Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Thunder

The Heat walked into this game against OKC without 4 starters in Lowry, Herro, Adebayo, and Martin.

The margin for error was slim, but Jimmy Butler was willing them offensively to a reasonable point. Then closes it off with the game winning bucket.

Some takeaways…

#1: The Dewayne Dedmon situation…

I’ve sat here in many post-game pieces discussing “Dewayne Dedmon situations. But well, I’d say this one was a bit different. Let me start at the necessary point: the Heat were getting absolutely cooked in the 2-3 zone after he entered. The Thunder’s offense was as simple as sending a free-lancer baseline every play, as Dedmon and the guy on the box turned to each other in confusion. Sitting a few rows up watching, I wasn’t as confused, the problem was evident. Shortly after, Erik Spoelstra and Dedmon got into a heated discussion on the Heat bench before he stormed off toward the locker room. On his way, a flying massage gun hit the court. Dedmon punched it off the table in anger, leading to an ejection. On-court problems bleeding into…

#2: Jimmy Butler’s game-plan was evident pregame, and he executed immediately.

As I put my PrizePicks slate on Twitter before the game, there was one pick I mentioned made too much sense: Jimmy Butler’s free throws. Set at 6.5, he ended up with 14 in the first half alone. This wasn’t just a coincidence, it made too much sense heading into this setting without much of the roster. Butler was going to just attack the weak-spots of this Thunder defense, and he did that time and time again. Getting defenders up in the air and throwing himself into them at the rim. And let’s be honest, the ending to that last Heat game with the non-call made this even more likely that he would get a decently friendly whistle. He showed some early activity defensively, and got to the line a bunch: the two elements of a locked in Butler. When the threes start flying, you know it’s a laid back version. But this really kick-started the offense.

#3: Max Strus’ early rim attempts lead him right back to his game.

As we talk game-plans early in this game, Max Strus was the other guy with a clear focus tonight. Yes, he’s the shooter on this team, but the lack of creators meant he would have to shift the defense just enough to allow him decent looks. That shift came in the form of rim attempts to begin the game. Not the usual forced pick and rolls either. They were more timed pump-fakes and attacks to get into his favorite crossing scoop lay-up. Once that connected and got to the line, he was perfectly setting himself up. Now he began letting Butler and Oladipo do all the work, flooding in the catch and shoot stuff shortly after. Many players were given individual benchmarks to hit tonight, and that was Strus’.

#4: The offense wasn’t pretty.

As much as I talk about some of the Heat’s individual performances tonight, it should be noted the offensive structure wasn’t pretty. Why would it be? Missing three of your primary initiators is never a good blueprint, meaning more guys having to do more things. (Including more screening for wing players, leading to the offensive foul surge) But as for Victor Oladipo, his offensive layout almost always felt like a bail-out bucket. He came up big at times in the first half one all else failed, leading into tough buckets at all three levels. Butler having 20 free throws through 3 quarters is also a good representation of the offense not being “pretty.” As I said before, the moving screens was a momentum killer for a large stretch of that third quarter, and we saw the whistle really slip sides for giant chunks of time. After Dedmon’s ejection, Orlando Robinson was the sole big available and he was having foul trouble. Cain/Highsmith at the five, yeah, there were offensive limitations.

#5: The fourth…

Eight minutes to go, down 5, the offense is slipping, and Erik Spoelstra struts down the bench to tell Butler to walk to the scorers table to enter. Simultaneously, Oladipo throws an awful pass for a turnover, then absolutely hunts it down for the cleanest steal. Clear path foul. Two free throws and a giant and-1 triple from Gabe Vincent later, the Heat were up 1. The Heat answered shortly after with an inbound to Butler for the dunk, as the run was cemented by an Oladipo attack and kick-out to Jamal Cain in the corner for three. Heat up 4. The Thunder answered with a run of their own due to the Heat becoming stagnant offensively for a short stretch. Back at a tie game. A Shai Gilgeous Alexander step back triple put Miami right back on the ropes, as the search for offense wasn’t looking too clean. As the Heat trailed by 5, they finally got a stop with 50 seconds left, playing into the open floor. Oladipo steps comfortably into a transition triple and nails it. 2 point game. The Thunder got a quick whistle on a turnaround that Spoelstra immediately challenged, which ended up being unsuccessful. He goes 0 for 2, the ball is loose, Oladipo swipes it and goes. Butler gets it in the low post, and-1. Ball game.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Nets

The Miami Heat were in a back and forth against the Brooklyn Nets tonight.

Here are some takeaways…

#1: Let’s quickly talk match-ups…

As the Nets got set into their defensive stance following the tip-off, a bunch of things caught my eye. Ben Simmons on Bam Adebayo, Nic Claxton on Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant on Tyler Herro. For starters, that’s a lot of defensive length against a Heat team that is far from effective against size. Simmons on Bam just meant they could switch any pick and roll Miami ran, while Herro was going to see a lengthy defender no matter what. That forced Herro into an awkward state early since he couldn’t get to his usual spots off screens, but he found some off-ball pockets and early clock looks. He got comfortable even further early in the fourth, as his shot making found an uptick. The Heat obviously were fine on the offensive end as they were efficient and scored well, but the length match-up is still something to keep an eye on. The Victor Oladipo card makes it easier, since he’s not hugely impacted on either end.

