5 Takeaways from Heat’s Nail-Biting Win Over Pacers

The Miami Heat played yet another tough game against the Indiana Pacers in game 3, but came away with the win 124-115. This game was clearly a tale of two halves, since Miami dominated in the first half, but let the game get away from them in the second. Here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: If Miami shoots the way they did in the first half, they’re a tough team to beat.

Miami had one of those halves that Heat fans have seen quite a lot this season, which was an absolute three point shooting display. They’re clearly one of the best teams when they are hitting their shots, but when their shots aren’t falling, they struggle getting their offense going. The second half was a perfect example of this, when it seemed to be the complete opposite of the first half. Dragic had 4 first half threes, while Crowder, Herro, and Robinson each had two first half threes. This led Miami to 74 first half points, which was a playoff record. If Miami can withhold their elite shooting for 48 minutes, they’ll be tough to beat.

#2: Goran Dragic hot streak continues.

It feels like Goran is included in every one of these takeaway piece, because he has been. He continues to be an elite offensive presence for Miami, while scoring from all three levels. And though he has a great connection with teammate Jimmy Butler, his best play has come with the second unit. This is obviously because they’ve built up a great amount of chemistry throughout the season when he came off the bench. Goran played 14 of the first 17 minutes of the game, which is interesting considering his age. It seems as if Spo is giving him these minutes, so he can bring Jimmy back in mid-way through the second quarter for him. Miami needs one of either Goran or Jimmy on the floor at all times, and it seems as if Spo has recognized this as well.

#3: Bam Adebayo obviously isn’t a natural scorer, but his on-court impact is crucial.

Bam Adebayo has struggled scoring the ball through the first few playoff games, but that’s because he hasn’t gone to his strengths on offense. Bam displayed it in the first quarter, taking Myles Turner off the dribble. He has continued to struggle with his back to the basket, but when he gets a full head of steam, he’s hard to stop. But what makes Bam so impactful is everything else. His back-door passing, screen setting, and defensive presence was on full display. He may not give you a bunch of blocks, but he will force a bunch of missed shots, both around the rim and on the perimeter. And his ability to take the center out of the paint and make tight back door passes off of cuts may have won them this game. As of right now, this side of his game seems to translate more to wins than his scoring, which is why Spoelstra is so supportive of the way he plays.

#4: Miami will need to clean up turnovers in order to beat a team like Milwaukee.

Miami had more turnovers than field goals made in the third quarter. Let that sink in. Part of it is due to the scrappiness of Indiana on the defensive end. But another part of it is some costly errors from Miami’s stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Obviously turnovers will occur since both of these guys have major play-making tasks, but it is essential to clean this up a bit. Jimmy seems to try and force passes out to the three when he drives to the basket, and Bam seems to pick up his dribble on the perimeter at times. But, this is definitely something that can be fixed, especially since Coach Spo has mentioned taking care of the ball a lot over the past week.

#5: Tyler Herro clearly doesn’t shy away from big moments.

Tyler Herro scored 20 points in only his third playoff game, shooting 6-12 from the field. Although he seemed to be taking the role of a play-maker in the eight regular season games, he has now reverted back to the natural scorer he was mid-season. And as of right now, Miami needs the offensively hungry Tyler Herro. Although he’s a threat from beyond the arc, his ability to control the mid-range adds another aspect to their offense. He has led the team in fourth quarter minutes this season, and there’s been no change for the playoffs since he’s apart of the team’s closing lineup with Dragic, Butler, Iguodala, and Adebayo. And even with Jimmy Butler on the floor, Tyler seems to be Miami’s biggest threat late in games.

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