Last season, the Miami Heat finished just a few points shy of making an NBA Finals appearance. This season has been a bit more of a struggle. With just over a month remaining in the regular season, the Heat currently sit seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a 32-29 overall record, and they're in the midst of a four-game losing streak. After a 108-103 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, Heat players expressed some frustrations regarding the team's recent play.
"I'm tired of losing," Jimmy Butler said, via the Miami Herald. "I don't think anybody in here wants to lose. We've got to figure this out very, very quickly."
At the very least, the Heat will want to try to move up from seventh to sixth in the conference standings in order to avoid the play-in tournament, and they still have 21 games remaining to try to do just that. They currently sit two and a half games behind the Knicks, who occupy the sixth spot.
"Yes, it's disappointing. But it's no time for us to put our heads down and feel sorry for ourselves," Tyler Herro said. "This is a point of the year where we can either come together or we can go away and split."
Herro is confident that the Heat will find a way to turn things around and turn into their usual dangerous selves.
"I still feel like we can compete with anybody at any point," Herro said. "That's who we are, that's who we've always been since I've been here. I don't think there's any team in the league at any point at any game any day that we can't compete with or at least go out there and play. I'm confident that we'll turn this around."
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Miami doesn't necessarily have an easy road the rest of the way, as they have the eighth most difficult remaining schedule in the league in terms of opponent win percentage. Their slate includes three games against the Knicks, who are directly ahead of them in the standings. Those three games could go a long way toward determining if the Heat are ultimately able to climb up and avoid the dreaded play-in tourney, or not.
The final months of this NBA season are enormous for Miami, and they'll likely go a long way toward dictating the franchise's future. If the Heat cannot right the ship and make some sort of postseason run, major changes could be in store for the roster over the offseason.