The Miami Heat faced the Bucks yet again, with similar rosters on both sides as Tyler Herro and Giannis Antetokounmpo each missed another game.
It was the Gabe Vincent show yet again, as Victor Oladipo heated up late.
Some takeaways from this win…
#1: Gabe Vincent picks right back up where he left off.
After Gabe Vincent put up a career high 28 points against the Bucks on Thursday, he followed that up with a 21 point first half on Saturday afternoon. For starters, the way he was doing it was impressive within the PnR. Manipulating the point of attack defense around screens before keeping his defender on his back into a tough leaner or step back. But most of all, we saw his shooting from deep really return with 5 threes in the first 24 minutes of play. He’s obviously extremely confident in his pull-up, but the spot-up three returning is massively important. That number has been rough so far this season, and with all of the ball handlers on the roster, that making a return can shift the offensive structure. His play can be characterized as hot shooting nights, but it’s simply the growth of his offensive game.
#2: Looking a bit deeper into the Victor Oladipo usage.
I’ve been talking a lot about the Victor Oladipo minutes as of late, mostly since he’s been great on both sides of the floor. Yet if we were to point out one single downfall, it would definitely be his overall handle and being loose with the basketball at times. Some early turnovers made an appearance in this game, and it flowed into a consistent takeaway of mine. The extra ball-handler in the back-court with him feels like the most necessary adjustment to his minutes. When he’s forced to be the sole handler, that’s when the mistakes roll in. Yet next to somebody like Vincent or Tyler Herro, he can shift right back into his usual role and excel on the offensive end off secondary attacks. Fast forward to the second half, he takes off again after rough starts. While I can depict the minor stuff in his game, his energy and current level of play is hitting real highs at the moment. Bypassing the early uneven play into a 20 point night.
#3: Orlando Robinson doing the right things.
When watching this game tonight, there was a play where Spo was yelling at Haywood Highsmith on the weak-side defensively to fully help off the corner for the right slot drive. He second guessed, and a lay-in was the result. Spo called timeout to get in his ear a bit. Last game, Jamal Cain was pinching to hard at the top of the 2-3 zone, giving the Bucks an open three. Spo got in his ear at the next stoppage. We just haven’t seen many of those moments with Orlando Robinson. He’s played his role pretty well and simplified it. Fights on the offensive boards, and always seems to kick it back out to work on a short clock. He had zero points at half, but I saw more promising things than not.
#4: A statistical shift: assisted field goals down.
At the end of the third quarter, the Heat had 32 made field goals. Only 13 of those were assisted. That’s not really a Heat trend as of late, but that can be pointed toward a couple of things. Vincent’s hot shooting stretch pretty much led to a good amount of isolation cooking on pull-ups and floaters for a good portion of that first half. Jimmy Butler’s offense was also slow-paced post work on Jrue Holiday types, taking away the over-passing elements to generate a ton of assists. Also, Bam only having three made field goals at that point feeds that statistic, since most of his buckets are always assisted by the creators. I thought the offensive flow was good anyway, but just an interesting trend.
#5: Taking care of business.
The excitement of a Heat-Bucks prime-time match-up surrounded by the star players was pretty much eliminated from the equation, as Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out yet again. What could’ve been a game to kind of judge where the Heat are against real talent, it quickly shifted to a completely different theme: take care of business on nights like this. The Heat are in an uphill climb at the moment in the Eastern Conference standings following the early struggles, meaning they will take any break they can get. But knowing this team, games like this never feel like a break. They’re more likely to get up for an Antetokounmpo match-up than a short-handed group. But they did capitalize on this stretch with some gritty wins against the Thunder and two against this Bucks group. Now they head on the road for another test.