The Miami Heat faced off against the Detroit Pistons once again, and came away with a much needed win. They struggled again early, but battled back without Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler once again. Anyway, here are five takeaways…
#1: Precious Achiuwa the energizer, Precious Achiuwa the leader.
The player that stood out from the moment he checked in tonight was rookie Precious Achiuwa. It seems as if I discuss him in every one of these takeaway pieces, and that’s because he stands out in a certain area every night. Tonight, he showed his leadership abilities, while only being 11 games into his NBA career. When Miami began to trail big time early in the first quarter, Precious shared the floor with Kendrick Nunn, Gabe Vincent, and Moe Harkless, and Achiuwa seemed to become the voice on the floor. Communicating after plays to get the team energized, and he did just that. In both of Miami’s first half runs, Precious was on the floor, and it wasn’t a coincidence. He’s another one of those high impact players that Miami loves, and he continues to improve in all areas of his game.
#2: Kendrick Nunn gives quality offensive minutes.
Well, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Avery Bradley being out means major openings at the guard position. And even though many aren’t high on Kendrick Nunn at the moment, Coach Erik Spoelstra shows to have the utmost confidence. Kendrick did exactly what was needed from him, which was to score the basketball. He looked to have confidence in his jump-shot, and it’s great to see him showing these flashes. Now, he still may not look like rookie Kendrick Nunn, but it surely was a step up from his production to begin the year. Miami needed offensively sounded players to step up tonight without their primary scorers, and he played his role.
#3: Rebounding continues to look like the biggest Miami issue.
I’ve gone through a bunch of Miami’s issues including turnovers, lack of shot attempts, and others, but none stand out like the lack of rebounding. Obviously Detroit is a big team, but this is an ongoing thing that occurs nightly. The Pistons continued to dominate the offensive boards, which once again translates to more shot attempts. If Miami could’ve cut those offensive rebounds in half, they would’ve controlled the game with ease, but clearly that’s not the case. As many people harp on different additions that can be made to this team, a guy that can be plugged in the front-court looks to be the team’s biggest need. Many times throughout the game, Bam is the sole big on the floor, and when he flies out to the perimeter on a close-out, it leads to an easy put-back. He needs help on the glass, and it doesn’t look to be on the roster, unless Spo decides to pair him up with Precious Achiuwa.
#4: Duncan Robinson shoots Miami through this game.
Duncan Robinson looked like the same old Duncan Robinson, but in a game where Miami trailed for most of it, it’s necessary to highlight it. Miami needed a source of offense with Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro out, and Duncan gave them a huge boost after connecting on the usual dribble hand-off threes. Although his stats don’t scream off the stat sheet tremendously, it had more to do with the timing of his scores. He was the reason for Miami’s two big offensive runs in the first half. The reason he is the biggest threat when Miami begins to get momentum on a run is because he’s much better in a quick flow. When Miami begins to run and build a rhythm, Duncan becomes more and more effective as a scorer.
#5: Bam Adebayo’s scoring aggressiveness seems to come out with a Miami lead.
The big discussion throughout tonight’s game with Bam Adebayo was about him taking initiative. When Miami needed a burst of offense when trailing, he continued to facilitate and get others going. There were many moments throughout where Bam looked to have clear opportunities to try and score, but decided to defer. But once Miami got a decent lead in the second half, his offense began to be seen. Now, that could be a type of confidence that he can play free with the ball in his hands due to the game situation, but it clearly worked. This starts to make Heat fans wonder why this isn’t seen more often. He began to hit the mid-range jumper consistently, but as I’ve mentioned many times, I believe it’s more important to see him put the ball on the floor and attack.