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

Center

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.

Forward

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.

Guard

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.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Wolves

The Miami Heat faced the Minnesota Timberwolves at home on Monday night, and it wasn’t pretty.

A late fading corner shot by Tyler Herro put them up 6 on the way to the win.

Some takeaways from this one…

#1: The Heat’s early paint touches…needed.

No Jimmy Butler. No Bam Adebayo. No paint touches? That’s usually the case on nights like this, since threes begin to fire across the board within this roster. But Kyle Lowry was a large portion of the paint attacks early in this one. Not only the usual pick and roll to draw help before kicking, but he was self creating at the rim. I will say, mostly in the non-Gobert minutes since that’s the ideal spot. After subbing out, the back-court of Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo took the floor, which was the debut of that duo this season. And well, Oladipo was clear his rim attacks would be pure. Even if it doesn’t equate to constant points in the scoring column, that pressure is crucial. Not only in development throughout the year, but setting up the defense for future possessions.

#2: Let me say it again: are we watching the Heat’s new back-up center?

Orlando Robinson was the only true center on the roster in this one without Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, and Omer Yurtseven, yet Nikola Jovic was given the start for spacing purposes. Yet he came in soon after, and well, he was producing. He was cleaning up around the rim for easy second chance points, but mainly his feel for the offense has never felt clunky. Things aren’t forced, his screens are solid, and he’s always available on those dives to the basket, which young players tend to struggle with. There’s still some work to be done beyond the surface, but that comes with any young undrafted player. Right now, there’s not a better option on the roster for that spot. So let’s keep the Orlando Robinson thing rolling.

#3: The Heat’s game-plan tonight: Pushin P(ace).

The Heat are generally known for their half-court heavy offense, since the transition thing has never been in their wheelhouse. But tonight it wasn’t just Lowry and crew deciding to get past the half-court line quicker on the fly, this was a game-plan set thing. After makes, the Heat were flushing their way down the floor, taking me to an early Caleb Martin possession. Off a make, they inbounded to Martin. He got down the floor, and to the rim, for an and-1 with 19 seconds left on the shot clock. Yeah, that’s new. It created an interesting dynamic to their offense for a better flow, mainly due to the Gobert led Timberwolves half-court defense not being able to set up properly.

#4: The opposing run and Heat leakage: part 142 (or something like that).

As the Heat possessed a 10 point lead halfway through the third quarter, I put it on twitter that it was the make or break portion of the game. The blueprint was simple: if they continued to push pace and get into the paint, they would be fine. If they settled for shots, it would soon be a tie game. Well, four minutes later, it was a tie game. The entire Heat offensive structure throughout this game was actions for shooters. Pindowns for Robinson, slip screens for Strus. Those were the things creating the shot profile for Miami throughout. Following that run by Minnesota, credit to Kyle Lowry for really getting things back out the mud. A floater out of the pick and roll, a hand-off to Robinson for three, a pull-up triple out of high PnR, and a feed out of a double were the final possessions of the quarter. They needed that counter punch in this one, and Lowry gave it to them.

#5: The Heat got the night from their two sharp-shooters.

After three quarters, the Heat shot 12 of 41 from beyond the arc. Max Strus and Duncan Robinson were 8 of 14, while the rest of the Heat were 4 of 27. The three-point shooting struggles continue, but the two primary actual sharp-shooters carrying the load in that department is a decent start for the direction they are trying to go. When the Heat are without Butler and Bam, it always comes down to three-point shooting. But more importantly, we see an action revamp since there’s more focus on running consistent creative actions for Robinson and Strus. Robinson gets many of the hand-offs and elbow actions to fly into his rhythm on the move. Strus is mainly off the catch or following a slip screen with the ball-handler drawing two. But getting this type of performance was necessary to stay above water.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Pacers

The Heat fall to the Pacers…

Some takeaways…

#1: Tyrese Haliburton’s adjustment from last Heat game to now.

