Miami Heat Fall to 9-9; Should We Panic?

This is not what Miami Heat fans signed up for, and it's definitely not what the Miami Heat organization has been bragging about for months; right now, the Miami Heat are just not that good.

The Heat loss to the Atlanta Hawks 112-102 Wednesday night drops it to an even 9-9 on the season -- not exactly what Miami Heat fans envisioned when the season started. The loss to the Hawks stuck to the script that has been this 2014-15 Miami Heat campaign: bad-lazy defense, coupled with inconsistent-stagnant offense, a startling contrast to what Heat fans have grown accustomed to the past four years. It may be hard to accept what this team is right now, but the reality is the Miami Heat currently is a middling NBA team, one bad week from missing the playoffs when all is said and done.

The loss drops the Heat to third in the Southeast division, now three games back of the Washington Wizards.The Heat is now 4-6 at home, a remarkable contrast to what the team has done in its home building over the past few years. If you're looking for the low point in the post-LeBron era, it may have come last night, when the fans started the "Seven Nation Army" chant down ten with under a minute left.

Yup, these are the days.

Hawks point guard Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 27 in the win, while Kyle Korver dropped 18 in the Heat loss. As has been the case all season, the Miami Heat continues to give other teams all the time in the world to drop their shots and seemingly succeed only when playing a team incapable of capitalizing on the open looks the Heat provides them. On this night, the Hawks shot a sizzling 54 percent from the field and knocked down 12 of 25 three-point shots.

And then there are the Heat turnovers...


Meanwhile, Chris Bosh continues to carry his portion of the load for the team in his new role, scoring 27 points and pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds. Josh McRoberts got his first start of the season Wednesday, but was largely a nonfactor, finishing with just four points in 24 minutes. Norris Cole missed the game with the flu, and in his place Mario Chalmers scored 19 points and dropped 11 assists in the loss.

Luol Deng, so far a disappointment since signing with the Heat this offseason, left the game in the second quarter with a hand injury. Deng is averaging just 14 points this season and has not lived up to the hype thus far, leaving the Heat with a big void offensively.

So is the Heat in trouble?

Is this 9-9 record who it is?

Many had hoped this Heat team could beat the odds and become a title contender, at the very least spoiling it for other teams; now Heat fans are just wondering if this team is playoff caliber.

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