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5 Takeaways from Heat’s Victory Over Boston in Game Two

The Miami Heat trailed early in game two once again, but came back and got the win, 106-101. It happened after they increased their intensity in the second half, led by Bam Adebayo. Here are some takeaways…

#1: Duncan Robinson comes out firing.

If there was anything positive to takeaway from this game, it’d be the hot start of Duncan Robinson. He’s been struggling throughout these playoffs, and needed a game where he could come out the gate getting shots up. I’ve mentioned previously, Boston’s defensive game-plan is not the same as Milwaukee’s or Indiana’s. Although Duncan wasn’t hitting in game one, he was getting a bunch of good looks. Duncan will hold a bit of pressure heading into game three, since Miami’s offense runs so much smoother when he’s scoring. But that pressure is nothing for Duncan, since he’s one of the most confident shooters in today’s league.

#2: Bam Adebayo struggles early, but takes over in third quarter.

Bam Adebayo struggled early, not having the same success that he usually has around the rim. But that turned around late once again, since Bam got busy in the third quarter, absolutely taking over the game. Some of Bam’s early struggle may have had something to do with having to chase Kemba Walker around on defense, while he absolutely had it going. But he seemed to have gotten his usual energy back after halftime, being the vertical spacer that he always is. The team made it a virtue to run the pick and roll and find Bam, while Bam sustained the confidence in himself that everyone else has in him.

#3: The Erik Spoelstra and Brad Stevens match-up was on full effect.

Miami had problems all season defending the perimeter, but tonight they got attacked in the paint. Even Enes Kanter came in getting busy down low, since Miami doesn’t have a true big that can eliminate post defenders. Bam is clearly a terrific defender, but since he had a lot of assignments with Kemba Walker on the perimeter, this allowed them to thrive. This seemed to be an adjustment by Brad Stevens, since Bam isn’t in the paint, that’s what they decided to attack. But Spo’s adjustments in the second half proved his coaching excellence. He implemented more of the zone defense, gave Derrick Jones Jr minutes, and increased the intensity of the team. This win goes to Erik Spoelstra.

#4: Derrick Jones Jr gives another stint of quality minutes.

Kendrick Nunn currently is the 9th man in the rotation, but it seems as if he’s slowly playing himself out of it. Not only does he continue to struggle, but Derrick Jones Jr gave some quality second half minutes on the defensive end. He matches up perfectly with this Boston team, since they’re full of perimeter wings. Not only can he defend guys one on one, but he’s such a disruptor with team defense. This is a big reason they use him at the top of the zone defense, due to his length and quickness. If he can give Miami some quality offensive minutes, he will 100% secure a spot in the rotation.

#5: When Boston’s scorers get going, they’re hard to slow down, but Miami found a way.

Kemba Walker struggled in game one scoring the ball, but their adjustments opened up the floor for him today, which led to his breakout performance. He torched Miami’s defense to start the game, which led to them getting comfortable down low. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum still seemed as confident as ever with the ball in their hands, putting on a display of their unique pull-up games. But once again, Miami utilized their unique way of gaining momentum. They intensified the game through Bam’s activeness, and overcame Boston’s first half scoring display. This team is hungry, and they’re up 2-0.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Herro, Robinson

The Miami Heat are coming off an absolute game one thriller, but still remain as focused as ever. Erik Spoelstra, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson talked with media today following that game. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra was asked about an overall evaluation of their game one win. He said, “We need to play better.” He also mentioned that Boston was clearly outplaying them throughout, saying “We were getting our asses kicked going into the fourth.” Miami and Boston each had good and bad stretches, Miami owning the second and fourth quarter, while Boston handled the first and third. He thinks they can be better on both sides of the floor which is indeed true. They definitely didn’t have their best game shooting the ball, and defensively there were a couple of small mistakes. Most of those issues on defense occurred with Bam on the bench, since he was flying around the court in both zone and man defense in game one.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Tyler Herro started off his session with media speaking about missing the All-Rookie team by one vote. He said, “I felt I could have been on the first team but am happy with what I got.” It was expected that Tyler would make the second team, since this was a regular season award and he missed some time. Now, if this award carried over to the bubble and playoffs, he’d be the clear top rookie. But ultimately that’s not the case, and although he made that comment, he’s truly focused on much bigger things, as is Bam. Tyler Herro is currently on an unbelievable playoff run in his rookie year, while the other players from the All-Rookie team are watching his games from home. This just truly isn’t a big deal to him.

