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Tyler Herro: A Milwaukee Native, A Milwaukee Enticer

Some pretty interesting news came out today for the Miami Heat, when Ashley Nicole reported that Giannis Antetokounmpo is “prepared to sign a long-term deal in Miami.”

This is something that has been discussed consistently for a while now, which is why it’s no shock. The only difference is that it is now being discussed via trade instead of 2021 free agency, since Milwaukee wants to get some value in return.

I discussed his fit with this Heat team in a recent article, but what would this deal look like exactly?

Obviously it’s uncertain what Miami would need to give up exactly, but it definitely would have to include Tyler Herro.

I’ve been a big proponent of not including Tyler Herro in trades when they’ve been getting discussed over and over. I believe Miami does value him as untouchable, until Giannis gets put onto the table.

The reason I’ve been so adamant about not including Tyler Herro in these other trades that have been discussed, is because Miami has a shot at something much bigger.

Pat Riley is not afraid to make a move to get a “whale,” and I don’t even think Giannis is a whale, more like a cruise ship.

Tyler Herro, on the other hand, would be going back to the town in which he grew up.

There’s still so much unknown with this whole situation, since Miami is hoping for the opportunity to go after Giannis in free agency next season, but that may no longer be an option.

One thing about Pat Riley and the Miami Heat is that they’re never satisfied, which means there’s a good chance they make a deal to form a new big three in South Beach.

How Does Giannis Antetokounmpo Fit with Miami?

Although Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t a free agent until 2021, he’s the guy that Miami seems to be revolving their 2020 free agency around.

There seems to be real optimism around Giannis joining forces in Miami if he chooses to leave Milwaukee. And well, that seems fairly obvious. Who doesn’t want to live in bright lights of Miami? And who doesn’t want to play with the hardest working organization to compete for a title?

But how would this fit truly look with this Miami Heat team?

For starters, the only issue that people seem to have with this acquisition is the fact that their three best players wouldn’t be able to shoot. And I can guarantee that thought won’t cross the front office’s mind once.

Jimmy Butler doesn’t shoot threes since he feels he can impact the game in every other part of the game, which is also why Erik Spoelstra bought into that. But with Giannis, I feel that they’d definitely find a way for him to improve his shooting.

I believe that starts with having play-makers on the floor who can make him feel comfortable. In Milwaukee, he’s the primary play-maker on the floor at all times, and he also has to play a bunch of one-on-one ball. But in Miami, he will be the third play-making option behind Butler and Bam, which I think could open up his shooting abilities.

Even if he doesn’t improve the shooting it’s not an issue. If Miami is running Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson in the starting lineup with those three, it’ll definitely make up for the lack of shooting.

But Miami is not trying to acquire Giannis to improve on the offensive side of the ball, it’s to overload on defense. Giannis is debatably the best defender in the league, who can guard any position on the floor.

The switches between Bam and Giannis on defense would be incredible, but the zone could be one of the deadliest things for this team.

The reason Bam thrived so well with the zone is that he has the ability to constantly move and can guard the perimeter. Giannis is all of that and more, which would definitely make the bottom of that zone a scary sight.

I also don’t believe a fit next to Bam has to revolve solely around a player who can shoot. It actually is about finding a player who can keep their offensive spacing while still playing to their strengths.

While Bam operates from the free throw line extended, Giannis would have no problem roaming the baseline for back-door passes and put-backs.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be their number one option on offense, since he’d probably be utilizing his abilities with his back to the basket as he did in the playoffs. That also takes some pressure off of Bam since he clearly doesn’t enjoy backing down defenders.

I don’t think there’s any question this fit wouldn’t work. As mentioned previously, this team would be the number one defensive and passing team in the NBA. And as long as you have Duncan Robinson, the shooting will be just fine.

Not only is he a fit with this organization and the Miami Heat’s players, more importantly I believe he’s a fit for Erik Spoelstra. Spoelstra has already dealt with a top player in his prime taking his talents to South Beach and he will do it again.

A new big three could be brewing in South Beach.

(Oh and by the way, get your Giannis-Bam 21 shirt here)

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Late Loss to Milwaukee in Game Four

The Miami Heat came up short against the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, with a score of 118-115. After Giannis Antetokounmpo went out with an injury, Khris Middleton stepped up and ultimately led the Bucks to a win. Here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: Giannis Antetokounmpo comes out the gate hungry, but ultimately goes out with injury.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was playing with a purpose out the gate, scoring 19 points in only 11 minutes. But eventually, stepped awkwardly on his injured right ankle, which put him out for the remainder of the game. This consequently fell on the supporting cast of the Milwaukee Bucks. As I’ve mentioned during the series, the only way for the Bucks to compete is if the rest of the team shows up. And after Giannis went out, George Hill and Eric Bledsoe stepped up to finish the second quarter, which put them up 2 at the half. Khris Middleton also stepped up for Milwaukee in the third quarter, scoring 21 in that stretch. He iced the game with a late three to put the game away.

