3 players most to blame for the Heat’s disappointing 1-4 start

The Miami Heat are on the struggle bus. These players in particular need to step up.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Kyle Lowry

A brief glance at Kyle Lowry's shooting numbers — .440/.421 — and you'd be inclined to think 'huh, not bad.' The problem is volume. Lowry has been forced back into starting point guard duties without Gabe Vincent and he's mostly floating out there. He simply doesn't shoot enough, or provide enough dynamism off the dribble at this point in his career, to consistently impact winning.

It's early, but Lowry has played five games and 154 minutes. He hasn't attempted a single free throw. He doesn't pressure the rim. He averages 3.8 attempts from 3-point range in 30.8 minutes per game, well below the 5.6 he averaged last season in fourth-tenths of a minute more per game. His assist numbers are down (4.2 compared to 5.1 last season). His turnovers (1.8 to 1.9) are roughly the same.

In short, Lowry simply isn't doing enough out there. He's a 6-foot guard who, at 37 years old, can only get so far on veteran savvy. He's exploitable on defense and mostly ignored on offense. Lowry still has the strength to punch above his weight class defensively, but he has lost a step laterally and he's not a player Miami can rely on for stops.

The Heat will hope Lowry's 3-point volume spikes in the right direction. At this point, his best path back to relevance is a real bomber mentality beyond the arc. He's still a perfectly adequate set-up man who no doubt possesses the basketball I.Q. to please a coach, but it's hard to influence the game offensively if defenses don't perceive you as a scoring threat. Lowry is a player defenses can comfortably write off at the moment.

The Heat are not getting enough from their starting point guard, plain and simple.