The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 8, 2012

Trouble in paradise

(Continued)

MIAMI —

The Heat saw the Knicks make 18 shots — on 44 tries — from 3-point range on Thursday night, which became the latest entry on a list of events where Miami believes opponents have thrived simply by getting up to play against last season’s champions.

So far this year, the Heat have seen opponents score at least 100 points 11 times in 17 games. Last season, that happened 16 times in 66 regular-season games.

Some of the highlights, or lowlights, include the following:

— Washington scored 105 points against Miami on Tuesday, the most the Wizards have managed in regulation against anyone all season, and remember, they had one win all year entering that game.

— Wayne Ellington made seven 3-pointers for Memphis in a win over Miami on Nov. 11. He’s 3 for 21 from beyond the arc since, entering Friday.

— Raymond Felton had a season-high 27 points, and tied a career-high with six 3-pointers in the Knicks’ win Thursday.

“Never seen anything like this,” Bosh said of how opponents have at times scored at will against Miami. “And I’ve played on some bad defensive teams. We’re not one.”

The most troubling defensive stat of all for the Heat is likely this: Miami entered Friday 23rd in points allowed per game, after finishing fourth in the league in that stat last season. The Heat have allowed the third-highest number of 3-pointers in the NBA so far, nothing new after giving up the second-most makes from beyond the arc a season ago.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra often speaks of habits and the human condition, and he was asked Friday if Miami’s struggles are simply because the team knows the playoffs are still four months away.

“If that is a reality, then that is a major problem,” Spoelstra said. “But we have an opportunity to correct it, you know, right now. If it goes too long, what it becomes is a tendency. Goes longer than that, it becomes a habit. If it continues, by the time you get to the playoffs, that’s who you are. So that’s what we’re going to change right now.”

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