#2: Heat’s first half wasn’t the typical: matching buckets with this Nets team is never the blueprint.

When we’ve seen two point games at half throughout the season in Heat game, it’s usually 46-44, not 66-64. The Heat’s defense will come to play in an ugly, “in the mud” match-up, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were doing their usual isolation work that a defensive scheme can’t really counter, but very good offense would be a fine counter. The Heat were spreading the ball around well, generating paint touches, and shot 44% from three in that first half. It’s never the idea to go out and match elite shot makers that the Nets possess, but the Heat were doing it in their own right. An interesting thing to monitor. (A much more entertaining style.)

#3: Role player watch for the Heat.

When it comes to discussing Heat role players in this game, Haywood Highsmith would be a good place to start. He came out guarding Durant on the defensive end, and while Duran’t effectiveness may not reflect it, he was battling in a very good way to make it more difficult on the catch in the mid-range. He also had some bail-out buckets to begin this game with some direct drives to the rim. The bench was a huge positive as well, since they shot 8 of 11 from the field in that first half. I don’t want to include Victor Olaidpo in the “role players” section too much, but he really settled that group running the offense. Lastly, Orlando Robinson was a +14. Yes, that is new.

#4: Jimmy Butler bringing the usual fire.

As I said earlier, the ball wasn’t sticking for this Heat team tonight. The usage was being spread out pretty well, as the Heat were just taking advantages of the openings in front of them. With that said, Jimmy Butler was the one constant to the offense throughout this game. The hard drives, the activity on help defense to throw Durant and Irving off single coverage since he wasn’t the actual match-up, and continued trips to the line. He wasn’t dominating the ball in a noticeable way, but he was just keeping the energy high and reading  certain pockets of the game. In the third quarter, he stole it from Durant, dove out of bounds for the save, got up and got fouled eventually at the rim. That’s something others can feed off of.

#5: The fourth quarter run…

As the back and forth in scoring continued, the Nets hit a bit of a weird wall with Durant getting injured and going to the locker room. As he was no longer on the floor, and Ben Simmons took a breather, the Nets defensive length diminished all of a sudden. Hence, the early fourth quarter run from Herro. He kept sliding into off-ball pockets which led into some on-ball pull-ups in the mid-range. The Nets counter-punched without Durant, finding their offense behind Irving drawing doubles, and triples, then dishing to their solid role players. Bam Adebayo was not having his best night, as Robinson checked in for him with 5 minutes to go…which was interesting, until realizing the hand was bothering him. Two minutes left, Heat trailed by 3, Robinson received it in the middle of the floor, kept it high, threw a risky pass to the dunker spot for the Butler dunk. Miami gets a stop the very next play, and Oladipo bombs it to Butler who catches and finishes. Heat now up 1. Now down to 15 seconds left, Irving misses a deep shot, Nets get an offensive board for the tip-in. Nets up 1. Heat get a great look on the end with a Butler drive, but don’t get the call. Heat lose.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Suns

The Miami Heat wrapped up the 5 game road trip in Phoenix on Friday night, improving to 3-2 on the trip.

When looking at it from that perspective, that’s a good trip.

Victor Oladipo and Bam Adebayo lead the way tonight, so here are some takeaways….

#1: No Tyler Herro means an altered offensive focus for Heat.

As Tyler Herro was an active scratch with back spasms, it means you have to make a pretty decent sized adjustment to your offensive gameplan. Not only is he high usage, but he’s a primary offensive trigger. With his absence, it basically meant Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would be the only two half-court hubs for the offense. We saw them get it to Bam in those spots early, which I will discuss next, but Butler was doing the same off low post cross screens into mismatch hunting on any of the Suns smaller guards. That game-plan seems rather simple, but the bigger point that I mentioned to begin this game: this team couldn’t afford to play a second without at least one of them on the floor. Not only are they primary hubs, they’re the only hubs.

#2: Bam Adebayo making it look easy, because it’s gotten so simple.

As much as I discuss the Heat’s gameplan in the half-court to begin this game, it really wasn’t complex when it came to Bam Adebayo. He was being fed early in this game, going 6 of 9 from the field in the first half. It began at the elbow, as a set like Horns would be run, which ultimately flowed into Bam turning into face-up position before going to work. That free throw/dotted line jumper just continues to feel like money every time it leaves his hand with some rhythm. Seeing the Heat run isos for Bam consistently says a lot about where he is as a scorer. The other point to make about his early disposition aside from face-ups, included a heavy dosage of short roll stuff. It’s honestly tougher without Herro since he feeds him so often in that pocket, but he was still able to do some damage there too. It looks easy for him, but that’s because his options have been simplified.

#3: Dewayne Dedmon minutes again.

