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5 Takeaways from Heat’s Second Scrimmage Game

The Miami Heat had an evening scrimmage game on Saturday, and they fell short, 101-99. The Heat were without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in this game, which was due to rest in preparation for the counting regular season games. Well, here’s what was seen in this game…

#1: Kelly Olynyk solidifying big minutes off the bench.

Kelly Olynyk’s spot in the rotation has been in question due to the Heat’s major depth. Well, Kelly proved he can definitely be utilized after he put up 27 points in today’s scrimmage. This was one of the major factors that the Heat were in this game, since the Heat’s starters struggled early. Kelly was a threat at all three levels on the offensive side of the ball, which then opened up the floor for guys like Jae Crowder. We know Kelly is capable of doing this on offense, but the question is consistency. If he can do this on a regular basis, he will be a major part of this Heat rotation.

#2: Tyler Herro bounces back after tough shooting game.

Tyler Herro was coming off of a game that struggled from beyond the arc. His shooting seemed to be back to mid-season form, but that’s not what stood out. What stood out was his play-making improvements. He seems to be getting much more comfortable with running the point, which is a role the Heat would love him to play. This has especially been the case at ends of games, when Tyler runs the offense and is the go to scorer. This is just a glimpse of what we can expect from Tyler in the next three years, where he may be the primary play-maker on the roster.

#3: Heat’s offense is choppy without Jimmy Butler.

Jimmy Butler took the day off on Saturday, after a hard practice the night prior. Something I mentioned after the first scrimmage game was how much more fluid the offense was when Jimmy was on the floor. This seemed pretty evident in this game since the offense was very choppy throughout, especially with the first unit. Though Tyler and Iguodala did a good job running the offense today, it just isn’t the same without Butler on the floor. Guys like Duncan Robinson and Meyers Leonard benefit when Jimmy is playing, since he constantly draws people in, which forces wide open threes. Don’t be alarmed by the tough scoring night by Miami, since this will be fixed quickly upon both Jimmy and Bam’s return.

#4: Turnovers become problematic for Heat rhythm.

The Heat seemed to make some mistakes throughout this game on both sides of the ball, but turnovers seemed to be a big one. We know the defensive mistakes that were made due to the lack of a defensively strong back-court. But, the offense will need to clean themselves up, especially in games that are tight down the stretch. This may be something else that falls under the Jimmy category without him running the offense, but there will be times without him on the floor, and they need to be trusted. This also may be due to the fact that most of the guys are trying to get back to their pre-hiatus form, but hopefully this won’t carry over into the regular season games.

#5: Heat’s bench unit seems to be Miami’s biggest advantage.

To end on a positive note, Miami’s bench unit seems to grow stronger and stronger every time they play. Between the Kelly Olynyk display, Jae Crowder shooting, and Tyler Herro play-making, it seems as if this will be the biggest match-up for other teams. At times it feels like the team is getting better once the bench enters, which is not the case for many other teams. Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala are two other names off the bench that will impact this team, especially when the playoffs get going. Even Soloman Hill had good stretches throughout the game with his perimeter defense. As repeated over and over about this team, their depth is going to be a huge problem for opposing teams.

5 Main Comments from Spoelstra, Olynyk, Hill Interviews

As these post-practice interviews continue, you begin to see more of a comfortability in the players as they continue to adjust to these unique circumstances. Here’s what Coach Erik Spoelstra, Solomon Hill, and Kelly Olynyk had to say to the media today…

Post-Practice Comment #1

Solomon Hill started off his interview today with media on Heat’s star Jimmy Butler. He says that he can see how some people can create ideas and stories about him. He follows this point explaining how much of a competitor Jimmy is and how he shows it every time he walks onto the court. This is a perfect example of Jimmy showing his teammates what to do instead of just telling them. Solomon also says, “He defines Miami Heat. He defines Heat culture.” It’s been pretty obvious that this is true all season with his hard-work, leadership, and winning mindset.

