5 Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Celtics

The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics, which originally looked like a blowout win for Miami, turning into a down to the wire finish. It was an all-around scoring performance for Miami with 6 guys in double figures, but Jimmy Butler was the leader as he was absolutely terrific on both ends. So, here are five takeaways from this game…

#1: Kendrick Nunn’s impressive offensive impact has become…normal.

Well, 79 points in the half against the Boston Celtics is pretty general, so it’s necessary to evaluate it individually. Before a lot of Miami’s headlines become the bench back-court and two stars, don’t let Kendrick Nunn get swept under the rug. That’s been a common theme of Nunn’s career, and a major reason at the moment is that his scoring abilities have become the new normal for this team. He was the initial stamp of offense in the first quarter, finding that mid-range space against drop coverage, and of course knocking down the not so occasional catch and shoot three. Saying Nunn has returned to his rookie season form would be quite the understatement, since he’s grown in every major element of his offensive game.

#2: Jimmy Butler does absolutely everything. And I mean everything.

This game was originally expected to be a Jimmy Butler game, where he took over offensively from the jump. Except, that didn’t happen, and he still was the best player on the floor. One shot attempt and one shot make at the half may make that hard to believe, but watching him on the defensive end is pure art. Forget steals, forget deflections, forget blocks. It isn’t about the stats for him, due to the fact his level of disruption is the true reason he has such success on that end. It wasn’t just defense either, since 7 first half assists doesn’t even do it justice. He’s the engine of this team on both ends, and it doesn’t matter if he’s putting the ball in the basket or not. The main element is that he brings a certain energy level, which he did today.

#3: Duncan Robinson impacting the game on…both ends?

In a very spread out scoring display for Miami, it’s clear that Duncan Robinson was a major part of that first half explosion. But that’s not what must be harped on, since an unexpected part of his game stood out: defense. Yes, you read that correctly. He found himself on an island with Jayson Tatum frequently, among other Celtics’ creators, and actually held his own. Just like I’ve discussed constantly in the past, he has the tools to be effective on that end, due to his length. When he’s able to contest Tatum’s baseline sidesteps over and over, it’s clear that he’s growing by the day on that end of the floor, which is probably the most important individual progression of the season for Miami. Of course, guys like Trevor Ariza came over for the double when that match-up came up, but that’s the theme of this defense to blitz the perimeter player and force others to beat you.

#4: Dragic and Herro giving Miami exactly what they need in first half: scoring and rest for stars.

Tyler Herro had another one of those scoring stretches in today’s game, but the reason that is so essential is much bigger than points in the scoring column. Much like the last game against Minnesota, Herro and Goran Dragic stepped up big time off the bench, which is so impactful for Miami’s stars, Butler and Bam Adebayo. Miami went most of the season where they couldn’t head to the bench at the same time, unless they wanted to absolutely plummet on both ends of the floor. Allowing both of them to enter at the same time in the second quarter, while keeping their foot on the gas, is one of the most underrated parts of this Heat team at the moment. As for Herro, he had his usual scoring flashes, but he had to adjust more than normal. When he began to get defended tighter and tighter, he was forced to throw his defender into off-ball screens to find open space. And that space shriveled down to almost nothing by the fourth quarter. He, also, was continually attacked on the defensive end, which is the next development in his game to take that next step.

#5: The importance of the Dewayne Dedmon pick-up.

Dewayne Dedmon won’t be one of the main discussions following this game, but he definitely should be. He’s not a guy that’s going to totally wow you in the scoring column, and that’s exactly the type of guy Miami likes. For one, while speaking about his offense, he has been unexpectedly efficient in his minutes. He doesn’t shoot much, but he usually finds away to flip it in or bank it in when he does. The real reason of impact was the overall non-Bam Adebayo minutes, since that was one of the biggest issues for Miami early in the season. Nobody was able to mirror Adebayo’s play on either end, but Dedmon does it in his own unique way. He doesn’t bring the same level of defensive versatility, but he impacts as a rim protector. He doesn’t bring the same facilitating ways on offense, but he impacts on the block. This addition of some diversity was so important for this team to round out their nine man rotation.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *