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Pat Riley said after the Suns game that the honeymoon was over, and the effort he is seeing from his team now is completely different from the type of effort he saw during the first road trip he coached this season.
That's just one of the Heat's issues right now...

--The Hornets and Suns basically put two guys on Shaq and zoned the rest of the floor, and the Heat hasn't found an answer to it. Last year, the Trail Blazers did a great job of that against the Heat, so expect some more of it Sunday night. Unlike last year, the Heat hasn't been making teams pay for doing that. It didn't help that the starting backcourt was out against the Suns, but the Heat can't just put all the pressure on Udonis Haslem to make that mid-range jumper. Riley's got to find a better counter to that defense.

--Small guards are killing the Heat. None of these guys can really guard the smaller, quicker guys off the dribble, and it creates a matchup nightmare for the Heat.

--Jason Williams will constantly be in and out of the lineup if he doesn't give right knee some serious rest. And by serious, I'm talking about a month. Tendinitis isn't just going to go away.
And with Williams out, Gerald Fitch becomes the backup point guard, so look for Riley to get his hands on a veteran point guard of some sort (Travis Best is in Russia somewhere).

--Riley's starting to get annoyed with his team, and that doesn't bode well for them. Riles is just starting to get back into his long practice routine, and you never know how guys will respond to that.

If things don't improve soon, look for Riley to make some tweaks to his lineup, whether through personnel changes or changes in the rotation.




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