Post-Practice Comments #3:

Tyler Herro talked about last night’s near triple double stat line. He said, “I didn’t know I was close to a triple-double.” Its continually been talked about that Tyler is improving more and more with his play-making abilities, but most of his attributes aren’t teachable. He has a natural feel for the game, and also a high basketball IQ which rounds out his smooth overall game. Also, the other part of that triple-double with 11 rebounds proved to be essential as well. His elite rebounding abilities for his height is something that isn’t discussed much. Not only does he grab a bunch of rebounds, but he grabs them forcefully. Tyler just does so many things at an A level, which was not expected to be the case by many heading into this season.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Duncan Robinson touched on his shooting in game one, which it definitely wasn’t what it usually was. He said, “Truthfully, I feel like I’m getting good shots. I think I’m taking good shots.” Duncan was getting absolutely blanketed against the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, but that wasn’t the case in game one against Boston. Most of his shots were open shots, but they just weren’t going in, which is unusual for Duncan Robinson. This definitely isn’t something that should be a concern, since Duncan is one of the deadliest and most confident shooters in the league right now. He should have a huge bounce back game on Thursday.

Post-Practice Comments #5:

While Duncan Robinson was talking with media, Soloman Hill decided to join in and yell “Shoot it.” While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, this is how the entire team feels when referring to Duncan Robinson. They don’t care if he’s missed his last 20 shots, they want him shooting that next one with confidence. This is also because he is one of their main keys to winning, since he’s the start of allowing their offense to run smoothly. And once again, he has not had a back to back bad game all season, which is why he should bounce back in game two, to try and put Miami up 2-0.

5 Comments from Media Session with Spoelstra, Robinson, Budenholzer

Erik Spoelstra and Duncan Robinson talked with media today, following an overtime loss in game 4 against the Giannis-less Milwaukee Bucks. All of the players shared a mutual theme post-game, which was the Bucks deserved to win. Here’s what was said today…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra talked a little about yesterday’s game, but mentions that now it’s time to focus on the next game. He says, “It’s about getting to our game more consistently.” Some of that had to do with their stagnant offense yesterday, which many players noted post-game. Another reason for that was the fact that Jimmy Butler waited a little too long to get in a rhythm with the ball in his hands, which then it was too late. Spo also mentioned that they are now preparing for the Bucks with and without Giannis. This was a big reason Miami struggled on defense. Miami had to adjust mid-game from a Giannis centric defense scheme to a Khris Middleton and perimeter stopping defense. Now that Miami has time to prepare, they should be in much better shape either way.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Tyler Herro did a bunch of Tyler Herro things late in yesterday’s game, hitting big shot after big shot. Erik Spoelstra discussed Tyler for a little bit, saying “His game continues to grow, and we’re going to ask more of him as the series goes on.” It truly is amazing that they are putting so much trust in a 20 year old rookie in the playoffs, but Tyler truly is built for this. One of his main attributes with his scoring that puts him over the top is his high level confidence. He wasn’t having the best game early, but still had the mental toughness to shoot those shots in stride in overtime. This is why Tyler Herro plays so many fourth quarter minutes. The coaches believe in him. His teammates believe in him. And most importantly he believes in himself.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Milwaukee Bucks head coach, Mike Budenholzer, talked about the current status of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury. He said that he’s “getting treatment around the clock.” It was also reported that Giannis was seen at practice today with a boot on, and was walking with a hint of a limp, which is much expected. Budenholzer also mentioned that Giannis is doing “everything he can to make himself available.” Andre Iguodala mentioned today that Miami expects Giannis to play. Either way, Miami is now prepared for the Bucks with or without Giannis as Spo mentioned earlier, but this status will be something to keep an eye on over the next 24 hours.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