Before this game, Erik Spoelstra made some comments that seemed to hint at the team going in the Orlando Robinson direction for a stretch with Dewayne Dedmon continuing to recover, and that theory lasted a total of 42 seconds. Dedmon got the backup big spot yet again tonight, but it should also be noted that this role is as limited at it possibly can be. The Heat went to an 8 man rotation in this one, as Dedmon only played 6 minutes in the first half. Now I won’t act like those aren’t a *long* six minutes to monitor, but it just shows the heavy reliance on Bam at this stage and non-trust in those minutes. I’m still of the belief that Robinson should 100% be in that role at the moment, especially in a matchup like tonight. Not that Robinson is a reliable big man defender, but Chris Paul vs Dedmon in drop coverage can make 6 minutes feel like a basketball eternity.

#4: Hmmm, Torrey Craig is interesting…

When we often look around the league at possible 4’s to keep on the Heat’s radar, Torrey Craig is an interesting one. He played a very good game against Miami tonight, pretty much showing one of the pieces the Heat could very much utilize. To put it into even more context, we watched Haywood Highsmith tonight get the start next to Bam, and he had a bit of a rough one. Craig was extremely efficiency, hits spot-up triples, can play off the dribble at times in that in-between game, can rebound well for his size, and defends multiple positions. With the Suns already down one power forward, why would they trade another? But in terms of those packages with multiple players, Craig would be a fantastic add if they had the chance.

#5: Victor Oladipo has found his burst as of late, but is he adding in the perfect combo?

Victor Oladipo has been high usage over this road trip, but more specifically tonight due to Herro being out. His burst has been the highlight of his game over the last few weeks, since we haven’t seen this since his Indiana days. But that burst doesn’t mean much if the result isn’t equating to the moves. Yet that hasn’t been the case. His finishing has been solid, since he just loves that right slot when he gets the correct angle when that strong side help doesn’t slide down. Aside from that finishing, he got to the line a ton tonight. What’s the perfect sidekick to that revived burst? Free throw line antics. If he can find that balance of rim pressure and trips to the line, that’s all this Heat team needs if their offensive style ever gets back to that ideal state. Balancing that with some form of shooting is the goal, which they will try and fix at the deadline, I’m assuming.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Lakers

The Miami Heat played the LeBron and AD-less Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, and the Heat played like they were facing a weaker roster.

Issues can be discussed from different angles, but this game was lost at the point of attack defense plain and simple.

Some takeaways from this one…

#1: The Heat’s early lack of intention on both ends.

When the Lakers injury report was submitted late Wednesday afternoon, that was probably the moment when the Heat put their guard down. As LeBron James was ruled out, that’s usually the moment when teams play down to competition, especially when looking at this Lakers roster tonight. Yet Russel Westbrook and company came out firing, as the Heat were sleep walking on both ends. No intention on the offensive end in terms of getting into actions, as well as the shooting just not clicking for Miami yet again. The Lakers flurry of role players were also bursting past the Heat’s point of attack defense consistently, and rotations just seemed to be off. Just a very underwhelming first half to this game for the Heat, on a night where they needed to just take care of business from the jump.

#2: Tyler Herro seeing a similar coverage to the Hawks series.

We often look back to the playoffs last year when discussing coverages that Tyler Herro has seen at the highest level. We usually go to that Philly series, since that’s when he saw consistent doubles and blitzes off every pick and roll, placing him out of his rhythm. But the Hawks series was a different scenario. The Hawks plan was to place Delon Wright on Herro for every second of every game, and his one job was to not leave his side. That’s what the Lakers were doing from baseline to baseline tonight, mostly with Dennis Schroder actually. I honestly believe the blitzes will be an easier coverage for him to beat at this stage. This one-on-one, annoying box and one type of vibe seems to take him out of his usual comfort spots. It’ll be interesting to monitor the counters to this matchup type.

#3: Reacting over predetermining: a Heat offensive need.

As much as I talked about the Heat’s struggles, they were only down four at halftime. Once again, that’s not something to be proud of against this roster, but it showed they had to be doing at least “one” thing right. That was specifically reacting to the Lakers defense instead of predetermining their shot profile. The example of that was a certain Heat run in the second quarter, where it started with a switch and Bam seal, leading into an entry pass and post hook. The next play, they got a switch again, this time with Thomas Bryant onto Victor Oladipo. He slowly waited, then flowed into his pull-up from that left wing over the big man. That is reacting to what a not-so-good defense is giving you, instead of pressing too much. At times the Heat seem to make things too difficult on themselves, when the easier approach is sitting right there. But either way, this takes up back to the word of the season for Miami: consistency, or lack-of for better context.

#4: Jimmy Butler finding a third quarter advantage.

To start the second half, the Heat came out with a gameplan surrounded around Jimmy Butler in the half-court. Butler was being guarded by Pat Bev, meaning he just kept getting down to that bottom box and going to work. Post spin, over the top lob, jumper over the top. If you know Butler, you know he loves nothing more than going one-on-one with a smaller defender. He started the third with 4 straight field goals. After a timeout, the Lakers threw their counter punch. They were just going to begin peeling over that second defender early. Now Butler got into his dump off bag with Bam Adebayo settling around the basket for easy push shots and dunks. The Heat finally found a base. Shortly after, the Lakers made another adjustment to stop giving Butler guard looks, throwing guys like Tuscano-Anderson at him instead. Either way, it’s clear Butler has an on/off switch he can flip whenever he chooses offensively.