The last time the Heat faced the Pacers in Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton had a rough night. 0 for 9 shooting due to the Heat’s game-plan to switch Bam Adebayo out and fully eliminate him in the half-court. So, what was his adjustment? He had 5 threes at the half, and it was basically responding to the similar PnR coverage. His adjustment was to just immediately pull without waiting for the switch. When a player has the ability to shoot from farther out, it’s really the one and only thing that can stump that pure switch. A lot of the Pacers early shooting was just hitting most shots from their diet, but the Haliburton part of it was schemed.

#2: Jimmy Butler back, the Heat still reliant on him.

Jimmy Butler had 14 points at the half, as most of that contribution was made in that opening quarter. The first action following the tip-off was a Kyle Lowry cross screen for Butler, who caught the entry pass on the opposite side in the low post for the bucket. The Pacers are one of the only teams to place a smaller defender on Butler and live with it, as Andrew Nembhard has seen him primarily in both match-ups. We saw the pick-up in attempts going toward the rim, which all starts with Butler setting the tone in that way, as well as the trips to the line. This team needs Butler to be that type of force for the offense to function correctly, and I don’t know if that’s extremely a good thing.

#3: Bam Adebayo’s elbow spam into attack.

Aside from the early offensive plan to get Butler going toward the rim, the bigger point was to get Bam Adebayo some post splits and elbow touches. Not really to force him to operate as a play-maker continually, but to work that face-up in space. We saw things we are used to such as the pull-up fade and pure rim attacks following a few jab steps, but he worked in some foul drawing techniques. He was really initiating the contact off those drives to get Myles Turner in foul trouble, forcing him to the bench. Following him going to the bench, Jalen Smith enters. Adebayo throws three straight pump-fakes his way before he bit and Bam jumped into him. We often talk aggression, but these type of counters is something to keep an eye on.

#4: Orlando Robinson minutes with no Dewayne Dedmon.

The Heat’s rotation was pretty much back together in this one, except Dewayne Dedmon was out. That gave an even larger look into the potential of a full rotation, with another big man filling in for the non-Bam minutes. That guy was Orlando Robinson. He’s still very early on in his development, but I definitely didn’t mind those minutes at all. They utilized him defensively just like you would expect, if you watched what they did for developing bigs such as Omer Yurtseven last season. If you put him in an action, they’re just going to continually blitz you. He did a decent job at recovering at respectable speeds back into the lane, which is all you can really ask for in his minutes. He has limitations in certain aspects as expected, but it’s still worth a deeper look.

#5: The run happened again. Then a counter by Miami. Then the final punch by Haliburton.

Heading into the fourth quarter down two, we’ve seen this play-out too many times to know what was coming next. The offense begins to slip even further than we’ve recently seen throughout the season, as the opposing team breaks down the point of attack for easy opportunities. That came in the form of constant three-point shooting dominance from the Pacers guard room. Even though I touched on it early, it really begun and ended with Haliburton tonight who just couldn’t be slowed down. But ultimately this isn’t a Haliburton thing. It isn’t a Pacers thing. It’s a Heat thing at this point. The Heat found a counter punch late, though, led by…Haywood Highsmith? From short roll passes to dunker spot spacing to catch and drives, he gave them some very good minutes as Butler went out. Pacers cooled off for a bit as the Heat gained some energy, but still they had a large hole to dig themselves out of. Down 3 with 16 seconds left, they had to draw up a play, and they designed the perfect one. Strus off a pindown into a down-screen for Herro to receive with some momentum to the right wing. Tie game. But well, Haliburton happened again. A deep 3 wins them the game to finish it.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Bulls

The Heat drop the opening game of this home stand to the Chicago Bulls, and it wasn’t a surprise.

When you struggle to shoot and defend, you don’t win basketball games.

The Heat got a good night from Bam, but the drop-off from there was steep. Not a huge margin for error with this roster.

Five takeaways tonight…

#1: No Butler. No Lowry. Yes Bam.

