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.