The Miami Heat have officially completed the sweep over the Indiana Pacers with a game 4 win, 99-87. This was a pretty spread out game for Miami’s offense, while Miami’s leading scorer was Goran Dragic with 23 points. Here are some takeaways from this game 4 win…
#1: Kendrick Nunn makes impressive return.
Kenrick Nunn got his name called in the second quarter of today’s game, and he delivered. He hit a corner three on only his second offensive possession, which he showed both a smile and a bit of relief after his recent struggles. Jimmy Butler’s early injury lead to some early minutes for Nunn. This is extremely important heading into a match-up with the Milwaukee Bucks, since Miami will need some offensive talent on the floor like Kendrick Nunn, due to Milwaukee’s defense that allows more threes. This also takes a bit of the load off of Goran’s shoulders at times, since it’s not ideal for a 34 year old Goran to play 34 minutes a game.
#2: Jimmy Butler’s early departure leads to choppy offense in first half.
Jimmy Butler exited the game after 5 minutes of play with an apparent shoulder sprain. This injury did not seem to occur in the game, since he was seen rubbing his right shoulder prior to today’s game. Jimmy’s early departure led to a stagnant Miami offense in the first half. Although Jimmy is not a threat shooting the ball, his presence causes Miami’s offense to run smoothly. Jimmy returned in the second half, and Miami seemed to return to its usual dynamic offense. One thing that this showcased was Jimmy’s elite facilitating ability, plus his ability to attack the basket which is a given.
#3: Bam Adebayo hunting to dominate Myles Turner match-up early.
Bam Adebayo seemed to have some fire in his eyes on the offensive side of the ball early in today’s game. Almost as if he planned to be aggressive and attack Myles Turner. This led to a Bam Adebayo mid-range jumper and a couple floaters in the paint, which none of those shots even hit the rim. Just net. Jimmy Butler’s early departure may have impacted his aggressiveness early as well, since he realized he would need to step up. This was just another snippet of Bam’s game that has yet to be unlocked yet. Everyone can see it’s there, but he does everything else so well that he doesn’t always utilize it. Bam ended the game with 14 points, 19 rebounds, and 6 assists.
#4: Tyler Herro continually shows he can be “that guy.”
Tyler Herro has continually proven that he is immune to pressure. He’s shown this throughout the entire series, but today he showed that he’s going to play the same way no matter if it’s practice, a regular season game, and now a playoff game. And as talked about before, although he has improved his ball-handling and play-making, he will always primarily be a scorer. He has the ability to not only hurt you from three, but also control the mid-range which is something that Miami hasn’t done a lot of. He showed off yet another big fourth quarter tonight, with some impressive drives to the basket and tough passes down the stretch. When you watch him in these games, it truly slips your mind that this guy is a rookie.
#5: Miami’s 4-0 sweep against Indiana is a warning to the top East teams.
The Miami Heat completed the sweep against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, which means they move on to the second round to likely face the Milwaukee Bucks. This first round showcased Miami’s number one strength, which is their unique mix of solid veterans and young talent. Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro were clear representaions of this, since they both stepped up in this series on the offensive side of the ball, especially during tough stretches. Erik Spoelstra also deserves major credit in this series for his ability to adjust so perfectly in this unique situation. And don’t forget about their elite two-way stars on the roster in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who have both been huge in fourth quarters, which is when they are needed most. Teams are recognizing the toughness in this current Miami Heat team, which makes them such a threat.