It was a rough start for the Heat in the first quarter, since if you exclude Bam Adebayo, the Heat shot 4 of 18 from the field. Adebayo, though, was 4 of 4 from the field. At the half, he was 7 for 7 from the field for 16 points, along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Oh, and he can play defense a little. For one, he was just getting to his go-to in that 8 foot range, simply flowing right into the pull-up effortlessly. His second level of impact came through running the floor. Not through transition points, but getting Miami into early offense. Hand-off at 18 seconds at the shot clock isn’t the usual, but it is when your big is playing point guard. Lastly, the Heat’s shooters were being blitzed heavily. What does that mean? Slip, pocket pass, kick when tag comes, assist. Adebayo was doing some very good things in this one, if the stats didn’t say so already.

#2: The Heat’s defensive game-plan: a full game timeline. From bad to good to worse.

The Heat came out in pure Chicago Bulls match-up fashion: switch the pick and roll to have Adebayo shut the water off, as the Victor Oladipo/Max Strus type fights for his life by fronting the post. Quickly after Nikola Vucevic started 4 of 4, the Heat shifted to a zone. From there, Zach LaVine got hot through shooting spot-ups above the break, largely decided by the Heat’s 2-3 zone. But then the adjustment came. The Heat built a rhythm as they went back to more of that double and recover scheme. Basically if Vucevic was found as a mid-range post-up hub, or DeRozan got to his middy area, the Heat were shooting over a second defender. That caused turnovers, and got Miami easy buckets for a positive run to finish the first half. The issue was that it seemed they couldn’t get back to that. In the second half, the switching returned, and so did Vucevic’s interior scoring. Point of attack issues continue to re-appear. The theme: this team has good stretches of game-plan, but it usually fades on night’s like this.

#3: A minor play for many, a telling play for me.

As I stated before, Herro was seeing doubles out of the PnR in this one. Yes I know, no surprise. He had a slow start, but began picking up as a scorer late in the second quarter. But more importantly, he was making the right pocket pass reads along the way. To finish the second quarter, he flows right into a middle of the floor PnR, and the same doubles flies his way. Except this time, the pocket pass wasn’t thrown. He got up in the air, turned, and flung an over-head pass to Robinson on the left wing for three. Those are the minor elements needed to perfect the overplaying he’s going to see. It’s not always going to be the conventional way to get him out of awkward scenarios. Plays like that are important to shelf for the moment.

#4: A certain Oladipo led lineup explains a lot of the night.

In pockets of this game, the Heat went to a certain 5 man lineup that I proclaimed the “let Dipo cook” grouping: Oladipo-Robinson-Strus with a mixture of Highsmith-Cain-Dedmon. Obviously a tough lineup to try and win generally, but it was all about Oladipo creating at the top of the key for himself or others. And well, that wasn’t a good thing. The issue was that when he was creating for others, that never seemed to end in a positive result. Nothing against his play-making or constant skip passes, but the reliance on Dedmon as a hand-off hub says a lot. Plus Dipo’s own shot wasn’t falling consistently, and there’s a heavy reliance on the three-ball. The Heat ran a reluctant eight man rotation in this one, but it was clear those off pockets of the game were too tough to overcome on either end of the floor.

#5: So, about the Bulls relation to the Heat…

When speaking trades, there are many teams that will be looking to tank even further in search of that number 1 pick in the upcoming draft. Other teams will just begin to sell as they fall down the charts, which includes the Chicago Bulls. When watching this team live tonight, it raises the question of who would improve this roster. Well the answer to that is many of them, but let me just stay with DeMar DeRozan. If you can find a way to add him to this roster, you do it. I know it’s not the prettiest fit on paper, but watching Spo tinker with Sioux Falls players every night to try and make it work, just give him the talent. Figure everything else out later. Obviously this is an ideal scenario, but it doesn’t feel as out of reach as past conversation. In my personal opinion, I’d try and poke around that as long as possible.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Spurs

The Heat faced the Spurs in Mexico City on Saturday afternoon, and it was another back and forth event.

Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro provided enough offensive pressure throughout, while Victor Oladipo and Duncan Robinson truly stood out.

Robinson forced the second half run, Oladipo gave Miami some point of attack push back 1-on-1.

Some takeaways…

#1: Tyler Herro’s passing/Bam Adebayo’s rolling.

Before things took a bit of a turn, there was a certain Heat offensive staple they were getting to often: Tyler Herro/Bam Adebayo PnR. With Kyle Lowry out, it meant more ball-handling/creating reps for Herro at point guard. While I enjoy the stuff in the half-court, the full-court creation allows us to appreciate the control of Lowry. Herro got to the floater immediately in this one, then followed that up with keeping Tre Jones on his back before drawing the foul. From there, the setting up took off, as the Adebayo roll was the weakness of the Spurs defense. Live on-ball pressure combined with rolling gravity is quite the combo. The only issue is that it feels like when it’s connecting often, don’t stray away for two or three possessions. Make that defense stop it, then adjust from there.

#2: The Spurs early run: putting a certain Heat player in every action.

With 4 minutes left in the first quarter, Bam Adebayo exited the game with a 20-12 lead. 3 minutes later, he was coming back into the game down 5 with a score of 20-25. How did that happen? Well, the Spurs made it pretty clear that they weren’t going to get away from their offensive game-plan: attack Dewayne Dedmon in drop. I don’t want to give him all the blame, since the point of attack defense was bending a decent amount, but the goal was simply to create 2-on-1’s with Dedmon containing. We’ve talked often about the back-up big man situation, and it almost felt like Orlando Robinson is worthy of more opportunity. It isn’t helping Dedmon either that his foot injury continues to linger. The non-Bam minutes need figuring out.

#3: My thoughts on the Jovic-Bam minutes.

On paper, that front-court screams versatility and creativity. Two big guys who have the ability to both run the floor, and create opportunities for others through their passing ability. A movement offense dream. But it doesn’t ever seem to be utilized in that fashion. As noted to begin this piece, the early offense was heavy in the PnR direction with Bam and Herro, meaning Nikola Jovic is used as a spot-up guy. Of course that is fine, but those 7 minutes of play in a half are basically wasted by that point. They have the upside for sure, but the utilization next to each other feels like it needs to be elevated.

#4: Jimmy Butler flips an offensive switch in the third quarter.

In a back and forth game, the Heat needed somebody to takeover as the offensive hub to open up the second half. That guy ended up being Jimmy Butler. While they couldn’t break away by any means due to the continued defensive bending, Butler allowed Miami to stay somewhat parallel in that third quarter. Side pick and rolls down that baseline began drawing Spurs’ big men out little by little, which pretty much set up his constant drives and finishes around the rim. His slow and methodical play-style gave Miami some half-court offensive hope, along with the constant trips to the line. On the positive side, Butler was the one to put the Heat in a decent position.

#5: Duncan Robinson providing boost for Heat…Heat providing sets for Duncan Robinson.

Aside from the Butler tone setting to kick off the second half, Robinson kept them alive for large pockets of that span. Was it just Robinson hitting open shots? Well sometimes, but it was more than that. They were running sets for him again. Herro walks down to the left wing, as Robinson and Bam set up for double drag. Two fly at Herro, Bam sets the second screen, and he throws a skip pass to a wide open Robinson for the open bucket. A little bit later, they run a version of Horns with Robinson and Bam at each elbow. Robinson slips the screen to the opposite wing by Bam, who then sets the down-screen. Big time three-point shot by Robinson is the result. The very next play, they run a curl for Robinson in the same area, who draws two. He hits Bam with a pocket pass as Bam skies for a dunk. We still need to see consistency in his shooting, but watching the team run these type of sets is great to see.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Rockets

A win for the Heat, a career night for Tyler Herro.

