The Miami Heat just lost another tough game away from home as they ended their two-game trip in Philadelphia with their first back-to-back losses this season. After forcing OT in their previous game against the Sixers, the Heat seemed to have lost steam on Thursday after they dropped a 125-108 loss against Philly. They’re now 4-6 after the first 10 games of the 2020-21 NBA season.
A depleted Miami line-up had no answers for a Sixers unit that has previously dealt with its own issues with missing players. After the game, head coach Erik Spoelstra immediately shrugged off any potential question about his team’s fatigue and conditioning a month into this season.
“I don’t want to hear anybody say anything about fatigue or anything like that,” Spoelstra said to open his post-game presser (via Miami Herald). “Our guys were fine. They felt fine. Philly just outplayed us tonight.”
For the second game in a row, the Heat were shorthanded on Thursday after COVID-19 protocols forced them to play with just eight players. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, and Kendrick Nunn were just four out of the eight players all unavailable again for Thursday’s gamer against the Sixers.
Adding to the fact that this Heat squad only had two and half months off after their incredible playoff run inside the NBA bubble last season, COVID-19 has made things particularly challenging for them so far. With injuries and health and safety protocols, the Heat have gone with their next-man-up mentality, which they previously found success with during their 2019-20 campaign. This year though, it’s been rough for Miami as they find themselves at the bottom half of the Eastern Conference early into the new season.