Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Miami has split the first four games of a six games in nine days swing that has taken them around the country and back.
The NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, so two tough losses at Memphis (104-86) and at the Clippers (107-100) isn't necessarily the end of the world.
However, the success bigger teams have had attacking the Heat's new small-ball line-up is something worth tracking as the year goes on.
Miami went ultra-small, with a front-court of Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Shane Battier, in the NBA Finals, but that was against a Thunder team without the personnel upfront to attack the Heat defenders.
The Grizzlies, with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and the Clippers, with Blake Griffin, in contrast, have the ability to score from the low block with an All-Star PF. Shane Battier may have been able to guard Kendrick Perkins, but asking him to man up Randolph and Griffin is pushing it.
The Heat close out their brutal Western Conference road swing with games at Denver and Phoenix, neither of whom have a great scoring front-court, so even if they can come back to Miami at 8-3, there are still questions that need to be answered about this team.