Something is wrong with the Miami Heat. They just can’t seem to diagnose the malady.
And to them, that’s the worst part of this abysmal stretch.
Losers in five of their last six games, the first time they’ve been on a slide like that in three years, the Heat know that their odds of catching Indiana for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference or securing home-court throughout the NBA playoffs — which wound up paying huge dividends during their march to a second straight title a year ago — are dwindling.
The latest loss came Friday, 111-107 to a Denver team that will probably miss the playoffs.
“Something is off, obviously,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.
“Just not playing well,” said four-time MVP LeBron James.
With a month left in the regular season, and 19 games to play, this is hardly the ideal time for the Heat (44-19) to go on a pronounced slide.
“Five out of six, to our standards, that’s unacceptable,” forward Chris Bosh said. “We know we’re better than this. We have to do a better job. We have to have better urgency. That’s all it is. That’s all it’s about.”
Two weeks ago, things looked different for the Heat. James scored a career-high 61 points to lead Miami over Charlotte, the Heat had won eight straight and 14 of 16 to that point and were starting to make a run at the best record in the NBA.
“Even as decorated as our locker room is, this league is a beast and we’ll respond,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We looked each other in the eye. We know how things can change very quickly in this league. And momentum can change again in our favor, but we have to do everything in our capabilities to make sure that we’re putting ourselves in position to make that change.”
DRUMMOND HURT — Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond left the Pistons’ game Saturday against Indiana with an apparent head injury.
Drummond fell to the ground after what looked like inadvertent contact with Roy Hibbert of the Pacers during a scramble near the basket. He stayed down through an entire timeout, and a stretcher was eventually brought onto the court. But he was able to get up and walk off toward the tunnel with some assistance.
NETS KEEP COLLINS — The Brooklyn Nets have signed Jason Collins for the rest of the season.
The NBA’s first openly gay player had finished his second 10-day contract, which meant the Nets had to sign him for the remainder of the season if they wanted to keep him.
Collins has added five points, six rebounds and six steals in eight games since signing his first deal Feb. 23.