What the Miami Heat had here was a failure to communicate.

At least that's what the Heat hope amid this 2-3 start, that such concerns have moved into the past tense, after a team meeting prior to Sunday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"Every season is different," guard Goran Dragic said. "Every season, it's not like we expected to have immediately that chemistry like we finished the season."

So the players hashed it out in real and raw terms.

"We had our discussions this morning," forward James Johnson said. "We aired it out this morning. A lot of people took heat. I think it was the best thing for us to do, even more important than film. That's what this culture is about, that's what we're about — staring guys in the eyes, telling guys the truth and that's how you show you really love somebody."

So they shared the love, in a somewhat visceral manner.

"We made a great step in the right direction today," forward Justise Winslow said, with last season's 11-30 start a haunting memory. "I mean it's a concern of ours, but it's not the end of the world."

What Johnson said can't happen is maintaining an ongoing Hassan Whiteside Watch, with the center having missed the past four games with a bone bruise on his left knee.

"We're going to keep fighting through it and figure out ways to win without him, because you never know, it's a long season. You never know ... he might be out the rest of the season or he could be out a couple more games," he said, exaggerating the possibilities as a way of making his point. "But we need to figure it out now."

Coach Erik Spoelstra said Whiteside was limited to non-contact work Sunday, terming him "very doubtful" for Monday's game against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, the fifth game on this season-longest six-game homestand.