#2: Jae Crowder doesn’t get enough credit for his elite shooting abilties.

Jae Crowder has clearly been a key piece for this Heat team all season, but especially in the bubble. First off, he deserves major credit for his ability to guard Giannis the whole series, which is a tough task in itself. He brings physicality on the defensive end on every possession, which further proves the fact that he’s a Miami Heat type player. And now to his offense. He has continued to be one of Miami’s most consistent and trusted offensive players in the postseason, especially with his shooting. Milwaukee is basically daring Jae to shoot threes for some reason, which definitely benefits Miami. And his on-court chemistry with Jimmy Butler has been clear in this series, since they constantly bounce off each other for offensive sparks.

#3: Miami’s bench unit struggles on the offensive end.

One of Miami’s biggest strengths and advantages this season has been their talented depth on the roster. Tyler Herro, Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala, and others usually give Miami a huge offensive spark, but that wasn’t the case today. Miami’s bench scored 5 points in the first half, which ultimately led to Miami trailing by two at the half. What sets the Heat apart from others is that there is no drop off when their bench enters the game. With others, that’s not the case. But the problem is that if Miami’s bench doesn’t totally show up, they usually struggle. Today, their bench ended up scoring 17 points, with most coming from Tyler Herro at the end of the fourth quarter.

#4: Bam Adebayo is special. Very special.

It’s evident that Bam is the most impactful player on the floor at all times, due to all of the small things he does so well. He’s proved to be an absolute force throughout this whole series around the rim, but what everyone has been waiting for is his mid-range jump shot. And well, not only was he attempting these shots, he was making them. His confidence with the ball in his hands seems to be getting better and better. And with Giannis going out, this also opened up Miami’s offense for Bam inside. And once the defense began to key on him, this led to him utilizing his unique play-making ability, which is clearly his biggest strength. Bam’s ability to take over a game in so many ways was on full display today.

#5: Although a tough outcome, Miami’s in good shape.

The Miami Heat may have lost this game in a tough fashion, but it definitely wasn’t their best performance. Other than Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, and Jae Crowder’s good games, there’s wasn’t much contribution from anybody else on the offensive end. As mentioned before, Miami’s bench didn’t show up today, scoring fourteen points. And most importantly, Jimmy Butler wasn’t able to get in a rhythm with the ball in his hands. Although all of this seems problematic, Miami won’t have these scoring issues many times, which means their shouldn’t be much worry heading into game five. And there’s just not much you can do with a scorching hot Khris Middleton.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Milwaukee Bucks

As we’ve been diving into a bunch of post-practice comments from the Miami Heat as of late, here’s a glimpse at some comments from the Milwaukee Buck’s Khris Middleton, Kyle Korver, and Mike Budenholzer. They all pretty much shared a mutual feeling about yesterday’s game, which all began with Miami’s star Jimmy Butler. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Kyle Korver gave Miami major props for yesterday’s win, saying “A healthy respect and a healthy fear of our opponent.” Kyle got his shooting going in the second half a bit, but the respect mechanism had to have come on the defensive side. Since Miami runs lineups late in games with a bunch of two-way guys, Kyle would have to face some tough match-ups. Also, it’s been pretty obvious that Milwaukee has had a bit of a “fear” against Miami, since they were the only team to slow down their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, in the regular season. And well, that carried over into game one, which Miami held Giannis to 18 points. In my opinion, the “fear” was displayed throughout the night on Giannis’ free throws, which it showed that Miami was truly in his head.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

The Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo pick and role combo has worked pretty well this season, but Miami made sure to pounce on that early. Khris said, “Me and Giannis have seen this before…They know what we like to do.” That was led by Miami’s Jimmy Butler, since his defensive IQ kicked in throughout, which led to Miami shutting Khris Middleton down in the second half. You could also tell they got away from their pick and roll stuff early, when Khris began to get his one-on-one stuff going. As mentioned before, not only does Miami’s defensive success come from their physicality, it’s also the fact that they are slowly wearing down Milwaukee mentally.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Khris Middleton talked a little about trying to stop Jimmy Butler. He said, “He’s a great one-on-one player, and we allowed him to play one-on-one.” This was especially displayed down the stretch of the fourth quarter, when Jimmy told his teammates “I’m not passing.” He also mentioned that their team defense must be better to try and stop Jimmy. But, this is not Jimmy’s priority in these games. His first option will be to get his shooters going early, as he’s continually said all season, and if they aren’t hitting their shots then he will take over. If Milwaukee prioritizes stopping Jimmy Butler, he will have a field day by using his strength all game, which is his elite play-making abilities.