After Coach Erik Spoelstra touched on Tyler Herro’s play, Duncan expanded on it a little more. He said, “His confidence is special for sure, but the are he’s grown a lot is his feel.” He mentioned that the game is beginning to slow down a lot for him, and his decision making continues to stand out. He says that although he’s made a bunch of big shots throughout this series, some of his passes he’s made have been much more impressive. He finishes the conversation with “The best is yet to come with him.” And that’s indeed the truth. This team knows the upside that he has, which is why they trust him with the ball in his hands at the end of games.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Duncan Robinson talked about the aggression he must bring on the offensive side of the ball every game. He said, “They’ve made adjustments to take away certain things that I like to do, but you must make adjustments to the adjustments.” He follows that saying that the most important thing for him is to continue to search for open shots. He also credited Milwaukee’s defense on him, but he knows he is still able to do what he has done all season. He finishes saying that he’s been very focused on trying to improve in that area, which is why he won’t get away from it. Duncan hit six threes in yesterday’s game against Milwaukee, which means he will be watched closely yet again in game five tomorrow.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Nail-Biting Win Over Pacers

The Miami Heat played yet another tough game against the Indiana Pacers in game 3, but came away with the win 124-115. This game was clearly a tale of two halves, since Miami dominated in the first half, but let the game get away from them in the second. Here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: If Miami shoots the way they did in the first half, they’re a tough team to beat.

Miami had one of those halves that Heat fans have seen quite a lot this season, which was an absolute three point shooting display. They’re clearly one of the best teams when they are hitting their shots, but when their shots aren’t falling, they struggle getting their offense going. The second half was a perfect example of this, when it seemed to be the complete opposite of the first half. Dragic had 4 first half threes, while Crowder, Herro, and Robinson each had two first half threes. This led Miami to 74 first half points, which was a playoff record. If Miami can withhold their elite shooting for 48 minutes, they’ll be tough to beat.

#2: Goran Dragic hot streak continues.

It feels like Goran is included in every one of these takeaway piece, because he has been. He continues to be an elite offensive presence for Miami, while scoring from all three levels. And though he has a great connection with teammate Jimmy Butler, his best play has come with the second unit. This is obviously because they’ve built up a great amount of chemistry throughout the season when he came off the bench. Goran played 14 of the first 17 minutes of the game, which is interesting considering his age. It seems as if Spo is giving him these minutes, so he can bring Jimmy back in mid-way through the second quarter for him. Miami needs one of either Goran or Jimmy on the floor at all times, and it seems as if Spo has recognized this as well.

#3: Bam Adebayo obviously isn’t a natural scorer, but his on-court impact is crucial.

Bam Adebayo has struggled scoring the ball through the first few playoff games, but that’s because he hasn’t gone to his strengths on offense. Bam displayed it in the first quarter, taking Myles Turner off the dribble. He has continued to struggle with his back to the basket, but when he gets a full head of steam, he’s hard to stop. But what makes Bam so impactful is everything else. His back-door passing, screen setting, and defensive presence was on full display. He may not give you a bunch of blocks, but he will force a bunch of missed shots, both around the rim and on the perimeter. And his ability to take the center out of the paint and make tight back door passes off of cuts may have won them this game. As of right now, this side of his game seems to translate more to wins than his scoring, which is why Spoelstra is so supportive of the way he plays.

#4: Miami will need to clean up turnovers in order to beat a team like Milwaukee.

Miami had more turnovers than field goals made in the third quarter. Let that sink in. Part of it is due to the scrappiness of Indiana on the defensive end. But another part of it is some costly errors from Miami’s stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Obviously turnovers will occur since both of these guys have major play-making tasks, but it is essential to clean this up a bit. Jimmy seems to try and force passes out to the three when he drives to the basket, and Bam seems to pick up his dribble on the perimeter at times. But, this is definitely something that can be fixed, especially since Coach Spo has mentioned taking care of the ball a lot over the past week.

#5: Tyler Herro clearly doesn’t shy away from big moments.