#5: Breaking down Heat-Lakers clutch time…

Under five minutes to go, the Lakers were up by 2 on the Heat. The Lakers continued to put Herro in the action possession after possession, leading to more Bam attention and a bucket inside for Thomas Bryant. Bam answers on the other end with a short clock with that face up jumper, but a response kept occurring on the other end in similar fashion, as the Heat’s first line defense couldn’t contain to any degree. After the Heat fouled Schroder on a three with over two minutes to go, that felt like the final straw, but Butler answered with a right wing three to put it back at a three point game. Fast forward to a minute left, Bam got a put-back to fall putting it back at a 1 point game, but like I said, we kept seeing them answer. Schroder got an immediate paint touch and got to the line. 3 point game again. A reviewed foul call eventually put Oladipo at the line, which he went 1 for 2. The Lakers response included another Schroder burst past Caleb Martin for the lay-in. Sensing a theme? The Heat lost this game simply off point of attack defense. The Lakers offense was surging, and three point shooting wasn’t even a part of their success. They were just walking into the paint with ease all night. Down to 15 seconds left, the Heat fouled Westbrook who converted an and-1 on the inbound. Ball game? Well Strus ended up hitting a triple on the other end with four seconds left to give some form of hope. 3 seconds left, Heat inbound full court, Butler got a pretty good look that came up short. Arguably the worst loss of the season for Miami…

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Clippers

The Miami Heat had their ups and downs in LA against the Clippers, but they were able to pull it out in the end.

Another massive night for Bam Adebayo, plus major contributions from Victor Oladipo on both ends.

Here are some takeaways from this one…

#1: The Miami Heat’s first half: a preview of what could be.

Before getting into the individual performances in this game, including Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each adding 16 first half points, the Heat’s general flow looked to be at a season high. It was far from one-sided basketball. They were forcing turnovers at a high level on the defensive end, which landed at 8 in the first half, but it was clear they were just feeding off their offensive rhythm. They found a base that they stuck with, but the unselfishness and impact of role players led into a ball movement flurry. Rim pressure from Victor Oladipo, mid-range excellence from Bam Adebayo, and three point land pull-ups from Tyler Herro. That’s a hard formula to guard when they’re all clicking.

#2: Bam Adebayo: the tone setter, the rhythm finder.

Although I touched on the Heat’s early offensive success in a general sense, Bam Adebayo was the main reason for them finding that scoring success. The last time he faced the Clippers back in Miami, they just kept sending doubles at him in that mid-post, as he still glided to 31 points. The adjustment on the Clippers side was to send that double at Jimmy Butler instead. That allowed Bam to have a one-on-one matchup at the elbow every possession, just working his face-up game against Zubac. The jumper was falling, his touch around the rim was there, and well, the aggression was surging. He’s simply a hard player to stop when he enters this mode, and it just opens up the offense to new levels.

#3: Orlando Robinson finding his place.

After talking about Bam’s play, that usually is followed by a complete falloff when he heads to the bench and Dewayne Dedmon enters. The offensive flow stalls out, and the backup big man gets picked on in drop time and time again. Not tonight. One of the main keys to that strong first half was the big time Bam stretch was followed by the team winning the Orlando Robinson minutes. He was an offensive rebounding magnet, and is never afraid to rise backup for quick and easy put-backs. He’s also extremely active in the handoff and screening region, which is constant in a Heat half-court offense. When looking for true promising signs, the recent play of Robinson provides real hope that they indeed do have an option in the front-court to be an innings eater. A good one at that.

#4: Oh yeah, the third quarter trend returns in 2023.

After all I discussed about Miami finding themselves on both ends in that first half, the opposite was showcased to open up the third quarter. They all of a sudden couldn’t generate a string of stops as Paul George found his rhythm in isolation, but the offensive stuff is still the question mark. All the ball movement, creative actions, and extra flow into not being able to buy a bucket. To be honest, I’d have to rewatch many of these possessions to give my full outlook, but on first hand this season, “settling” always seems to be my first description in these instances. Once the Heat see a bunch of shots fall, it always feels like they don’t work as hard to get easier looks. There’s just a level of belief that the same tough shots will continue to fall. Consistency is the primary theme in terms of issues, but the settling on the offensive end is a close second.

#5: Another late-game walkthrough…

After the Heat led by 20 early in this game, they only led 96-95 halfway through the fourth quarter. As the Heat called timeout, I immediately said on Twitter the only way to pull away would be to get Jimmy Butler to create for himself consistently down the stretch, after he had a quiet game. Right out of that timeout, they ran an action for him to catch and attack, getting him to the free throw line. After a few defensive possessions of forcing some turnovers, Herro came to the rescue with a leaning right wing triple late in the shot clock to put them up 6. Then the next possession, a Butler miss led to a big time put-back slam from Adebayo to really give Miami some late energy. After some more back and forth, Oladipo misses a three, the Clippers push, and he finds a way to get in position to draw the charge. Herro feeds off that with a mid-range pull-up out of the high PnR. To really capitalize on the next offensive possession, Herro draws two at the top of the play, zips it to Bam in the middle of the floor, who rises up for the easy dunk. Adebayo just kept coming up big, no matter the circumstance or action ran.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Jazz

The Miami Heat played on the second night of a back to back in Utah on New Years Eve, and pulled away with a win.

