of confidence, the extreme pressure of having to face the blame of another lose, or just a lack of skill, there has to be major sportsbook promo concern.
The play of Wade, James, and Bosh should open up room for these other players to pick their spots and put up solid numbers, and if they are not scoring then there is no other option but change. Mike Bibby led all scorers off the bench with 10, while the five other reserves that saw time combined for just 13. The onus will fall on Spoelstra to figure things out and help these players to start putting up numbers, especially with the talent this team boasts. Even at their best the Big Three from Miami can’t take down the top contenders on their own, and the pay per head bench will need to find its groove in a hurry before the weaknesses get even more apparent.