Tyler Herro scored 20 points in only his third playoff game, shooting 6-12 from the field. Although he seemed to be taking the role of a play-maker in the eight regular season games, he has now reverted back to the natural scorer he was mid-season. And as of right now, Miami needs the offensively hungry Tyler Herro. Although he’s a threat from beyond the arc, his ability to control the mid-range adds another aspect to their offense. He has led the team in fourth quarter minutes this season, and there’s been no change for the playoffs since he’s apart of the team’s closing lineup with Dragic, Butler, Iguodala, and Adebayo. And even with Jimmy Butler on the floor, Tyler seems to be Miami’s biggest threat late in games.

5 Post-Game Comments from Spoelstra, Crowder, Robinson, Butler

The Miami Heat took a 2-0 lead today, after a big win in game 2 against the Pacers. There seemed to be a mutual topic in each player’s media session, Jimmy Butler. Here’s what was said…

Post-Game Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra was asked about the second half aggressiveness of both Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler. He started off saying that it’s mainly because they are both “veteran leaders.” He then began to talk about Jimmy Butler’s importance, saying “Everyone knows why we got Jimmy Buter, it’s for these kinds of moments.” It’s pretty clear that this is why the Miami Heat brought Jimmy in, but this is finally the time it can be showcased. And Jimmy has not shed away from showing it, after having two big games to start the series. But, he impacted both games in different ways. One by completely taking over by scoring, and the other by every aspect. This whole team is 100% invested in their leader Jimmy Butler.

Post-Game Comment #2:

Jimmy Butler used a phrase that he’s been talking about a lot lately. He said, “As long as we keep fighting like the dogs that we are, we’ll come out on top.” Not only has Jimmy continually spoke about the amount of “dogs” on this roster, he also continually talks about “coming out on top.” The thing about this is that he truly believes. Actually, the whole team believes it. They have an absolute different mentality than these other teams, which gives them the edge they need.

Post-Game Comment #3:

Jimmy Butler also talked about what is so different about the Heat. He responded, “They let me be me…to cuss people out.” He then talked about nobody taking it personal. Bam Adebayo talked about this yesterday as well, saying that he’s able to yell at Jimmy Butler and others since they all want to win. We saw this in today’s game when Bam wanted Tyler Herro to clear out, but he didn’t. Bam consequently made sure to let him know. But once again, nobody takes it personal. This is truly what separates this Heat team from the rest.

Post-Game Comment #4:

Jae Crowder also talked about the big topic of the day, Jimmy Butler. Jae said, “I’ve been with Jimmy in some of the biggest games of his life back in college.” Jae notes that this has been Jimmy’s mentality for a while now. He mentions “his level of play rises to the occasion.” This is indeed true, since Jimmy has struggled from three all season, but has become truly confident in taking them now. Many have questioned Jimmy Butler’s offensive ability, even approaching the post-season, but he’s showing them all that he’s a different breed in the playoffs.

Post-Game Comment #5:

Duncan Robinson quickly mentioned after the game that he had some elite shooters reach out to him over the hiatus, including Mike Miller and Reggie Miller. Obviously they aren’t giving Duncan huge pointers on how to shoot, but shooters like this have the important insight on the small things. And it seems as if Duncan has picked up on some things since returning, including a side step dribble and an eagerness to attack the basket. And since this is basically Duncan’s rookie year, he has much more time to develop his game even more.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Game 2 Win Over Pacers

The Miami Heat had their fair share of ups and downs in today’s game against the Indiana Pacers, but came away with the win 109-100. Consequently, Miami takes a 2-0 lead over Indiana, but instead of flying back home to Miami for game 3, they will be staying in Orlando. Here are five takeaways from this game…

#1: Bam Adebayo’s early foul trouble showcases his importance.

Bam Adebayo got called for two early fouls in the first quarter. He was consequently subbed out of the game, right after the Heat went on a huge offensive run to start the game. This seemed to put a huge halt on Miami’s offense, which is weird since Bam doesn’t seem to be an offensive powerhouse. The thing is that Bam does all of the small things for their offense. Picks, spaces the floor, etc. He had 0 points until mid-way through the third quarter, but made himself useful through his elite play-making skills. This also forced Miami to go small for an extended amount of time, since Derrick Jones Jr subbed in for Bam. These early foul troubles for Bam in the bubble is definitely something to keep your eye on, since you can’t risk not having Bam on the floor in a match-up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

#2: Heat’s offense seems to revolve solely around the shooting of Duncan Robinson.

