Should Heat hit the panic button?

Examining what's caused Miami's recent slide and whether it can bounce back

Updated: March 14, 2014, 11:46 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

LeBron JamesAP Photo/Frank Franklin IILeBron James and the Miami Heat have lost four of their past five games.

Sound the sirens: The Miami Heat have lost four of their past five games.

Entering Friday's action against the reeling Denver Nuggets, the two-time defending champs have dropped games against the Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets, with their only win coming at home against the Washington Wizards. It's the first time the Heat have lost four of five since this time three years ago in the Big Three's first season together.

Time to press the panic button?

With two games back in the loss column behind the Indiana Pacers, let's dig in and diagnose the Heat's ills before the ides of March.

1. Getting crunched in crunch time

That's three last-minute losses in a row for the Heat, which would have sparked a global meltdown if this were still 2011. But looking at this season on the whole, the Heat haven't been their normal selves in crunch time, certainly not as stomp-on-your-throat dominant as they were at this time last season. All in all, the Heat have gone just 12-10 in one-possession games in the final minute, according to NBA.com.