Turd Quarter Strikes Again: Jazz Pummel Miami 101-92

Recap6 years ago4 min readPhilip Straus

Some things never change. The third (otherwise know as the turd) quarter once again proved to be the difference for the HEAT, who got blown away by a hobbled Utah Jazz team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Few things are more predictable in basketball than Miami struggling to put the ball in the basket to start the second half, but Saturday’s game was especially excruciating to watch. At one point, the HEAT were 2-for-17 from the field, with their only scores coming courtesy of Josh McRoberts.

Miami would wound up falling by a final score of 101-92, though this does not accurately reflect just how ugly things got at times.

Granted, the HEAT were playing without starting point guard Goran Dragic, but Saturday night’s performance was nothing new for a team that seems to constantly lose all momentum coming out of halftime.

So far this season, the HEAT have only managed to score more than 45 points twice after the break. Most fans expected the team to struggle on the offensive side of the ball, and unsurprisingly, Miami ranks 28th in the league in both third and fourth quarter scoring.

The HEAT struggled to score the ball early on, putting up only nine points through the first 9:55 of the game, but they managed to come back and score 35 points over the next 14:05.

However, after knotting the game up at 47 apiece, Miami went on one of its patented scoring droughts, watching the Jazz go on a 15-0 run that spanned the end of the second and start of the third quarters, effectively ending the game.

Although this game is one that most fans will want to forget about as quickly as possible, there were some positive takeaways to be had.

Exactly a year after Josh Richardson scored his first NBA basket (also against the Jazz), rookie Rodney McGruder had his best game thus far in his short-lived NBA career. He wound up scoring 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including 3-for-4 from deep.

After leading the team in preseason minutes, Derrick Williams also played in his first meaningful game for the HEAT, putting up 11 points and four boards. James Johnson also had a nice offensive game with 15 points and four assists. The combination of Williams, McGruder and James Johnson shot a combined 16-for-21 from the field, while the rest of the team went 22-for-60.

Some Worrying Signs

• Justise Winslow shot the ball poorly once again, finishing the night 5-for-13 from the field with several missed attempts at or near the rim. For the season, Winslow is shooting just 35.7 percent on shots within three feet of the rim, and 33.3 percent overall from the field. To be fair, the HEAT need Winslow to continue being aggressive, and fans have to be patient as the sophomore forward grows into his new role with the team.

• Hassan Whiteside put up 15 points and 12 boards for yet another double-double, but beyond that, he had a relatively lackluster night. He shot just 6-for-13 from the field, and at one point was benched in place of McRoberts in the third quarter. The Jazz entered the game averaging only 39.5 points per game in the paint, but far surpassed their total with 52 on the night. All was not lost, however, as Whiteside at least added another cuff block to his highlight repertoire while also tallying two “Hassists” on the night.

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• McRoberts played 13 minutes in his season-debut, tallying four points, one assist, and one pointless-but-entertaining through the legs pass. He also didn’t do much to make amends with HEAT Twitter, as his first two notable plays were an airball from twelve feet, then a travel after surprising absolutely nobody with a deep shot fake.

• Luke Babbit played the first five minutes of the contest, missing his first three shots from downtown. After that, he was benched by Spo and never again saw the court.

• The HEAT shot just 10-for-19 from the free throw line, a worrying sign for a team that now ranks second-to-last in the league shooting 68.5 percent from the charity stripe. With a tough back-to-back series at San Antonio then back home versus Atlanta coming up, Miami has to find a way to help out its lackluster offense with some free points at the line.