Miami’s offense has clearly revolved around Duncan all season, and looks to be even more true in the bubble. This is what caused a huge Heat run to start the game, when Duncan hit three triples in the first two minutes. But once Indiana’s defense picked up on it, the offense became stagnant. Especially since a bunch of Miami’s usual go to scorers struggled early in the game. Duncan ended up hitting a fourth three in the second quarter, which was the start of another Miami run. He ended the game with seven three pointers, which gives Duncan a great amount of confidence after last game’s struggles. This just further proves the amount of pressure Duncan has to elevate this offense. But if anyone is capable of doing it, it’s Duncan Robinson.

#3: Miami’s supporting cast steps up during tough stretches.

As talked about previously, Miami’s usual scorers struggled in the first half of today’s game. But, Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala hit some much needed shots in the first half, to get them out of this drought. Kelly Olynyk had 7 points and 6 rebounds in the first half, while Andre Iguodala did his part on the defensive end. The depth of this Heat team is one of Miami’s biggest advantages, which is why they will need guys like Kelly and Andre to elevate the team when things aren’t going their way. And as Spoelstra said about Kendrick Nunn and Meyers Leonard, these guys will be much needed down the line.

#4: The Heat’s crisp ball movement may have won them this game.

Jimmy Butler said before today’s game that although he scored 28 in game 1, he wants to be better in game 2 with getting the other guys involved. This seemed to be the goal for every player on the team though. Miami played some of the most unselfish basketball that they’ve played all season, which at times seemed a bit excessive. For example, Duncan forced a pass down low though he had an open three, and Jimmy passed out to Herro for a three though he had a wide open layup. The point is that this type of play could win them many tight games, since most teams don’t play this way. Most teams have a go to scorer that they look to in close playoff games. Miami’s primary play-makers, in Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, are going to play this way no matter what, since they continually say this is the way to win.

#5: Goran Dragic is officially the second half killer.

It seemed to be a repeat of game 1 for Goran Dragic. A slow start in the first half, followed by a second half scoring display. It may be because a 34 year old needs some time to get going. Or maybe he saves himself for the second half. Either way, Goran continues to be a huge offensive spark for this team. He’s one of the only players on the team who can consistently create their own shot, and hit it consistently. It also seems as if the hiatus has helped Goran as much as anybody in the bubble. This time off has made Goran much more explosive for playoff time than he would have been normally. Goran finished the game with 20 points, while playing as good as ever.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Adebayo, Robinson

Erik Spoelstra, Bam Adebayo, and Duncan Robinson talked with some media today after practice. Erik talked a little about people’s opinions on Bam, which led to Bam speaking about it as well. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra seemed to want to get this off of his chest when regarding people’s opinions on Bam. He said that all of the people outside of the organization who give their opinion can “stick it up you know where.” He also mentions that people continually talk about how aggressive he needs to be, but “he is doing the right things for our team.” Spoelstra has always been a coach that puts full trust in certain players. Bam is one of them. He knows how much Bam wants to win, and what he will do to help this team win. It doesn’t have to be a scoring display either, since one of Bam’s biggest things is bringing the amount of energy he brings every night.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Erik Spoelstra gives a quote that fits their current situation perfectly. He said, “The goal is bigger than the role right now.” This was referring to Kendrick Nunn going from starter to out of the rotation, just as Meyers Leonard did. Spoelstra also mentioned that he will need the depth of this team as they go along, saying “You have to be ready for anything in the playoffs.” And if anybody will be ready for anything thrown their way, it’ll be Erik Spoelstra. He continually recognized the importance of Kendrick Nunn this season, and said that these are not easy decisions. But, says they must stay ready, which “K-Nunn is mentally tough enough to understand that.”