Some takeaways from this game, with a primary focus on the play and impact of Herro…

#1: Well, Tyler Herro happened again.

25 points. 6 of 8 from three. Oh wait, that wasn’t his game stats, those were just his numbers at the half. After a 35 point night 24 hours ago, he picked up right where he left off. As I described yesterday, he was responding to the blitzing coverages and shifted to more off the ball. Tonight was a variation of that, except there was no altering coverage. His first five triples of the game came from above the break, meaning he’s just working off slip screens for catch and shoot stuff, or pure pull-ups. The three-point shooting surging at the same time as he’s getting to the line is a true gem, since we know the mid-range pull-up will be there. His off-ball movement has been great as well, which is crucial with a healthy team out there.

#2: The need for movement on this team.

While I hinted at the Herro element of this, with his continued repositioning, this team found their rhythm early in this game off pure movement. The first way is with ball movement, as it was clear it wasn’t sticking: drive, paint touch, kick, swing, repeat. There was a lineup that Jimmy Butler headlined tonight that really took this to the next level, as he was surrounded by Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith, and Orlando Robinson. Off first glance, he’s battling it out with four undrafted guys. On second glance, he’s the only viable play-maker/distributor. That takes us into the second element of movement, which is just players cutting and flying off screens. Looking at that lineup, that basically forces you into that style. But this shouldn’t be a role player blueprint, it’s a necessary Miami Heat blueprint.

#3: Orlando Robinson time…

With Dewayne Dedmon out on the second night of a back to back, it gave Orlando Robinson some run who has been killing it in the G-League. Plus with the Heat’s need for a viable back-up center, it’s good to get this look into his game. He had a very great first half, since he knows how to hit open slots when off the ball in the interior. He makes himself available on the roll, while never seeming to stall anything on either end. He rebounds well, and gives that second unit some energy. That in-between touch will develop as he goes, but the baseline for his game is there. Now it’s just about finding a role, which there’s a certain position that needs to be filled on this roster. After flipping two-ways with Dru Smith, he might stick now for good. Or better yet, find himself a roster spot.

#4: The Heat’s shooters struggling to…shoot?

Max Strus and Duncan Robinson have had similar paths. Undrafted to Heat two-way to starter. When one has struggled in the past, the other guy was ready to step up and capitalize. But right now, the Heat aren’t getting anything from either one of their sharpshooters, which after three quarters the stats included 1 for 9 for Robinson and 1 for 8 from Strus. After Robinson had a good game in OKC, he regressed yet again beyond the arc. Strus, on the other hand, had a very fast start to the season, yet has tailed off this past month. This happens with shooters, but he just can’t find any sort of rhythm at the moment, with many of his shots coming up short. Both will have the chance to be that guy for this Heat team, but this group needs a reliable perimeter threat not named Tyler Herro.

#5: I talked Tyler Herro earlier, but it was a career night: he changes this team’s dynamic.

A 40 ball. 19 threes in 24 hours. This isn’t just a hot streak, this is a turning point with sensational numbers to back it up. Aside from the X’s and O’s stuff I brought up to begin this piece, there’s an overarching point that makes these games even more important. This gives this Miami Heat team life. That is something this team has lacked immensely, since it felt like every game has consisted of looking around for a wake up call. Two things give a team extra life. The first one is a trade, since change of scenery can change the energy of a group, which is still necessary with certain holes on the roster. The second is a player emerging right in front of your eyes. Now I won’t say this is completely “emerging” since Herro’s on a max contract, but he’s hitting new strides in the half-court at the moment. When this team needed it most, Herro gave them the boost.

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Thunder

It wasn’t as easy as it looked early on, but the Heat escape Oklahoma City with a win behind Tyler Herro’s big night.

Some takeaways…

#1: Tyler Herro comes out on fire, but it didn’t just happen naturally.