Post-Practice Comments #4:

Mike Budenholzer quickly mentioned after practice today that Eric Bledsoe practiced a bit today. And since Milwaukee’s supporting cast struggled in game one, they will need Eric Bledose to add some scoring to their team upon his return. He will have a winnable match-up on the offensive side of the ball, since he will be able to take Goran Dragic off the dribble a lot. But, if Eric sits out game 2 as well, they will need yet another huge game for Khris Middleton, which seems like a lot to hope for.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Mike Budenholzer also mentioned their defensive assignment of Jimmy Butler. He said, “I think being better on both Butler and Dragic is probably where it starts.” If you were looking at the stat sheet from game one, you would definitely agree. But if you watched the Heat all season, you may disagree. Although Duncan Robinson didn’t have a great game yesterday, that won’t last long. He has not had bad back-to-back games all season. And if Milwaukee keys on both Jimmy and Goran tomorrow, Duncan will likely explode like he usually does after a tough shooting game.

5 Comments from Media Session with Spoelstra, Haslem, Butler

The Miami Heat went through their last practice on Sunday before facing the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the second round. Udonis Haslem gave his opinion about the Heat’s chances, while Jimmy Butler spoke about the team’s current mindset. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Udonis Haslem was asked about the Heat’s chances heading into the match-up with Milwaukee. He said, “The Miami Heat is built for anything.” And if anybody knows about how this team is built, it’s UD. He continues to be not only a major voice for serious issues, but also a guy that player’s look to during games. Even veteran point guard Goran Dragic walks up to him on the sideline during games to get input, since that seems to be his role. Udonis also is a major voice with instilling a winning mentality into the guys in the locker room. He’s played a big role in the development of (Miami’s young star) Bam Adebayo, both on and off the floor. If Udonis believes in this team, everyone believes.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat’s head coach, spoke about their recent success guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo. He said, “When you think you play him well, he’s always dancing around a triple-double.” Though this is true, stopping Giannis does not mean cutting down his numbers entirely. What the Heat do with Giannis seems to be more mental. They try to frustrate him by throwing a bunch of wing defenders on him who are physical, which consequently increased the amount of turnovers for Giannis. Another way they attacked Giannis was by using Bam on offense to try and get him in foul trouble. This means that Bam’s scoring numbers may not be high in this series, but he will have one of the biggest impacts in the series.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Jimmy Butler seemed to have a bit of an issue with his left shoulder during last game, which led to him sitting for extended minutes in the first half. But when asked about his shoulder after practice today, he said “I’m good to go.” It sounds as if Jae Crowder will be good to go as well tomorrow, since he practiced the past two days. Jimmy Butler was also seen shooting left-handed free throws during practice, which further proves how ready his shoulder is. He may need to shoot some left-handed free throws in this series, since he gets to the line so many times a game, his right arm may be tired. And although Milwaukee uses a drop scheme, Jimmy Butler will continue to do what he does best in this series, which is attacking the basket.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Erik Spoelstra reflected back to Miami acquiring their “perfect fits,” in Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder. He said, “Well, they speak our language.” Everybody knew the fit of Miami and Jimmy Butler was pretty ideal, since it’s a hard wrking organization mixed with a hard-working player. But I don’t think many realized how great of a fit Jae Crowder would be. He was clearly a physical, scrappy defensive guy which was something the Heat needed at the time, but the improvement in his shooting has put Miami over the top. Not only is he able to knock down a bunch of threes a game, but’s he’s doing it at an exceptional percentage. This propelled him into the starting lineup, and will be a key piece in the second round on both sides of the ball, since he will have the assignment of Giannis Antetokounmpo and have to sustain his high-level shooting against their drop scheme.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

After a lot of people have been predicting that Miami will take down the Bucks, Jimmy Butler was asked if he’d rather be doubted or get recognition. He said, “We don’t care if you pick us to win or you pick us to lose, we’re gonna go out their and compete.” As mentioned previously, this team doesn’t care who believes in them because they believe in themselves. This is mostly because they have a locker room that is filled with experienced veterans. Also, there’s been a lot of talk about Miami’s shooters and Bam Adebayo heading into the series against Milwaukee, but not a lot of Jimmy Butler talk. This series against the Bucks is the reason Jimmy came to Miami, so he could lead the team in the postseason. This is officially Jimmy’s time.

5 Reasons Giannis Should Come To Miami

With the NBA season suspended, we will look at some Heat-related topics, the Five Reasons way….

 

1. Giannis fits the culture perfectly

Giannis has that work ethic that all Miami Heat players must have. He works hard and more importantly plays hard every night, just like his soon to be teammates, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, do every night.

