A wise man once said: “You get what you deserve.”
In the case of the Miami Heat, a lackluster performance despite the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo for the majority of the game was worthy of a Game 4 loss.
Dropping their undefeated record in the postseason, Miami simply just didn’t come to play Sunday. Blame it on whatever you desire, the mentality and desire to win from the previous three games wasn’t there, and the Milwaukee Bucks used that to fuel its engine.
“We didn’t play with the same intensity we had in previous games,” Jae Crowder said postgame.
“We gotta come with a different mindset, different mentality, starting Game 5, and play with that mentality for the entire 48 minutes,” Crowder continued. “It’s that simple.”
While this loss won’t likely affect their attempt at advance into the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s definitely one that stings and puts the entire organization on their toes.
That’s exactly what the Heat needed.
You see, heading into the playoffs, Miami’s last seven-game winning streak came in the midway point of the 2017-18 season. To put that into easier terms, Tyler Johnson was taking control of the shooting guard spot.
Now, what exactly does that have to do with Miami’s current chase for a championship at Disney World? A lot more than expected.
Sometimes losing games are necessary into a teams development and for the better of an individual. With guys like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson getting their first taste of playoff basketball and Jimmy Butler the focal point for delivering success, coach Erik Spoelstra’s group of guys found out how difficult it is to take down a No. 1 seed.
Being part of a Heat culture that advocates improving from mistakes through taking responsibility, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll see a change like no other.
On occasions like these, Miami benefits from their hunger to bounce-back. And when your future best-of-seven series will be against two teams with multiple trips to the Conference Finals on their resume, that type of desire is needed.
It’s time to take care of business.