Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Pacers

The Heat fall to the Pacers…

Some takeaways…

#1: Tyrese Haliburton’s adjustment from last Heat game to now.

The last time the Heat faced the Pacers in Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton had a rough night. 0 for 9 shooting due to the Heat’s game-plan to switch Bam Adebayo out and fully eliminate him in the half-court. So, what was his adjustment? He had 5 threes at the half, and it was basically responding to the similar PnR coverage. His adjustment was to just immediately pull without waiting for the switch. When a player has the ability to shoot from farther out, it’s really the one and only thing that can stump that pure switch. A lot of the Pacers early shooting was just hitting most shots from their diet, but the Haliburton part of it was schemed.

#2: Jimmy Butler back, the Heat still reliant on him.

Jimmy Butler had 14 points at the half, as most of that contribution was made in that opening quarter. The first action following the tip-off was a Kyle Lowry cross screen for Butler, who caught the entry pass on the opposite side in the low post for the bucket. The Pacers are one of the only teams to place a smaller defender on Butler and live with it, as Andrew Nembhard has seen him primarily in both match-ups. We saw the pick-up in attempts going toward the rim, which all starts with Butler setting the tone in that way, as well as the trips to the line. This team needs Butler to be that type of force for the offense to function correctly, and I don’t know if that’s extremely a good thing.

#3: Bam Adebayo’s elbow spam into attack.

Aside from the early offensive plan to get Butler going toward the rim, the bigger point was to get Bam Adebayo some post splits and elbow touches. Not really to force him to operate as a play-maker continually, but to work that face-up in space. We saw things we are used to such as the pull-up fade and pure rim attacks following a few jab steps, but he worked in some foul drawing techniques. He was really initiating the contact off those drives to get Myles Turner in foul trouble, forcing him to the bench. Following him going to the bench, Jalen Smith enters. Adebayo throws three straight pump-fakes his way before he bit and Bam jumped into him. We often talk aggression, but these type of counters is something to keep an eye on.

#4: Orlando Robinson minutes with no Dewayne Dedmon.

The Heat’s rotation was pretty much back together in this one, except Dewayne Dedmon was out. That gave an even larger look into the potential of a full rotation, with another big man filling in for the non-Bam minutes. That guy was Orlando Robinson. He’s still very early on in his development, but I definitely didn’t mind those minutes at all. They utilized him defensively just like you would expect, if you watched what they did for developing bigs such as Omer Yurtseven last season. If you put him in an action, they’re just going to continually blitz you. He did a decent job at recovering at respectable speeds back into the lane, which is all you can really ask for in his minutes. He has limitations in certain aspects as expected, but it’s still worth a deeper look.

#5: The run happened again. Then a counter by Miami. Then the final punch by Haliburton.

Heading into the fourth quarter down two, we’ve seen this play-out too many times to know what was coming next. The offense begins to slip even further than we’ve recently seen throughout the season, as the opposing team breaks down the point of attack for easy opportunities. That came in the form of constant three-point shooting dominance from the Pacers guard room. Even though I touched on it early, it really begun and ended with Haliburton tonight who just couldn’t be slowed down. But ultimately this isn’t a Haliburton thing. It isn’t a Pacers thing. It’s a Heat thing at this point. The Heat found a counter punch late, though, led by…Haywood Highsmith? From short roll passes to dunker spot spacing to catch and drives, he gave them some very good minutes as Butler went out. Pacers cooled off for a bit as the Heat gained some energy, but still they had a large hole to dig themselves out of. Down 3 with 16 seconds left, they had to draw up a play, and they designed the perfect one. Strus off a pindown into a down-screen for Herro to receive with some momentum to the right wing. Tie game. But well, Haliburton happened again. A deep 3 wins them the game to finish it.

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