The Miami Heat had an offensive night like no other, losing to the Dallas Mavericks. Shots weren’t falling, rhythm wasn’t forming, and nothing could go right. Although there only seems to be one overall takeaway from this game, here are five…
#1: Miami Heat or Miami Cold?
Well, it’s obvious that this would be the first takeaway from this game, since the Miami Heat did not hit one three in the first half. It seems as if the troubles change every game. It went from turnover issues to offensive issues, which I will say I definitely did not expect. Goran Dragic has been a guy that has helped Miami when they begin to struggle offensively, and not even he could save them in that first half. It’s not everyday you see Duncan Robinson shoot 5 threes in a half and not make a single one. Ball movement is probably one of the main points you can look to, since they had 4 assists in the first half. So, it was clearly the Miami Cold in the first half, or better yet the entire game.
#2: Tyler Herro comes out under control offensively, back into his role.
As discussed previously, Miami could not get any shots to fall early in the game, except for Tyler Herro. He continues to look like the Tyler Herro that we all know. One who is confident in his game and looks to score first when he has the ball in his hands. He looked good off of the pick and roll, specifically when Precious Achiuwa was setting the pick. He knows he can utilize the pull-up mid-range, but he also threw a nice lob to Precious under the goal, which may have been Miami’s first offensive spark. A second year Tyler Herro, who struggled in his first game or two, being the rock of their offense in a game like this is a very positive sign.
#3: Although the struggles were clear, Bam Adebayo gave it his all from the jump.
Now, there’s obviously not much to point to statistically in that first half performance, but Bam Adebayo definitely stood out when watching. He was playing with a level of energy that was needed in this type of game. That mostly was visible in his ability to run the floor once he grabbed the ball off the rim. He also knocked down some mid-range jumpers, and it seems as if every one of these takeaway pieces includes an improved jumper from the past game. Bam being the source of energy and offense in a game where Jimmy Butler returned is interesting, but it’s also promising for their young centerpiece.
#4: Precious Achiuwa looks good once again, while it seems as if the KZ Okpala unleashing is ways away.
Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala seem to get linked together quite a lot, since they were two of Miami’s most intriguing young projects heading into the season. And well, not many would’ve expected the rookie to get the edge. Precious played very well tonight once again, since as I’ve mentioned, he knows how to play to his own role without straying off. He set good screens, played good defense, active around the boards, and lurked around the rim for lobs. And in a game where Miami trailed for most of it, and were looking for some type of spark, KZ Okpala was never inserted. He may still need some time to grow and put his entire package together, and the key word there is “time.” If he isn’t getting any run in a game like this, it doesn’t seem like he will have a set role in the rotation any time soon.
#5: Jimmy Butler doesn’t appear to look like himself.
Jimmy Butler returned to play tonight after missing the past two games, but he clearly wasn’t himself. He didn’t have it going offensively, and more importantly he didn’t seem to have that same energy that we’re used to seeing with Jimmy. Now, you can categorize it as a bit of rust after taking some time off with the ankle, but I would expect more initiative from the team’s leader when the team struggles this way. When speaking about him offensively, he just had no rhythm at all and did not seem to get off of his feet much, but I guess the entire team didn’t have any offensive rhythm as well. Either way, it was a poor performance from Miami in this game, and the team’s best player and leader will always get looked at first, especially since he was 0-6 from the field. And I’m sure he will take accountability, but he just needs to be Jimmy for this team to strive.