Tyler Herro walked into the locker room at halftime with 20 points and 6 made threes. But it just wasn’t that simple. To begin the game, he was seeing two defenders on every single screen. Basically the game-plan from the playoffs. He began just making the pocket pass and going isolation a bit more as counters, but then Victor Oladipo entered. He took over ball-handling duties as Herro shifted to spot-up shooting mode. That’s when the scoring began to get rolling a bit. The reason this is so important is because this isn’t how he generated all 6 triples, but he did do it for the first 4. Why is that important? After knocking down 4 threes, it doesn’t matter the coverage they’re putting on him in an action. Now he’s in a rhythm and they have to adjust to him. It all falls from this one element, but the quick and timely adjustment was a cool thing to see.

#3: Victor Oladipo’s defensive nature didn’t go anywhere.

Victor Oladipo has been ramping back up over this past week, generating some buckets from time to time off the driblle and on spot-ups, but that hasn’t been the thing that has stood out most. It’s the defense, to nobody’s surprise. In his first game back, Erik Spoelstra had him pressing at the top of a 2-2-1 press on his opening possession, which tells you where he is at this stage. But looking at just tonight, he completely threw Shai and company out of a rhythm. Haywood Highsmith was getting some run, which meant they were just switching back and forth on Shai’s ball screens. Then the zone adjustment came, as he hit passing lanes very well with 3 first half steals. The biggest point is his lateral quickness is still there, since he can position himself perfectly to cut guys off on drives and rolls. Now that’s a natural ability.

#3: Heat’s three-point shooting finally having a moment early, but then…

Well, as I’ve talked about continuously on these takeaway pieces, the Heat have been needing a three-point shooting night. And I’m not talking about Herro in this topic, it’s more about the role players. Duncan Robinson got some minutes tonight, and they were actually running actions we’re familiar with. Screening away for him to shoot to the top of the key, some pick and roll stuff, etc. Caleb Martin and Oladipo each added in a bit, but Kyle Lowry deserves some credit for his spot-up shooting as well. There’s a theme here with the shooting, which pretty much is the catch and shoot spam. And what co-aligns with spot-up spams? Paint touches and strong drives. Do you know what the Heat were not generating in the second half? Paint touches and strong drives. (Which I’ll get into next)

#4: The constant takeaway: blowing leads.

As the Heat held a 21 point lead in the first half, I tweeted out: who’s taking the final shot in the clutch tonight? While it seems like a joke, it most definitely isn’t when watching this Heat team. Once they find something that works, they get extremely complacent. For example, as I explained before, the Heat’s three point shooting profile was quite simple. But after shooting over 50% on 16 made threes over 24 minutes, they seemed to get too comfortable. Those paint touches and sprays turned into perimeter swings and pull-ups. Then back on the other end, there’s just so much slippage from time to time at the point of attack. If they aren’t pulling up Bam’s guy to come screen, it’s an easy paint touch for Shai and others. This is one of the many trends the Heat have acquired along the way this season, and this may be the very worst one.

#5: Our locked in 5th takeaway: a walk down clutch time.

Down 7 with four minutes to go, after possessing that 21 point lead early on, the Heat were just searching for some type of offensive base. Oh yeah, and maybe some type of point of attack defense. Herro walks the ball down the floor, hitting yet another three around the screen, seeming to be the Heat’s one area of comfort in the half-court. Shortly after a timeout, Lowry sticks a deep 3 to cut the lead down to two, but Josh Giddey matched it on the other end as Miami continued to help off him. Now a 5 point game again, Oladipo gets out on the break, converted on a tough lay-up in traffic. Three point game, a Lowry paint touch kicks it to Herro for an open 3. Back to the original gameplan that was working. After another tough transition lay by Oladipo, which actually was an and-1, the Heat took the lead by 2. Under a minute to go, the Heat look to close it out a bit, and Lowry holds the ball for 24 seconds then shoots a step back three off the rim. Yeah, talk about bad process. To follow up on that isolation possession, Herro hits a fading mid-range to give the Heat a 2 point lead with 4 seconds left. Well then.