Victor Oladipo showcased elite two-way skills, Bam Adebayo scores 32 points, oh and Tyler Herro’s game winner.

Some takeaways from this one…

#1: Victor Oladipo’s early punch on both ends.

As the first quarter comes to a close, the Heat lacked energy. Lacked an identity. Victor Oladipo entered the game, and he provided just that. Heat ran an action that many fans are familiar with, Duncan Robinson slipping a screen initially to create space for the PnR between the ball handler and the big man. That ball-handler happened to be Oladipo. He bursted down the right slot for the tough lay-in. Off the make, he pressured full court, deflecting and stealing the ball leading to the eventual Max Strus lay-in. He followed all that up with a three-point flurry in the second quarter. Catch and shoot looks as the Herro-Oladipo combo just continues to impress.

#2: We know Tyler Herro the scorer. We know Tyler Herro the passer. But how about Tyler Herro out of set actions?

Final possession of the second quarter, as the ball is placed in the hands of Tyler Herro. The entire goal is to get a shot with ideally 0 seconds on the clock, as he tries to time it. They run a variation of Spain PnR, as it’s a Herro-Orlando pick and roll, with Strus rising to the left wing off a ghost screen. Herro takes that extra dribble and step to pressure the defense, then zips it to Strus for the buzzer beater three. I may have just described one single play, but we’ve seen it much more frequently than that. I often harp on the Herro-Bam PnR, which we saw a good amount of tonight, but the more complex actions with multiple things going on fits his style. Moving parts is key for him, since one of his biggest strengths is manipulating off-ball defenders. He knows now that he gets a ton of extra attention at this stage, but now he’s realizing how to truly use it to his advantage.

#3: It’s time to flush three-point reliance…Well, to an extent.

We often hear in post game conversations that the goal for this Heat team is to hit that 40 three bench mark. In a very new age of basketball, it’s almost necessary to keep up with many of these high powered offenses. But the way to get to that baseline needs to be the result of another priority. When I look at guys like Jimmy Butler, Adebayo, Oladipo, and even Herro, they are their best versions following a heavy rim attack diet. Not only does it get them into an individual rhythm, but it shrinks the floor just enough for shooters to follow. Watching Adebayo’s attack, Oladipo’s rim pressure, and Herro’s in-between floater and passing game tonight, it only furthers that point. This team has totally fallen off the map in the three-point region, while also recognizing it can return at any point. But relying on that resurgence will never be the answer. Strong drives, free throw attempts, and rim pressure is the true Miami Heat MVP.

#4: The Heat’s inconsistencies appearing in the third quarter yet again.

When talking about inconsistencies in that third quarter, I could sit here and talk about specific possessions like when Bam had Mike Conley on his back under the basket, and that play resulted in two contested three pointers from Kyle Lowry and Haywood Highsmith. Process is important, but the offense wasn’t the issue again tonight. Back to back nights, this team just couldn’t generate stops on the defensive end for large pockets of time. When looking at specifics, it really comes down to something Erik Spoelstra harped on a few weeks ago: containing the ball. That’s where it all begins. If this team doesn’t pressure that initial creator, you’re betting on weaker defenders in tougher rotations once that initial paint touch is made. It’s something that needs

#4: Late-game discussion: Adebayo, Oladipo, Herro lead way.

Victor Oladipo sits at the top of the key with Kelly Olynyk guarding him 1-on-1. A screen comes and a miscommunication follows, as Oladipo drifts down the lane into a massive and-1 dunk right at the rim over Walker Kessler. That was pretty much a needed spark. The Heat picked up on the defensive end, which began with Oladipo up at the top, as turnovers flowed in. A Herro fast-break 2 into an eventual Oladipo rip and Adebayo and-1 shot in his in-between range looked like Miami found themselves for a large stretch. Fast forward to a bit later with 3 minutes left in the game, the Heat are up by 5. Herro snakes inside after drawing 2, feeds it to Bam in that mid-post, who fires a face-up jumper over his defender to give Miami a 7 point lead. As you would expect, the Jazz cut into that lead a bit, forcing Miami to execute to perfection late. With a 4 point lead with 30 seconds left, it looked like the Heat would dribble it out as long as possible. Herro ended up taking a deep three with 9 seconds left on the shot clock, giving the Jazz a chance on the break. Fast forwarding to late-game, a terrible foul call gives Markannan three free throws to tie. As Herro answers with the game winning three point floater. Happy New Year.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Nuggets

The Heat lose in a back and forth in Denver. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro both played very well, but ultimately couldn’t generate enough stops to walk out of that building with a win.

But here are some takeaways from this one…

#1: The Heat’s first half offense: short jumpers and rough offense.

