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Josh Richardson says Heat ‘must start looking in the mirror’ after dropping to 5-8

Josh Richardson, Heat

The Miami Heat have gotten off to a slow 5-8 start to the season, and their recent decision to pull back 3-and-D up-and-coming star Josh Richardson could be costing them at the moment, after the Philadelphia 76ers nabbed Jimmy Butler over the weekend in a trade.

The Heat pulled Richardson from trade talks after a rousing start to the season, and now as the rising star of this roster, he has taken on the leadership mantle — quickly seeing the need to take action.

“It’s definitely time to start looking in the mirror,” said Richardson after a 124-114 loss to the Butler-less Sixers, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “It shouldn’t have gotten to this point, but it’s definitely time to start cracking down and problem solving.”

Teams have escaped deeper holes than a 5-8 start — most memorably an 11-30 start two seasons ago that saw them finish the second half of their campaign at 30-11, pulling to an even 41-41 record in 2016-17 but missing the playoffs by a mere tiebreaker.

“There’s definitely a sense of urgency,” said center Hassan Whiteside. “Let’s go and try to get two away wins and just keep moving from there. I think that’s what it’s all about.”

The Heat started the season strong with a 3-2 record, but they have now lost six of their last eight games, including three in a row at home, which started raising questions around the locker room.

Miami will have a chance to rebound from this tough stint on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets, hoping it’s the start of a turnaround.