2. Giannis can take Jimmy’s scoring role

It seems as if Jimmy doesn’t want to be the primary scorer at times, so Giannis can take that role over and dominate when he needs to. Jimmy can play facilitator with Giannis on the floor which is where he thrives.

3. Adding Giannis makes Heat best defensive front-court in the league

Bam and Jimmy have already proven their defensive versatilities together, and adding a player that is in the discussion of defensive player of the year, would cause major disruption in offenses, especially come playoff time.

4. Giannis won’t have to carry the whole load as he does in Milwaukee

While the Bucks do have some key role players around Giannis like Middleton and Bledsoe,  they never seem to show up in the big games when Antetokounmpo needs them to. This won’t be the case when having Jimmy, Bam, and the young guys to bail him out of tough situations.

5. It’s South Beach

How can someone say no to the Miami bright lights, nice weather, and pristine beaches? Even though this type of lifestyle isn’t exactly what Giannis enjoys, it’s hard to turn down. It’s definitely hard to turn down when you have The Godfather, Pat Riley, closing the deal. Also from a financial standpoint, no state income tax is enticing itself. Miami’s offer will be a hard pitch to turn down come 2021 free agency. In Riley We Trust.

Voices

This is Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s Time

Prior to the series against the Milwaukee Bucks, many talked about different guys that would need to step up in order to win. A lot of people said that it’s going to lay on the shoulders of the supporting cast on this Heat team, since that’s Milwaukee’s weakness.

Well, that hasn’t entirely been the case. And Miami is still up 3-0.

They have gotten major contributions from Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder, and Tyler Herro. But at the end of the day, stars win you playoff games.

To start with Jimmy Butler, he began the series with an offensive display which led to scoring 40 points in game one. And as soon as the national media saw this, they jumped on it. Mostly since people don’t fully understand the player and personality of Jimmy Butler. But clearly Miami does.

Everyone, including the Milwaukee Bucks, began to say that they must stop Jimmy Butler with the ball in his hands. And evidently, this is exactly what Jimmy wanted them to think.

He’s clearly a guy that is capable of putting up a bunch of points, but he doesn’t feel that always translates to a Heat win. He is such an elite facilitator and passer, and since there are so many knock down shooters on this Heat roster, he’d rather play to his strengths. And well, that’s what he did in game two.

He pretty much gave the scoring reigns to his offensive co-pilot Goran Dragic, which was an easy decision since it seems that Goran just can’t have a bad game. And most of the reason Goran was able to do this so well, was because Jimmy was being watched. And once again, when it mattered most, Jimmy got the ball in his hands with four seconds left, which led to him getting fouled on a jump shot and Jimmy hitting the game-winning free throw.

Seems as if Giannis Antetokounmpo got in his own head a little bit in game two, after he saw all of social media’s comments about not guarding Jimmy Butler in game one. But do you know who is never mentally impacted by the outside and constantly stays absolutely locked in. Jimmy Butler.

And finally in game three, he played half the game as he did in game one and half the game as he did in game two. That’s what makes Jimmy Butler so intriguing as a player. He seemed as if he couldn’t get an offensive rhythm, since he was 1 of 3 mid-way through the third quarter. Then he turned it on once again, proving the world that he’s not a pure scorer. But he’s an important scorer. He’s able to read a situation so well, that he knows what is needed at different points of the game.

And now to Bam Adebayo. Since Jimmy went on that late run in game three, Bam hasn’t gotten much recognition. But he should.

Bam scored 20 points on 88% shooting and grabbed 16 rebounds against the defensive player of the year in Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s been talked about all season that Bam Adebayo has the ability to be an offensive force, but he needs to realize it. And well, it seemed as if he realized it yesterday.

That’s not even discussing his defensive impact guarding Giannis throughout the series, including when he stripped the ball from Giannis in game three, which proved to be a substantial play in the game.

Either way, Bam doesn’t care if he gets credit or gets recognition, he just wants to win. He knows what it’s like to have doubters, since many didn’t even know his name coming into this season, and now he’s a second option on a team heading towards the Eastern Conference Finals.

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo weren’t looked at as the ideal duo heading into this postseason by many, since many didn’t think their offensive package was big enough. Well, that proved wrong when Jimmy and Bam scored 27 of the 40 fourth quarter points in game three, which ultimately close the game out to beat Milwaukee.

This is because, once again, stars win you playoff games.

Jimmy Butler. Bam Adebayo. This is your time. Go get what’s yours.

 

Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) is the youngest contributor in the Five Reasons Sports Network, and a frequent guest on Five on the Floor and #FloorsYours. If you want to sponsor this or any other content on the Five Reasons Sports Network, contact skolnick@fivereasonssports.com