Notes on a Monday, updated after the Heat game and with additional info, at 10 p.m., on UM oral commitment Brad Kaaya:
### Frustration is growing after another unacceptable Heat defensive effort in Monday's 121-114 loss at Atlanta. Miami allowed 71 points in the first half and gave up at least 120 points for the second time this season.
"A through Z, there wasn't a lot of pride on that side of the court," Erik Spoelstra said. "It's about the habits and commitment on that side of the court. We have to decide where we want to go defensively. We have to defend the way we're capable of, where it's five guys committed."
The Heat went 2-4 on this road trip (with a detour home after two games) and allowed 64 points, on average, in the past four first halves.
"I can't just pinpoint what it is," LeBron James said of the defense. "It's a little bit of everything. At some point, we have to figure it out. It's not good basketball right now. We didn't have the effort for 48 minutes."
Troubling: The Hawks shot 52 percent against a Heat team that ranks 20th in field goal percentage against.
"We have to stop talking about it and get it done," Chris Bosh said. "You're not going to have the necessary intensity it takes every game every season. But you want to have it as much as possible. We have to correct our mistakes and be men.... Defensively, we're not ready to play."
So the Heat --- which played without Dwyane Wade tonight --- reaches the halfway point at 29-12. Miami was 28-13 at the midway point last season, then enjoyed a second half that featured a 27-game winning streak.
An Atlanta reporter asked Bosh if it's time for the Heat to panic. "Why would we be panicked?" he said. "We're second place in the East. If you're panicked, you're an idiot."
Is the team tired? "It's January - everybody's exhausted," Bosh said. "It's not an excuse. You have to bring the energy necessary."
### The Heat, which went 11-2 without Wade last season, is 5-6 without him this season.
### This was only the second game in Heat history in which both teams scored at least 70 points in the first half. (The other was in 1990 against Boston.) Miami trailed 71-70 at intermission on Monday.
### The Heat is winning fewer blowouts this season, and this illustrates it: Last year, the Heat had four players in the top nine in the NBA in plus/minus, with James ranking No. 1. The Heat outscored teams by 720 with James in the game.
This season, the Heat has nobody in the top 10. Bosh is 15th (plus 242), James 30th and Dwyane Wade 41st.
Every Heat player has a positive plus/minus except Udonis Haslem, who’s a dreadful -114. In the second half Monday, Spoelstra again opted for Haslem over Michael Beasley, who played just three minutes overall.
Toney Douglas, acquired from Golden State last week, remains back in South Florida working out. Douglas, by the way, had a minus-80 plus/minus with the Warriors this season.
### UM helped itself this past weekend with key oral commitment Brad Kaaya, who’s such a priority that Al Golden visited with him last Thursday in California, even though he knew he would see him over the weekend in Coral Gables.
“Miami official visit went great,” Kaaya tweeted today. “Got to meet president Shalala. Very compassionate individual.”
Later in the day, he told CaneInsight.com: “I’m all set. I’m still visiting Boise State just because I feel like I’ve earned the right to do that and take these free trips that they give you, but I’m set with Miami. The coaches and everything about this team are the perfect fit. There’s not a better setup for myself than Miami....
“For me, there couldn’t be more of a perfect picture set for me. They will give me the chance to compete for a national title and go into a situation where everything isn’t biscuits and gravy like Alabama or these SEC schools that are winning championship after championship. Just going into it with this staff is a great opportunity for me and there’s no other place I’d rather work for it at than Miami.”
Georgia-based tight end Christopher Herndon, a UM oral commitment, told Canesport.com that Kaaya “said he’s fully committed, isn’t thinking about anywhere else.”
Meanwhile, Kaaya’s high-school teammate, 6-5 receiver Brayden Lenius, will visit UM Jan. 31 and also is considering Washington State and Minnesota. He told Rivals.com that the three schools are “pretty even” but then said that having Kaaya committed gives UM a “little bit of an edge.”
Kaaya told Caneinsight.com: "He tells me all the time that he wants to play with me at the next level and that’s the biggest thing for him. He said if I’m at Miami then he wants to be at Miami.”
### Four-star safety Arrion Springs reportedly was the only player who wasn’t a UM oral commitment that visited UM's campus over the weekend. He’s considered a solid Oregon commitment.
### We mentioned last week that UM sees South Dade three-star receiver Tyre Brady as a faster version of Allen Hurns. He told Canesport.com today that UM coaches “are going to use me on kick returns, as a deep threat, like Allen Hurns.”
### It’s a big week for departing UM quarterback Stephen Morris, who’s trying to raise his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. Here’s how ESPN.com’s Scouts Inc. (Todd McShay and others) rated him:
Positives: Quick release. NFL arm. Can squeeze ball into tight windows down the field. Can drive ball vertically. When healthy, shows escapability in pocket and above-average mobility. Resilient. Mentally and physically tough. Can throw accurately on the run to both sides. Hard worker.
Negatives: Lean frame. Durability issues. Inconsistent accuracy. Doesn't always sense backside pressure. Takes too many chances downfield. Too many turnovers.
ESPN says “Morris needs to show more consistency with footwork and ball placement as a passer.”