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Bam Adebayo seemed to like Erik Spoelstra’s comment on people’s opinions about him. Bam said, “In October, nobody even knew who I was.” He then mentioned that now everybody wants to tell him how he should do things. He then talked about how much he respects Erik Spoelstra’s comments, since all Erik wants from him is to impact winning. While many people discuss the relationship of Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra being so strong, Bam’s relationship with Erik is just as strong. This is because all three of them share a mutual mindset on the game of basketball. A winning mindset.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Duncan Robinson talked about Indiana’s defense targeting him throughout game 1 of the playoffs. He said, “I definitely give them some credit, but I still feel I’m able to be impactful in this series.” He’s definitely seen this quite a few times during his time in the bubble, but he’s never had to face a team this many times in a row. But with Erik Spoelstra’s creative adjustments and Duncan’s ability to make a defense uncomfortable, they should be able to overcome this situation. The last time Duncan was being blanketed against Toronto, he came out the next game with a purpose to attack the basket. Don’t be surprised if you see Duncan being more active with the ball in his hands in game 2 tomorrow.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Bam Adebayo seemed to be much more aggressive with the ball in his hands in the second and third quarters than he was in the first yesterday. Bam discussed why he thinks this is. He basically said once guys get glued to their man after guys like Duncan get going, it opens up the floor to take guys off the dribble. This definitely was the case yesterday, since after Goran and Tyler began to score, he took initiative to take Myles Turner to the basket. This also led to a Bam Adebayo mid-range jumper, which opens it up for him even more. This further shows that although Duncan relies on Bam a lot on offense, Bam relies on Duncan just as much.

5 Overall Takeaways from Miami Heat’s Eight Seeding Games

The Miami Heat fell to 3-5 during their seeding games in the bubble, but this record does not show the amount of positive signs that was shown from their young players. As we now approach the beginning of the NBA playoffs, here’s a look back at what I took away from the regular season games in the bubble…

#1: Duncan Robinson clearly elevates the offense to another level.

It was pretty obvious that Duncan Robinson was an elite shooter before the NBA got postponed, but these bubble games showcased another side of him. He was a sensational catch and shoot guy all season, but now that he’s such an offensive problem for other defenses, they throw everyone they can at him. This allowed Duncan to develop things such as a shot-fake, off-balance threes, and even some drives to the basket. This consequently takes the offense to another level. If Duncan becomes even more comfortable with his abilities to penetrate once teams are flying out on him, this opens up the floor for everybody else, especially Bam Adebayo.

#2: Goran Dragic may be the starter by game 1 of the playoffs.

Goran Dragic has clearly been on point over his time in the bubble, since he’s had absolutely zero problems scoring the ball. And with Kendrick Nunn’s recent struggles, it’s looking more and more like Goran Dragic will be the starter by game 1. Goran got some run in with the starting lineup when Kendrick was out, and the lineup absolutely thrived. The problem was that there was no veteran Goran off of the bench. This clearly hurt their second unit, since guys like Tyler Herro and Derrick Jones Jr both flourish with Goran on the floor. It’s also been clear that Miami needs Goran or Jimmy on the floor at all times to be successful, and with this starting lineup, there will be stretches without them on the floor. If Goran continues this hot streak in the playoffs, this will definitely be a tough offense to stop.

#3: Tyler Herro takes huge leap in the bubble.

There seemed to be quite a lot of doubt on Heat’s rookie Tyler Herro when he struggled in the three scrimmage games. But, he completely turned this around once the games started to count, especially on the back stretch of these games. He came into the league with the idea that he’d be a catch and shoot guy. But this isn’t even close to being his best overall attribute. During the hiatus, he worked on his ball-handing skills a lot, which is very important since he’s become one of Miami’s primary play-makers. And speaking of play-making, his display of passing during this time has clearly shown he will be the starting point guard of this team very soon. His biggest problem has been on the defensive side, and he’s even had a bunch of great defensive stretches. His quick feet, active hands, and great instincts have given this team even more hope on the future of Tyler Herro.

#4: Bam Adebayo saving himself for the post-season.

Bam Adebayo has been pretty solid for this team statistically in the bubble, but this team knows he has another level. It’s up to Bam if he can shift gears in a playoff series, and take over on offense at times when they need him. He’s begun to get more and more comfortable with that elbow jump shot, but they just haven’t been falling. The coaching staff, his teammates, and the fans all want him to continue to be comfortable taking it, since they will begin to fall eventually. His defense is never in question, since he seems to bring that every single night he plays. Bam has seemed to be pacing himself a bit over this stretch of games, which it appears to be him saving himself for a post-season breakout.

