MIAMI – The numbers show it can be done, because it has been done, including a 142-point game this season, as well as a 36-point game from Jimmy Butler, a 35-point game from Tyler Herro and 31-point efforts from Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez Jr.
So, then, why can’t the Miami Heat score?
With Sunday night’s 103-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the start of this four-game homestand, the Heat have scored fewer than 100 points 12 times this season. Only the terrible Portland Trail Blazers and even worse Charlotte Hornets have done it more often, with their 13 such performances.
“We’re working on communication. We’re working on everybody being aggressive,” Adebayo said, with the Heat next turning their attention to Tuesday night’s visit to Kaseya Center by the Orlando Magic. “But we have to figure out how to make it flow. And then we’ll do that. You have to make it flow.
“So for us, it’s just trying to figure out that flow. And I feel like we’re figuring that out. I mean we’ve been in worse situations, even last year. So we just got to keep pushing forward and try to find a positive outlook.”
That season-long numbers make it difficult to see such a reversal. The Heat enter the week 23rd in the league in offensive rating and 27th in scoring.
While Herro was a last-minute scratch Sunday with a migraine, and while Duncan Robinson has missed the past three games in NBA concussion protocol, the Heat mostly have been whole in recent games.
And still have had trouble scoring.
“It’s tough to say,” forward Kevin Love said. “We’ve certainly have had big moments when our team has been ignitable, and we’ve been able to put up monster points and monster performances on the offensive end. But I think that’s something we’re searching for right now.
“I can’t really put a finger on why that has happened, because we do have an explosive team. We do have that capability. And I think when you look at our lineup, you would think that we should be scoring in the 110s, the 120s, maybe even the 130s on certain nights.”
All of which has the Heat at a loss . . . for scoring.
“A number of guys have put up big numbers,” Love said. “I think we’re searching. We’re trying to find it. It’s not for the lack of intent or trying to make the right play. But something just needs to break the seal.”
As is his wont, coach Erik Spoelstra has put the focus on the team’s defense, which has been decidedly better in recent games, and certainly was on Sunday night, with it not until late when the Clippers were able to put it away from the foul line.
” It’ll happen,” Spoelstra said of the offense. “Guys will get in rhythm.
“There are some things offensively we can do with better pace and better intention. That’s not exclusive to us. And we’ll work on that. We’ll get better.”
While the absences of Herro and Robinson meant less of 3-point threat against the Clippers, guard Josh Richardson, who started in place of Herro, said the shots were there Sunday.
“I think we were getting a lot of the looks that we wanted,” he said. “So I’m not discouraged. I don’t think the guys have been discouraged.”
But there also is the recognition that more is needed.
“Sometimes it’s hard when you’ve got so many weapons,” Richardson said. “You’ve kind of got to figure out how to make ’em all jell together. I think everybody’s trying, and trying to play the right way. And hopefully the pieces fall in place.”