The Miami Heat played a wild one against a depleted Detroit Pistons team, but don’t let that distract you from Miami being just as slim.
Some big shots from Tyler Herro and Max Strus down the stretch iced it for Miami.
So, here are some takeaways from this one…
#1: Down another body.
The Miami Heat have been dealing with availability issues recently, and not in the same way the rest of the league is. It’s not that they’re covered in health and safety protocol tags, but instead pure injuries. And well, it was a rough start to this one as another front-court guy on this team went down, and a pretty important one at that. Dewayne Dedmon going through his usual sets as the roll man, yet this specific play he ended up on the floor in a ton of pain. He ended up getting up on his own power and walked straight to the locker room, which ended up being called a knee sprain. Obviously Miami slightly dodged a bullet since it could’ve been a lot worse, but it’s yet another hurdle that Miami will have to leap over and monitor. The theme of their season.
#2: Three-point shooting comparison quite unbalanced.
At the half, the Detroit Pistons were shooting 11 for 21 from beyond the arc, while Miami was 5 of 19. The interesting part about those numbers was Miami slightly padded theirs a bit to end the half, behind Tyler Herro and Max Strus explosions which I’ll get into next. The threes being generated on both sides were quite different as well. Detroit was just picking apart Miami’s zone and finding the open man, which was spread around equally as every Piston starter had at least 2 threes at the half as well. Miami, on the other hand, just couldn’t get them to drop within the offense, leaving them with 4 starters half-way through with no made three. When two teams are down so many guys like these two teams are, usually the team with the better outside shooting numbers has the lead. And well, when they’re that one-sided, you put yourself in a tough spot.
#3: The Tyler Herro-Max Strus show early.
Aside from all of the struggles I discussed in the last section, Max Strus kept them afloat early and Tyler Herro took the keys from there. 33 of 55 first half points from Miami were scored by Herro and Strus. The role of Strus early was intriguing, and it led to a 7-0 run from him. As he’s slotted into starting power forward, he began merging into that role a bit. Baseline roaming, dunker spot reps, which led to an easy dunk early in the first. Herro was just doing Herro-like things. Really carving things up inside the arc, leading to tough mid-range fades and nice lay-ins around the rim. But most of all, his control stood out. Running certain lineups that many of us thought we’d only see in Summer League, yet he’s still playing within the offense. And well, that’s an improved player.
#4: Udonis Haslem, the spark.
With Dedmon going down early, Miami had to quickly transition into a strict, and small, 8 man rotation for a good portion of the game. Well, that was until Erik Spoelstra gave Udonis Haslem the look to enter the game late in the third. After some rough possessions to start, he quickly gave Miami some production, aside from the big time home crowd spark. One immediate and-1 after the whole team did some complaining on the other end, and a nice face-up jumper down on the box right after. Like I said, sometimes that stuff doesn’t even truly matter in games like this. Instead, it leaves many looking around for the ignitable piece to get a group going. And UD can do that rather quickly, as Miami finished the third quarter strong.
#5: Marcus Garrett giving Miami some underappreciated minutes.
Whenever Marcus Garrett has gotten some run over this recent stretch, his stat-line has never really popped at all in any category. Why is that? Well, he’s another one of those Heat guys that doesn’t get rated upon numbers on a piece of paper, especially considering the main part of his game is on the defensive end. And tonight was a game where he really showed out as a pure ball-hawk. Not only in a Gabe Vincent-like way from baseline to baseline, but by cutting off simple reads in pick and rolls at the top of the key possession after possession. Haslem may have been the spark to finish the third, but Garrett was the spark to kick off the fourth. One play where he forced Cory Joseph into a quick pass and Herro stole it and dunked it was the fire setter. Yet, shortly after, he found himself in perfect position for a much needed charge. That stuff speaks volume.
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