The Heat struggled to begin this game in the half-court, as the high altitude was clearly a bother. A little past the midway mark of the second quarter, the Heat were shooting 33% from the field, as Jimmy Butler was 1 for 5, Bam Adebayo was 2 for 8, and Tyler Herro was 1 for 6. Miami ended up running off 12 points in the final two minutes of the second quarter to juice up their numbers a bit and give them momentum. At the same time as those Heat stats, the Nuggets were shooting 61% from the field and 53% from three. How was this a game? Well, the Heat had 9 offensive boards to begin the game to the Nuggets 0. They also forced double the amount of turnovers in that first half. So, that was basically the blueprint.

#2: Max Strus providing the necessary spark.

As I just addressed that 12 point run by Miami in the final two minutes stretch before the half, Max Strus had 8 of those points. He got in the lane for a left-handed scoop to get Miami on the board out of the timeout, but the threes flowed in shortly after. A Kyle Lowry pick and roll on the right wing masked a weak-side hammer screen from Adebayo to give Strus a wide open three in the left corner. But the key wasn’t the process, it’s Strus actually finding his way as an efficient shooter again. With the recent rough patch, he has needed moments like this to get him back in a rhythm. And well, he’s still never seen a shot contest in his life, as he will fire over just about any close-out.

#3: Bam Adebayo adjusted back into drop coverage against Nikola Jokic.

If I can present that same question I threw out there earlier, how was Miami in the game early even with all of those one-sided stats? Well, minor adjustments like this one changed the pace. The Heat’s defensive activity really picked up on that second quarter specifically, but that was due to the fact they could double and recover much more freely with Adebayo glued to Nikola Jokic in drop. We saw some switches early, but they settled back in that drop after realizing they needed to mirror the minutes of Jokic with Bam. Now, Jokic did have 7 assists at the half, but that was mostly due to the fact Bam was forcing him into that role. More hand-offs and PnR’s means the Heat’s point of attack defense has to screen navigate. We saw some counter matches in this one, but Bam in drop against elite centers is always the answer. Just go back to the second round series against Joel Embiid and Philly.

#4: The third quarter: the Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro show

Through the first 8 minutes of play in the third quarter, the Heat scored 23 points. All 23 of those points were from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. The Heat changed up the substitution pattern a bit with Jimmy Butler exiting early, meaning a heavy dosage of Herro-Bam PnR. Herro found both his pull-up three and the floater in the in-between game after a tough start to the game. Bam was playing with some real energy as a roller and out of his face-up, as many of his points simply came from getting to the line consistently in Butler fashion. That’s one of the most important elements when watching Bam offensively: just getting a friendly whistle. Anyway, having these two lead the way for a giant chunk of time in this environment is promising.

#5: Fourth quarter summary: Butler’s adjustment to Nuggets forcing a certain switch to Herro ball late to stalling out.

Jimmy Butler was being a menace on the defensive end all night. Getting into his usual free safety antics by hitting passing pockets, but his eventual offensive recognition in this game is what truly stood out. Early in the fourth quarter, Adebayo and Herro went to the bench, so Butler could run with the second unit. In that same sense, DeAndre Jordan was the opposing big in this stretch. Butler recognizing, just kept attacking Jordan in drop coverage as he should. But the reason it stood out was because he played it perfectly. We don’t see Butler floaters too often, but he was spamming it in this period. Jordan exited, Jokic entered. Yet Bam was still on the bench. Shortly after he walked to the scorers table, but that short stint can flip a game, which it did in a sense. Into late-game stuff, the Nuggets were forcing a Kyle Lowry switch onto Aaron Gordon possession after possession, giving them a real offensive base. Now down to the three minute mark, Herro began getting into his bag. Isolation into pull-up. Catch and shoot three. Drawing fouls. He was great, but everything else began falling apart. The offense somewhat stalled, but they just couldn’t generate a stop lat with Jamal Murray surging. Nuggets shooting 59% from both the field and from three just won’t cut it.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Lakers

A rather healthy Heat team, minus Kyle Lowry, faced off at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

A strong night by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo offensively gave the Heat the offensive blueprint on the way to the win.

Some takeaways from this game…

#1: Jimmy Butler carrying the first half offensive shot distribution.

Isolation. An inside the arc burst to either side of the floor. A slow, methodical spin move back to the inside. Bucket. That was a simple way of describing how Jimmy Butler got to 19 first half points. Even after missing time by any means, he usually comes back in similar fashion. But instead of diving in that direction, there is definitely something to be said about the pure 1-on-1 ability of Butler. Simply, teams have shown they don’t really have an answer for that element of his game, nor do they want to display it. Opposing teams won’t send that double too often since they know what will happen next when combining Butler’s passing and Miami’s movement. Anyways, it’s always good to watch this version of Butler on the offensive end.

#2: The continued finger-prints of Victor Oladipo on the defensive end.

When talking about the Heat’s defense, we usually start in two completely different places. Either the point of attack issues, or to praise the defensive excellence of Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Well, Victor Oladipo would like a word in both areas. In terms of one-on-one ability, there aren’t many guards in this league with the natural ability that he possesses. His lateral quickness, even after multiple injuries, is something wild to see. He can cut off any ball-handler just by beating you to the spot. His instincts are also a major part of this, since he makes timely swipes to accumulate steals, as seen in the Eastern Conference Finals against Jaylen Brown. Those instincts blend into off-ball positioning leading into the charge surge. He has been great in that field, and feels necessary to note.

