The Miami Heat got the win against the Sacrament Kings in their first scrimmage game in the bubble, 104-98. There were a lot of positives from this team throughout the game, especially the amount of talented depth on the roster. Here’s five takeaways on the Heat from this scrimmage game, heading into the regular season and playoffs.
#1: Duncan Robinson hasn’t skipped a beat.
Duncan Robinson apparently wasn’t fazed by a four month layoff with no basketball. He started the first quarter with four threes. This is something that is expected from Duncan, but not many expected it to happen this fast. Especially since Duncan didn’t have his running mate, Bam Adebayo, who usually sets him up for his three point attempts. This shooting display eventually impacted the rest of the team, which usually happens once Duncan gets going. It opens up the floor for the rest of the team. If he’s doing this after not picking up a basketball for 1/3 of a year, it’s a scary sight on what he will be doing in the next few weeks.
#2: Andre Iguodala is positioning himself for major playoff minutes.
If there was one guy that was a surprise in this game, it was Andre Iguodala. He seemed to be comfortable running the point throughout the game, and definitely slows the game down. He has a natural feel for the game, most likely due to the fact that he’s had plenty of playoff experience. He seems to have a pretty good on court connection with Heat rookie Tyler Herro. This seems to be a connection on and off the court, since Andre spoke about this relationship with media on Friday. Andre seems to fit right in with every lineup, which subsequently means he will be one of the first guys looked to off the bench when Spo is in a tough spot.
#3: Jimmy Butler forces a smooth running offense.
The Jimmy Butler narrative has seemed to be the same all season. Shooting struggles, but major play-making improvements. This was shown in the first quarter of the scrimmage when Jimmy couldn’t get in a rhythm shooting the basketball. But, once he went to the bench, the team looked kind of lost. He has such control of the offense with passing, leadership, and spacing off of the ball. Which when Jimmy checked back in the game in the second, the team looked much more under control. This isn’t too much of a shock since it’s always tough to get in a groove with your leader off the floor, but will need to be fixed in order to beat teams like Milwaukee or Boston.
#4: Miami’s defensive lineup looked effective.
One of the most intriguing lineups on this heat team is the defensive lineup of Jimmy-Crowder-Iguodala-DJJ-Bam. We got a slight glimpse at this lineup in the scrimmage, of couse excluding Bam, and it seemed pretty productive. The defensive veratilities of this lineup gave the Kings major trouble. One of the biggest questions with this lineup was the offense. And there seemed to be no problem there since Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala, and Derrick Jones Jr looked pretty offensively sound. Now, adding Bam Adebayo to this lineup only makes it scarier, which means there’s a big possibility we will see Coach Spo pull this card in the postseason.
#5: Tyler Herro dusting off the rust.
Tyler Herro had to get through some rough patches in the first game back after a couple of months. Though he ended the game with 15 points, he had some trouble shooting the ball, going 0/7 from three. One of the only positives of his struggles, is that it’s a learning curve. Coach Spo left Tyler in the game throughout his difficult stretches, which seemed like Spo wanted him to figure it out. This is the only way for a young guy to get better of course. He continued to fight through his shooting problems, which caused him to attack the basket and play make. He began to draw fouls and get in a bit of a rhythm. These struggles in games like this, will only make Tyler more comfortable in a playoff setting.