It’s not quite time to panic for the Miami Heat, but their rope is running short.
In the midst of a four-team battle for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, Miami have gone limp.
Since March 22, they are a mere 3-8 and have dropped five of their last six.
Miami lost another opportunity to get into the playoff picture by blowing a 19-point halftime lead to lose 89-78 to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
After the Heat headed into the intermission up 51-32, Chicago outscored them 33-8 in the pivotal third quarter and held them to 27 points total for the second half.
“We’re all frustrated,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re all embarrassed when you’re in those situations and you can’t stop an avalanche like that.”
Spo: “The only thing you can do is stay together and keep on working. Keep on working until you get the result you want.”
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 10, 2015
At the moment, Miami are on the outside looking in with Brooklyn and Boston holding the final two seeds. With three games remaining – at home to Toronto and Orlando and away to Philadephia – the Heat can still change their fortunes.
“You just keep coming back until they tell you your season is over,” guard Dwyane Wade said. “This team has been through a lot.
“A loss, a bad 24 minutes, that’s not going to deter us from coming back and doing our job.”
The franchise committed to their playoff push at the trade deadline when they traded four players and two future first-rounders for guard Goran Dragic.
Just days later, however, star big Chris Bosh was ruled out for the season with blood clots on his lung, delivering a huge blow to Miami’s short-term outlook.
The last time the Heat missed the playoffs was the 2007-08 season.
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