Post-Practice Comment #2

Coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about the troubles of maintaining focus in the bubble without being distracted. He responded, “It’s not as challenging as everybody thinks on the outside.” He continues to say that it’s actually much easier to remain focused in this format since there’s nothing to do. He also mentions that he appreciates the idea of pushing the bubble protocols. He said, “This is not something we have experience or expertise in.” He basically wants everybody to be on the same page, which he seems to think has been going pretty smoothly.

Post-Practice Comment #3

Kelly Olynyk talked about how unusual it will be for teams to play in front of no fans. He seemed pretty optimistic about it, saying “There’ll be less distractions.” This means that the only thing on players minds will be basketball. Since well, that’s the only thing to think about in the bubble. He continues to talk about the conditions, saying they have never been seen at this high of a level. Although the no fans circumstances seem unusual, they benefit the Heat greatly since there’s been a lot of summer league, international, and community college play.

Post-Practice Comment #4

When Kelly was asked about the defensive schemes of this Heat team, he says “You have to have a little bit of everything in your arsenal.” This is indeed true for both the playoffs in general and these different circumstances. We have seen the Heat’s zone be used quite a few times this season, particularly to shut down the Philadelphia 76ers early in the season. Kelly continues to say “If you give any team a steady look at one thing, you’re gonna be in trouble.” We know Coach Spoelstra will have everything in his arsenal on the defensive side of the ball, especially in a playoff setting.

Post-Practice Comment #5

Kelly Olynyk also speaks about what he likes most about this Heat’s team. He talks about how this group of guys make each other better since everybody has different strengths. He says they’ve got guys who can slash, rebound, shoot, and have athleticism. And this is definitely true. This Heat team has a full roster of guys that are capable of getting hot on any given night. Which is why Erik Spoelstra will be trying out different lineups and players throughout the regular season games, to see who he can trust once the playoffs begin.

 

5 Takeaways from Herro and Olynyk Interviews

Since the NBA is set to return later this month, players are getting more and more anxious to get back on the court. Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk spoke with some media today about their preparation for the postseason. The Herro and Olynyk interviews happened via Zoom.

Here’s five things discussed to make you feel better about the Miami Heat’s chances.

Herro and Olynyk Interviews Takeaway 1:

Tyler Herro touched on the fact that this locker room is much more than a work place, it’s an enjoyable environment. He says how excited he is to get back on the court and compete again heading into the postseason. Tyler also speaks about his growth in knowledge of the game, which seems to be a trend with a bunch of Heat guys over this hiatus. Which proves how ready this team is for this format.

Takeaway 2:

Kelly Olynyk says he knows how great he was playing prior to the season being suspended. He also notes that this was because he wasn’t fully recovered at the beginning of the season, but slowly worked his way back into his full self. This is something to note since he could be a valuable piece in a playoff series. This team probably has more depth than anyone entering the bubble. Like Coach Eric Spoelstra said, “We can go 3 deep at every position” which shows he’s going to use every bench piece possible if need be including Kelly Olynyk.

Takeaway 3:

Kelly speaks upon wanting to get back to human interaction, just like everyone else does. Except he has been in a bubble pretty much himself over the last 3 months since his family lives in Canada. This is a good sign for having another guy on the Heat’s roster to keep everyone focused and in line during the social distancing. And like mentioned before, could be a huge factor for this team on and off the court.

Takeaway 4: 

Tyler Herro says he’s looking forward to getting back on the court again finally. He also states he doesn’t know what to expect or what the format will look like but either way they will look to adapt and “win a lot of games.” Tyler is a player that seems to have a lot of confidence in himself as a player already, but his confidence in this Heat team should have all Heat fans ready for Miami to make some noise in the postseason.

Takeaway 5:

Tyler Herro says though the injury forced him to miss 15 games, it helped him dissect the game more. Not only did he watch the way his teammates performed, but says watched all different players around the league. He also states he will do whatever Coach Spoelstra wants him to do once he gets down there. And as discussed many time, will be a key player for this team off of the bench, since young legs may be essential in this format.