The Miami Heat faced the Philadelphia 76ers once again on Thursday night with only eight guys, and came away with a loss. Although there’s not much to takeaway from a team perspective, there were a lot of promising individual improvements in these past two games. Anyway, here are five takeaways….
#1: Chris Silva gives quality first half minutes on both ends of the floor.
The first thing that stood out from Chris Silva was his defense on Joel Embiid tonight. He began to front Joel as soon as he checked in, which led to the person on the wing coming over to double. This led to Joel only scoring 5 first half points. This showed that Miami’s film sessions since Tuesday night’s game came out with a positive result. Now, on the offensive end, Silva surprisingly showed many flashes as well. He was active on the offensive boards on Tuesday, but held most of his activity off of the pick and roll as a lob threat, much like teammate Precious Achiuwa. Many have described Silva as a high energy guy, and he showed that description is pretty accurate tonight.
#2: Miami’s lack of depth showed tonight.
I think this is an obvious takeaway, since Miami having eight guys available definitely means they lacked depth. But the offensive showing from Philadelphia made this more apparent. The 76ers had Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Shake Milton return tonight, and that means Phili added depth. That was clear all night, since they seemed to have fresh legs on the floor at all times, while Miami basically had the same guys on the floor at all times. Shake MIlton exploded in the first half, scoring 19 which is yet another factor of their depth. Usually when Miami’s offense goes flat, Spo throws somebody in to be that offensive spark. But on a night like tonight, that clearly wasn’t a possibility.
#3: Tyler Herro displays his unique offensive package once again.
If there was anything positive from tonight’s game, it was that Tyler Herro continues to put a stamp on his scoring abilities. Last game, Phili seemed to focus on him directly throughout, which led to him driving to the basket most of the game, until he got going in the fourth. And tonight, the 76ers seemed to make it a priority to not give him any room, and that didn’t matter. He began to create for himself with unique pump-fake up and unders, as well as some impressive step backs. It doesn’t seem necessary to harp on Tyler’s scoring, since everybody knows it is there, but it is necessary to discuss when he’s the first option on a team and still finds ways to consistently score.
#4: Once again, Gabe Vincent making his way up the roster.
One thing about this unfortunate Covid circumstance with Miami is that they’re getting a look at certain guys that they wouldn’t in a normal situation. The main player that has stood out from the increased playing time was Gabe Vincent once again. On Tuesday, I basically discussed his advanced offensive package other than shooting. But tonight, it seems necessary to just focus on his shooting ability. On this Heat team, depth has continually been harped on, and for a while I don’t think many pictured Gabe Vincent when discussing it. But now, he seems to be rising up the roster slowly. Seeing him in action in these two games will give extra confidence in Spo to play him going forward, and I believe he can find himself in a consistent role with a healthy Heat team.
#5: Precious Achiuwa’s consistency as a rookie is very promising.
I’ve discussed all aspects of Precious Achiuwa’s game throughout the season, but what truly stands out is his consistent effort with every attribute. Even when entering a game with eight players, while facing the best center in the NBA, Precious still brings the same thing he does every single night. Rebound effort, defensive activity, rim roamer, and most importantly effort. Erik Spoelstra and the coaching staff have to be feeling good watching him improve, especially when picturing the return of Bam Adebayo. He can replicate many of the things Bam brings, except the play-making ability, but it’s very promising considering the fact he is only 10 games in.