#3: Some X’s and O’s talk: the Heat’s recent spam of a certain action.

In the previous game against the Timberwolves, the Heat spammed one specific action for the final two minutes of the third quarter, which pretty much put them in a position to eventually win the game. Double drag: the Heat’s ball handler will come off a pair of screens, with the first one popping and the second one diving. It’s a simple action to basically spread the floor a bit and possibly force a switch. But we saw it a ton again tonight. It’s really heavy in the Duncan Robinson lineups since he’s always that initial screen to immediately slip, but this set is what got Tyler Herro going finally in that second quarter. That flowed him to the rim a bit more with added paint touches, basically turning into a Herro-Bam PnR, creating a very good shot diet. Like I said, it’s simple, but it’s also crucial.

#4: A change-up in game-plan for the Heat again? Yes.

Speaking of that last game vs Minnesota, I asked Kyle Lowry after the game about the uptick in pace, which he basically said you are forced into game-plan changes without Butler and Adebayo. That would be correct. But what about a game-plan shift when both of them are playing? We saw that tonight. Although Spo always preaches getting to 40 three-point attempts, while the Heat still did get up a bunch tonight, the goal was to have more going at the rim. That ties back to both the Butler and Herro points in this piece. They wanted to attack the Lakers lack of rim protection at the moment, and well, that’s not a hard thing to adjust to when that description fits your two best players exactly. This team simply cannot rely on three-point shooting, even if it gets hot for a month or two. Having this base will always be key.

#5: Wait, is Caleb Martin the three-point specialist now?

It’s been a running joke for a while that Caleb Martin essentially can’t miss when his foot is on the three-point line, and that held up in this game. To finish the third quarter, he had 13 points with three triples, but the only two 2 point field goals were with his foot on that line. So in theory, that should’ve been 5 triples. Jokes aside, this emergence has really been something to document. He’s super confident in that jumper following a size-up jab step, while also providing stuff off the catch a good bit. If the Heat were in a better spot this season in terms of winning, we would be discussing this jump much more. With all of the talk about a “four,” he has been outstanding this season in whatever role they’ve placed him in.

Reasons Stephen Curry is the best offensive player in NBA history


LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the three biggest names in basketball history. All three players in this discourse are basketball players who have scored more than 30,000 points. Though Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has a long way to go before he reaches that goal, he should be regarded as a more potent offensive weapon than any other player in the NBA. And when it comes to NBA, there is a huge popularity of this amazon the online gaming fans. Are you one of them? If so, FanDuel Ohio can be interesting for you. 


Therefore, this article will give you reasons why Steph Curry is the greatest offensive basketball player of all time. So let’s get started! 

3 Reasons Stephen Curry is the best offensive player in NBA history

Here are three reasons why Curry is the greatest offensive player in NBA history:

Stephen Curry is the all-time greatest attacking weapon


In the NBA, many players have the ability to score points. Curry is unique because he has a talent that no one else in the league possesses: his three-point shots are so accurate they’re almost impossible for other players to defend against.

When Curry gets into the paint, a defense must guard him but it frequently doesn’t matter whether you have one or two guys on him. He’ll demand payment from either situation.


In his career, Curry has averaged more than 25 points six times and more than 30 points a game twice. He holds the record for most 3-pointers made in NBA history: he averages 24.3 per game and shoots about 43% from behind the arc.


He has averaged over 20 points per game in each of his 10 NBA seasons. It doesn’t take him many shots to get there, but the majority of his damage is still caused by extremely talented teams and not volume shooting.

Everyone has an issue with him


Stephen Curry, who is known for his long-range shots, initiated a shot called the Logo 3. The attempt proved problematic not just for defenders but also for video game developers; trying to make it work was tricky business. Curry routinely hits improbable shots, but usually, that’s because other people are hitting impossible ones.


Curry changed the game, but only by successfully replicating his offensive successes in real life. That strengthens his argument as the best offensive weapon.

Take Him as a Threat


When Stephen Curry grabs a rebound and crosses half-court, he is a danger. Defenses must place their best defenders on him for almost 94 feet. In spite of defenses focusing on stopping him, he frequently creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Curry is a constant threat on the open floor, and he presents unique challenges because of it. No other elite scorer moves as quickly or efficiently on the court as Curry does, and that versatility makes him extra dangerous off-ball.


Steph Curry is the hardest player to defend alone because defenders are frequently humiliated. He has become a dominant ball handler and humiliates opponents with his skill.

Final Words


Although LeBron James and Larry Bird are the only players in NBA history to score at a rate comparable with that of Curry, neither of them ever moved off the ball like he does or handled it as well.


Stephen Curry is a tremendously talented player, who does many things well on the offensive end of the court. His ability to shoot threes and distribute for his teammates makes him one of the greatest offensive threats in NBA history, regardless of position or era.

What Do You Need to Know About Basketball?

Basketball is one of the most well-known sports which is played throughout the world. The team sport involves two teams having five players each who are playing to fulfill a primary goal of the game, i.e., scoring against the other team via throwing the ball at a height of 300cm under specific rules. Various institutions have made both indoor plus outdoor courts for the game.

