Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Kings

The Miami Heat fell short against the Sacramento Kings after their recent hot stretch, and now the real tough slate lines up right in front of them.

Omer Yurtseven had another promising performance, but Miami just couldn’t control things ultimately on either end.

So, here are five takeaways from this one…

#1: A very ugly start for Miami.

The Heat had a pretty horrible start to this one, and it transcends poor shooting from the outside. While that jumped off the stat-sheet, and was heard every time the ball clanked off the rim, it began to blend into other things, like it usually does. For one, it always waters down defensive effort. But the issue early was that 10-day contracts were showing. It seemed like it was miscommunication after miscommunication, giving Sacramento easy threes and easy layups every time down the floor. And as shots continue to miss, you jump into an accidental offensive shift on the floor, almost repeating bad habits. The main one is something I’ve touched on a ton which is overusing bigs that aren’t Bam Adebayo. You can’t work offense through less skilled bigs even though that’s what you’re used to, which we saw at times with guys like Chris Silva.

#2: A Kyle Lowry-Omer Yurtseven 1-2 punch to finish the first half.

Although I touched on the things that went wrong for Miami offensively, something had to have gone right if they only trailed by 4 at halftime. And well, that started with Kyle Lowry and Omer Yurtseven. Tyler Herro finished strong after a patchy start to the half, and Kyle Guy contributed a decent bit on that end, but the Lowry-Yurtseven PnR’s were being spammed. And they were working well. Lowry was hitting that pull-up three when the defender went under, and surveyed the mid-range at a high level, either spinning into his coveted turn-around or dishing down low with 5 first half assists. But Yurtseven’s control down low really shined. Although defensive lapses occurred, he was needed as that roll/post presence, and he showed up in that area. He went from the least experienced guy on the floor to the second most real quick, as many of those lineups were surrounded by 3 10-days.

#3: Does open floor operation need to increase in this interesting period?

It’s hard to judge minor specifics during this stretch of games with only 5 roster guys available, but one simple element has jumped out to me. When the year began, the offensive topic that outweighed everything else is the pace increase Lowry would bring to this team, and as we’ve seen, Herro has loved it as well. But the more games played, the more things seem to slow down. Of course that will always be this team’s identity, but can a true identity be found when running a Haywood Highsmith-Chris Silva front-court pairing? I believe not. With that said, it feels like this team needs to open up the playbook a bit more, to maximize guys like Caleb Martin, Lowry, etc. We’ve seen it shine at moments, but the consistency is never there. A lot of it relies on high level defense, but pushing the pace feels like a necessity when playing with young legs who want an opportunity.

#4: Tyler Herro’s “battling” factor.

I talked about Tyler Herro a little in this sense last game, but ultimately in a different light. When shots aren’t falling, it doesn’t look like last season whatsoever. Last game, his outlet was his passing ability, where he controlled the game on the ball and set others up. Tonight, he just kept battling through. Yes, he battled through a couple times last season as well, but I don’t remember it working out as much as it has this year. He can turn games around within that same 48 minute frame, and that’s an important skill for a 21 year old pure scorer. As I said before, he had a nice finish to the first half, but he continued that in the second half as well when energy and rhythm picked up in that 3rd quarter. After talking about Yurtseven, how was he getting such good looks down low? Along with Butler looking for him, Herro kept feeding him.


#5: An unsurprising, surprising loss by Miami.

Yeah, it definitely felt like Miami was in control of this one late and was there’s to win, but well, it slipped away. While that may surprise some, it just shouldn’t. The Miami Heat ran a 4th quarter lineup of Kyle Guy, Nik Stauskas, Haywood Highsmith, and Chris Silva, which gives us a ton of perspective. The Heat have still won 9 of their last 12, but now, real challenges strike. The upcoming stretch of this road trip is the toughest part, including Golden State and Phoenix to kick things off essentially. But the only good thing about it will be that this team is getting healthier. Quick. Guys like Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and PJ Tucker could be exiting protocols real soon, Dewayne Dedmon should be close to healed up, Markieff Morris *should* be back soon, and clock is ticking on the hopeful return of Victor Oladipo and Bam Adebayo. Steal a couple coming up, and they’re in perfect shape.


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