#5: Jimmy Butler got some time off, but now this is his time.

Jimmy Butler has not looked to be a primary scorer on this team all season. He instead uses his elite play-making and leadership to his advantage, which is definitely needed. But, in order for this team to make a playoff run, they’ll need Jimmy Butler to become the star that he is. The reason lower level teams always shrink in the playoffs is because they don’t have a go to guy when thing get rough. Miami has one, but he needs to know he is one. It seems as if Jimmy could drive to the basket and get a bucket or a foul on every possession, but he chooses to be the unselfish teammate that he is. In a playoff series though, he will need to be selfish at times, because that will translate to wins in close games. If Jimmy could step up as “the guy,” this team will be as tough as any other.

5 Dynamic Duos on Current Miami Heat Team

The Miami Heat are very different in a sense of their on court connections. Most teams have good lineups that they revolve their team around, but Miami has good duos. Each player on this team has their own running mate that they achieve the most offensive success with, which is why Coach Spo has begun to utilize these patterns. Here are 5 dynamic duos on this current Miami Heat team…

 

Duo #1: Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro

Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro seemed to hit it off the first day that they met. Tyler flew out to Chicago to hang out with Jimmy after he got drafted, and consequently earned Jimmy’s respect due to the amount of hard work he puts in. This has translated to their on-court connection as well, especially recently. Coach Spo has begun to bring Tyler off of the bench early, and leave Jimmy on the court to give them some run together. They seem to feed off of each other down the stretches of games as well. We saw this earlier in the season in a game against the Chicago Bulls, where Jimmy looked to Tyler Herro for a couple clutch three pointers down the stretch. And now that Tyler has improved his play-making abilities, they’ve been able to utilize this connection through back-door cuts, fast-breaks, and more. This duo has so much time to grow since they’ve only played together for half of a season. And with Tyler’s improving defense, this could be a scary duo for many years to come.

 

Duo #2: Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson

Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson have seemed to have a better connection than anybody else on the team, mostly because they are the sparks of their offense. They are the best in the league in dribble hand-offs, by far, mostly due to the lethal off balanced shooting of Duncan Robinson. Bam Adebayo needs credit as well, because he has really become better and better at good, hard screens. They’ve also been able to run some pick and roll stuff in these bubble games since Duncan is beginning to drive to the basket more and more, which only makes this combo more lethal. It also opens up their ability to run dribble hand-offs at a higher rate, since now they’ll have the option to run different things through it. These two know how deadly they are together as well, which is why you see them run the same hand-off four times in a row sometimes, just to get it right. If Bam can slowly develop his jump shot more and more, this could become one of the most unstoppable offensive plays.

 

Duo #3: Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr

Now, this duo is beginning to develop right in front of our eyes. Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr have become quite the combination during these last few games, mostly due to Goran’s intelligent passing and Derrick’s vertical spacing. Derrick has never been much of a scorer, but when Goran is in with him, he’s an absolute offensive threat. And when Goran utilizes his play-making ability, it translate to wins. The Heat are 8-0 this season when Goran has 8 or more assists, which clearly proves the previous statement. Derrick has also helped Goran’s scoring, since teams drop back off of the pick and roll with DJJ rolling, which gave Goran the ability to utilized his floater much more. Goran may have just secured DJJ a spot in the rotation as the playoffs get closer and closer.

 

Duo #4: Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk

This is yet another duo that Coach Spo has tried to play together as much as possible. Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder played together in Boston for three years, which is what sparked their on court connection. Jae Crowder has told media many times that Kelly’s versatility is what truly helps them work together, and when they put the ball in his hands with the second unit, it can trigger a lot of different sets. It seems to be pretty easy to work well together when you’re both lengthy and able to shoot, but this isn’t the best part of their chemistry. They both are on-court leaders, who are unselfish to make the right plays. Kelly Olynyk’s off ball movement down low is something that Jae always keeps track of in games. Although Jae is now in the starting lineup without Kelly, be prepared for a lot of extended stretches with them playing the 4 and the 5, since they are both players who can spark an offense with their shooting.

