The Miami Heat were looking for a bounce back night after being embarrassed three games in a row, and well, they followed all of that up with an absolute obliteration from the Brooklyn Nets.
The team isn’t in a good spot right now, obviously. The offense has hit a wall, hard, and just simply seems like it can’t hang with a Durant, Irving offense when playing this lackluster.
But, here are some takeaways from this one…
#1: The inconsistency of the Heat’s shot profile on display.
As the Heat fell behind by 21 at the half, many questions are presented. Some could be asked about Miami’s interior defense falling apart, but a lot of their buckets was Kevin Durant doing Kevin Durant things. But the main issue: the offense. When I say there’s inconsistencies in the team’s shot profile, I mean from possession to possession. Threes aren’t falling, the off-ball sets aren’t as crisp as they were early on, and their best players aren’t able to make plays on any given possession. It’s clear that the offense has hit a wall in that way. Kyle Lowry had moments, Tyler Herro was inefficient to start but did good things. But Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler have the eyes on them. Butler needs to figure out himself offensively at this stage, and Adebayo needs an obvious shift in his spots and scoring outlook.
#2: So, about Victor Oladipo…
Watching Victor Oladipo enter the game tonight, things quickly spiraled out of control from there. Not to say that was on him, but there are clear takeaways from getting an extended look at him. For starters, the gelling hasn’t been there. Tyler Herro and him haven’t been the greatest combo in that back-court, and Jimmy Butler has been mirrored with him a ton, which in my opinion isn’t a good thing. The reason for that is we’re watching two guys run the offense as the defense goes under the screen. We know how they defend Butler, but teams are daring Dipo to make that quick pull-up. Safe to say I’m not the biggest fan of those two together, as well as the constant pairing of Dedmon. If you’re going to go to Dipo, give him Bam who is a quick roller and shooters. If not, I think Gabe Vincent plugging back in come playoff time is a real possibility.
#3: PJ Tucker’s offensive need.
When talking about PJ Tucker as of late, we quickly equate every game he struggles to needing rest and simply missing that open corner three. But the thing about his play early in the season, was that he wasn’t strictly that corner threat. We praised the team for elevating his game from past corner spectating with past teams, but that has declined heavily since the all star break. Guys returning meant less offense would be worked through him, leaving me with a simple question: why? To maximize spacing in a lineup with Tucker and Butler, weak-side spot-ups isn’t the way. When the Heat caught some momentum in the 3rd against the Warriors after the altercation, the offense was being worked through Tucker for a good period of time. Some post-splits. Some fake hand-offs. Just something to give him more of a selection.
#4: Oh hey, Goran Dragic’s back. Yeah, that’s my takeaway from this one…
Goran Dragic: pic.twitter.com/ZMBNWUUOk7
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) March 27, 2022
#5: Time to look at the upcoming stretch.
This is about as bad of a 4 game stretch as it possibly gets. A loss to the 76ers without Joel Embiid and James Harden. A loss to the Warriors without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, including a big bench blow up. A loss to the Knicks where the had a 17 point lead in the 4th. And now, an obliteration against the Brooklyn Nets. I’ve talked enough about that past stretch, so let’s take a quick look up ahead. They play Monday night against the Kings, which is the ultimate team to get back in the win column against, but we know how things have gone. Then Wednesday is against the red hot Boston Celtics, who provide their own problems with that switching defense. This blends into an April back to back on the weekend against the Bulls and Raptors, both on the road. The path isn’t getting much clearer, but the teams they’re playing aren’t the issue. It’s themselves. And there are clear issues.
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