Heat Notebook

Miami Heat plans to take best act on the road

 

jgoodman@miamiherald.com

During the first few months of the season, the Heat traded difficult road victories with letdown losses. With about two months until the playoffs, playing consistently on the road is one of the Heat’s top priorities for the unofficial second half of the season.

The Heat sprinkled in a couple quality road wins during the first half of the season and went into the All-Star break with an impressive performance at Oklahoma City. But for every victory on the road against the Thunder or Denver Nuggets, the Heat also managed to drop games to inferior competition such as Detroit, Washington and Milwaukee.

Entering Wednesday’s game in Atlanta, the Heat was 13-11 on the road. Dwyane Wade chalked up the uncharacteristic losses early on to a lack of energy. He hopes that changes, beginning with the team’s current road trip. The Heat plays the Bulls on Thursday and the 76ers on Saturday.

“Our energy has been a little different [on the road], but in the second half of the season we just want to be a better road team in the sense of winning ball games and doing what we need to do,” Wade said.

For Wade, the best approach on the road is to limit opponents’ momentum.

“I think one thing we’ve done wrong on the road is let too many big runs go — 16-0 runs, 21-1 runs — things we don’t do at home,” Wade said. “So we need to do a better job of controlling it when teams go on a run and not let it go too big.”

The Heat has had no problem finding energy and motivation for home games and games against teams from the Western Conference. At AmericanAirlines Arena, the Heat is 23-3. Against the West, the Heat is 20-5.

But a touch of apathy has seeped into visiting locker rooms, especially those of Eastern Conference opponents. Before Wednesday, the Heat was a surprising 5-7 on the road against teams in its own conference.

“It’s the consistency on the road,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve proven we can win in any building at any time, but can we sustain it? That’s the biggest question.”

really

For Spoelstra, doing well on the road is about preparing for the playoffs. Consistently playing with focused intent on nightly basis can only help come late April.

“Winning the title last year, everybody is ready to play and it is the game of the year.,” Spoelstra said. “They all circle it on the calendar. We take that challenge.”

Miller absent

Don’t bother with any conspiracy theories at the trade deadline, Spoelstra said. Mike Miller didn’t travel with the Heat to Atlanta because of an ear infection.

Spoelstra said Miller did not travel with the team because of the danger of flying with an infected ear.

Asked directly whether Miller could be traded, Spoelstra said “no.”

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">An easier time:</span> Chris Bosh, left, and his Heat teammates rejoice after winning the second game of last season’s first-round playoff series against the Bucks. They said the Bobcats are a bigger test.

    Series preview

    Miami Heat expects dogfight from Bobcats

    Even if the Heat appears to be in a different class than the Bobcats, the players aren’t preparing as though they are

  •  
Michael Jordan talks to the media about his becoming the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena March 18, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C.

    Royal Rumble | LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan

    Comparisons between LeBron James, Michael Jordan inevitable in Heat-Bobcats series

    Although LeBron James and Michael Jordan won’t be on the court doing battle, the playoff series offers an opportunity to compare and contrast two of the NBA’s greatest ambassadors.

  •  
Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, left, drives past Miami Heat's Shane Battier, right, to dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Miami Heat sweep would challenge rosy outlook by Bobcats’ Al Jefferson

    I think that Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson, not a star in the NBA but a good player, must lead the league in seeing the bright side, in trying to find the best in a bad situation. This talent figures to come in particularly handy in the next week-plus as his hopeless underdogs try to avert being swept in four games by the two-time, defending-champion Heat.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category