 

Duo #5: Erik Spoelstra and Andre Iguodala

The duo of Erik Spoelstra and Andre Iguodala obviously impacts the team in a much different way. They’ve also been together for a much shorter time than all of the others on this list. But, this hiatus has helped these two more than anybody else. It’s given them a chance to learn each other, and find the right fits for Andre on this team. The bubble is also another mechanism that has added to their off-court connection. And all of the off-court connections translate to on-court connections. Erik Spoelstra has always been a coach that rolls with guys that he trusts in tough situations, and Andre Iguodala is one of those guys. Andre obviously isn’t the most natural scorer, but he does everything else for your team that doesn’t show up in a stat sheet. He hasn’t gotten as much minutes over these last few regular season games as others, but that will change in the playoffs. Erik Spoelstra trusts Andre in these situations and Heat fans should too.

5 Post-Game Comments from Spoelstra, Robinson, Butler, Herro

The Miami Heat suffered a late loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a three point shot from Mike Muscala for the win. The Miami Heat still seemed in good spirits since their starters didn’t play in the second half. Afterward, some players talked with local media about the game. Here’s what was said…

Post-Game Comment #1:

Jimmy Butler clearly wasn’t happy with Chris Paul’s actions early in the game, when he threw the ball at Duncan Robinson. Jimmy said, “You’re not gonna throw the ball at my teammate like that. Yeah I got a turnover, got an offensive foul.” It was pretty evident Jimmy charged Chris with a purpose after this altercation. Even though this play wasn’t a big deal, it shows the rest of the team his leadership. He wanted to show Duncan that he has his back no matter what, and also show Chris that he’s messing with the wrong team. Jimmy concludes the discussion with “You mess with one of my guys, then you gotta deal with me,” which further shows not to mess with Jimmy and this Heat team.

Post-Game Comment #2:

Duncan Robinson also touched on this Chris Paul incident, which media thought they’d get a clearer idea of what his reasoning was. Duncan responded, “I’m not exactly sure.” He says that he told himself he should’ve shot it in the corner when he shot faked, which caused a back and forth between the two. It’s evident that Duncan won’t back down from anything either. He may be thought of as the quiet shooter, but he will let you know when he gets his jumper going. He told Heat star Jimmy Butler to “never go under the screen” in their first practice together before the season after hitting a three pointer. If Duncan wasn’t afraid of his teammate Jimmy Butler before the season, he definitely won’t back down from any other opponent that’s thrown his way.

Post-Game Comment #3:

Jimmy Butler also got to talking about the topic of the night, Tyler Herro. Jimmy said, “I love that guy.” He continued to praise Tyler for the growth in his game that has especially been shown in these bubble games. His play-making, ball handling, and defense has continued to grow, which has caused Spo to show even more trust in him than usual. Jimmy has clearly taken Tyler under his wing from the start. He was talking to Tyler before the final shot of the game, which made it clear that it was a Herro jumper coming. When you earn Jimmy’s trust, you can earn anyone’s trust. He will be taking another big leap in the post-season after he gets some playoff experience under his belt, and will give the team an even clearer view of his future.

Post-Game Comment #4:

Jae Crowder had a rough injury occur in the first quarter, where he bumped knees with Luguentz Dort. He limped off the floor without putting pressure on it, but ended up on the sideline with the team soon after. Coach Spo said everything came back clean after the game, which may ultimately mean that Jae Crowder sits out in their final game against the Indiana Pacers to heal up. He should be ready by game 1 of the first round, which will be much needed since he’s been a huge piece to this Heat team on both sides of the ball this year.

Post-Game Comment #5:

And finally the money quote. It seems as if all of these guys continually talk about winning, and it’s because that is their ultimate goal. Jimmy said that Herro is always watching film and just clearly wants to be great. You can tell he wants to be great just by his on court improvements that were talked about previously. These other skill sets don’t just appear out of nowhere. Jimmy also said, “He wants to bring a championship to Miami and I think we’re going to do that.” The trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro have all mentioned their goal of winning a championship over the last week, which is a great sign of the state of mind these guys are in.