Jacari McRae | January 31st, 2019
Here are my four takeaways from the Heat’s 105-89 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls arrived in Miami around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning after playing the Brooklyn Nets the night before. They were also shorthanded, with their leading scorer Zach LaVine sidelined. Sounds like a game Miami should win right? Well, that didn’t happen.
Instead, the team got outplayed and lost by double-digits. At home. To a Bulls team that had lost 14 of their last 15 games heading into Wednesday’s night game. What an inexcusable performance.
Tougher road ahead
Wednesday marked the end of the Heat’s three-game stretch against lottery teams. Unfortunately, the team didn’t take full advantage of this soft schedule, posting a 2-1 record. They won their first two games(Cavaliers and Knicks) and lost the last one(Bulls).
Now the schedule is about to get harder. Starting Friday, Miami’s next eight games will be against playoff teams, with matchups against the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trailblazers, and Denver Nuggets among them. Considering how the team has played against bad teams, maybe they’ll rise up to the challenge.
Wayne starts again
After starting Sunday night in place of the injured Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington got his second start Wednesday night against Chicago. Ellington finished Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-11 shooting from three-point range in 33 minutes of action. Tyler Johnson returned but came off the bench.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Ellington was out of the rotation. He could find himself in a similar situation again once Dwyane Wade returns. With so many guards on its roster, the Heat may move him ahead of February 7th’s NBA Trade Deadline. Jorge Cantu at MiamiSportsWave.com has more on Ellington.
In the first three and a half minutes of the game, Coach Erik Spoelstra subbed Hassan Whiteside out. After picking up his first foul, Whiteside played cautiously trying to avoid a first-quarter foul, which has been a problem lately. Whiteside then returned early in the second period but was forced back to the bench after picking up his third foul within the first half, which ended with the Heat trailing 50-48.
Whiteside played most of the third period, despite picking up his fourth foul. He finished the game playing 15 minutes, closing with eight points and nine rebounds.
Next up: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat. The game tips off at 8pm ET.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images