The basketball courts’ dimensions can vary, meaning there are no set limits for the height, length of time, size of a basketball, etc. In addition, the experience and skills of the players playing the game can also vary.  The fast-moving game involves various physical activities like passing, dribbling, shooting, defense, rebounding, etc.

At the end of the day, basketball is actually about as simple of a game for newcomers to grasp as Sloto Cash, so let’s jump right in!

Benefits of basketball on the health of players

In the game, there are various points for starting and stopping. Although it’s not considered an aerobic sport, it still provides multiple benefits. Playing basketball helps burn calories. For example, playing basketball for an hour will allow the player to burn 630-730 calories!

In addition, it is beneficial in building endurance and improves coordination and balance. The player learns self-discipline and develops concentration. Most players consider the game a source of building their muscles.

Other benefits of the game

Having a monotonous and boring routine might make you lazy. Most people who do remote jobs cannot communicate with others. Playing basketball would not only help them take action but also allow them to interact with others. It would be helpful to learn from people how to be a good basketball player.

People can play the sport all year round as it is indoors. There is no requirement on the number of players, i.e., a minimum of two persons can play the game. Besides this, each player can practice alone as well. All he needs is a ball and a hoop.

Points in a game

When a team in a basketball game does a basket, they are given two points, and the ball is automatically assigned to the next team. However, if it is made outside the three-point arc, the team is given three points, and for a free throw, the team is given one point. The points are awarded to the team for free throws based on specific rules, including the fouls made in half or even type of foul.

Fouling a shooter results in free throws given to the shooter based on the location from where he shot. Standing beyond the three-point line will award him with three points. However, team fouls do not give the team free throws until they reach a specific number during that half. Once the number is reached, the player is given 1 to 1 opportunity.

Game clock

Each game is divided into two sections. All levels of the game have two halves. Various colleges, schools, and universities conduct basketball game session that varies from 20 minutes to one hour.

These halves are divided into quarters consisting of 8 minutes. In between the halves, there is a gap of a few minutes; however, the gap between the quarters is comparatively shorter. If there is a tie between the two teams, an overtime period is conducted for varying lengths.

Violations of the game

  1. Dribbling the ball with a hand at great distance to the side is considered a violation of the game.
  2. Dribbling the ball with both hands is known as a double dribble. It is another violation of the game.
  3. Two or more players of the opposing team will get the ball at the same time. To prevent this, the referee stops such action and gives the ball to the team one by one on a rotating basis.
  4. When a defensive player interferes with a shot while the ball is falling towards the basket after being touched with the backboard or while being in the cylinder above the rim, it is known as Goaltending. If an offensive player commits this, it is considered a violation, plus the ball is given to the opposing team.
  5. Once the offense brings the ball across the mid-court line, they cannot cross the line back while having the ball. If they cross the mid-court line, the ball is given to the other team member to pass the inbound.
  6. The player passing the ball has a time limit of five seconds to pass it. If he does not give the ball, it is given to another team member, which means having the ball for more than five seconds and having shot-clock restrictions, which require the team to shoot within the given timeframe.

Personal foul penalties

  1. If a player is shooting while being fouled, he is awarded two free throws if the shoot does not go in, but if it goes in, he will get one free throw.
  2. If the player is fouled while not shooting, the ball will be given to the team on which the foul is committed. The team receives the ball near the baseline and gets only five seconds to pass the ball into the court.
  3. The fouled player is awarded two free throws if the team commits ten or more fouls.
  4. The fouled person will receive one free throw if the team commits seven or more fouls. In case of making a shot, he is given another free throw.

Intentional foul

In case of physical contact of the player with another player to snatch the ball, having no other intention is considered an intentional foul and a judgment call for officials.

Flagrant foul

Violent contact with the opponent is considered a flagrant foul. Such fouls include kicking, punching, and hitting.

Technical foul

Coach or any player can commit technical foul which is related to the manners of the basketball game.

Position of player


The central position is basically for the tallest players. They are positioned near the basket.

Defensive: The primary responsibility of the center while defending is to prevent shooting by an opponent, which s done by blocking the shots. In this case, the players at the center are expected to get rebounds as they are taller.

Offensive: The center’s goal is to provide an open area so players can shoot or pass the ball. They block the defenders by screening or picking, which will open the way for other players so that they can run to score a goal. Such a position might receive put-backs and offensive rebounds.


The next tallest ones are given the forward position. They play the game under the hoop. In addition, they may also be required to play under the wings or in corner areas.

Defensive: the defensive responsibilities, in this case, would be preventing the drives to score a goal plus rebounding.

Offensive: They are responsible for taking outside shots, rebounding, and driving for goals.


This section is reserved for the shortest players who are required skills related to fast dribbling, seeing the court, plus passing. They bring the ball down the court or even set offensive plays.

Defensive: Being defensive, the guard is responsible for contesting shots, stealing passes, preventing drives to the hoop, plus boxing out.

Offensive: The guard’s primary responsibility is dribbling, setting up offensive play, and passing. In addition, they also are required to drive to the basket.