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Miami Heat: Team will have to stop Milwaukee’s secondary scorers

As the Miami Heat get set to take on the Milwaukee Bucks, one thing is for sure. The Miami Heat are going to have to weather several storms. Milwaukee is the most talented team in the National Basketball Association, and they have not slowed down.

Just in terms of statistics, Milwaukee is at the top in many categories. They rank first in points per game with 119.6. They also rank first in rebounds per game with 52.2. Milwaukee has also managed to smother their opponents on defense, averaging 6.2 blocks per game. The bottom line is, they have won basketball games both with their offense and defense. Miami will certainly be in for a challenge on Monday.

The Miami Heat need to stop Middleton and Lopez

The top priority for the Miami Heat should be stopping their secondary scorers. Normally, I would say that Miami needs to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, it is becoming apparent that nobody can. For Monday, Miami needs to make sure that they stop the shooters that Milwaukee has. Khris Middleton comes to mind. Middleton is averaging 21.1 points per contest. He is coming off back-to-back successful games. He scored 40 points against the Wizards on February 24, and 22 points the next night against the Toronto Raptors.

Middleton has been dealing with a neck injury. However, he is expected to be back in the lineup for this game.

A player like Brook Lopez is also somebody Miami should be worried about. He doesn’t put up incredible numbers. However, he can get it done on both the boards and in the scoring department. In his last game against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, he recorded 16 points and seven rebounds

Lopez is the type of player that can be a constant pest throughout the game, and that in turn will put Miami in a difficult spot.

Antetokounmpo is going to get his points. That is a given. Miami will need to focus on the other players who help the team be so successful. This is not going to be an easy match up at all, and Miami will certainly be tested.

Miami Heat Escape Against Brooklyn

The Miami Heat played a tough back to back against Brooklyn Saturday night, and got the victory 116-113 in a down to the wire game.

Here’s how it played out…

Miami came into this game knowing that Brooklyn is a very tough team to beat, even without their star Kyrie Irving who will be out for the rest of the season with an injured right shoulder. Brooklyn has a bunch of guys who play hard and have something to prove every night. All Miami needs to do is touch up on their turnovers while playing against a team with guards who like to run on the break.

Miami picked right back up where they left off in Dallas by getting off to a good start shooting the ball. The ball didn’t stick to anyone’s hands and the ball movement looked great, which always begins once Butler starts to attack. Everyone was able to get their shots up, which was led by Goran Dragic’s 11 points and 5 assists at the half. He also got the crowd going after he hit a one handed three point floater at the buzzer to end the half. The Heat took a 57-49 lead at the half.

The second half began with another great stretch for Kendrick Nunn, who ended the game with 21 points on an efficient 9-14 shooting from the field. He was the main playmaker on the court at times with Goran while Butler and Bam took a break in the third. It was good for Miami’s two stars to get a breather on a tough back to back. It ended up being that Bam and Jimmy needed to come back in the fourth after Brooklyn made a big run after the Heat took a 14 point lead. As Brooklyn began to battle back, Butler began to take over with a clutch And 1, followed by a great give and go with Bam which helped the Heat take a 9 point lead with 5 minutes remaining.

The Nets would not go away behind a great fourth quarter from Joe Harris, who hit 3 threes in the fourth alone. Dinwiddie took the ball to the paint with a little over a minute left to cut the lead to 2. Then with 17 seconds left, Dragic decided to take matters into his own hands, as he has done in the past many times, and hit a big time step back jumper to extend the lead to 4. After a sequence of events, Brooklyn had the ball down two with 9 seconds left and this is where Miami’s two stars prove they are stars. Brooklyn sends Joe Harris off of a pick, in which Bam doubles out with Butler and forces Dinwiddie to throw a tough one handed pass over the defenders. The ball went right out of bounds which locked up a great Miami Heat victory, 116-113.

These types of games always uplift the spirits of a locker room. The attitude of the players was the total opposite of the other night against Minnesota. It seems as if they are definitely having fun again, which of course always comes after winning. Dragic finished the night with 19 points and 10 assists, also having a +8 in 32 minutes. This is the guy the Heat need down the stretch of games, especially come playoff time. Miami has a big game coming up on Monday against the best team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. If Miami could pull off this win, they’d be 2-1 on the season against the Bucks, which would give great confidence closing in on the postseason.

Miami Takes Down Dallas in Bounce Back Game

The Miami Heat needed a win desperately, and they got one, looking like their early season form in a 126-118 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.

Some of the highlights…

Dallas was 13 games over .500 coming into this game and Miami needed to defend the three at a high level if they wanted to win this game. Miami was once again without Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard who could be out for a couple more weeks at least. The Heat were hoping to find one of the bench role pieces to accept a new role, and take a more prominent role in the offense to make up for those guys not being out there.

The guys in the Heat locker room know that Jimmy Butler should be a little selfish at times and take over on the offensive side of the ball from the start of the game. Well, that’s what he did in the first quarter, leading the way with eleven first quarter points. Kendrick Nunn also began the game with confidence shooting the ball, going 2 for 2 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. The troubles in the first came by Dallas’ Tim Hardaway Jr who started the game with 8 straight points. The Heat were tied with the Mavericks 31-31 at the end of the first.

The second quarter was lead by Dragić and Olynyk off of the bench, who combined for 15 second quarter points. Derrick Jones Jr replaced Olynyk in the starting lineup tonight and it seemed to pay off. Olynyk played well with the bench group and got his three point shooting going early. Duncan Robinson also helped the Heat in the second quarter with 9 points while hitting two threes and an And 1, which gave Miami great momentum after a tough layup on Porzingis. The Heat lead at the half 63-55.

The third quarter was a bit of a turnaround for the Heat after Dallas started to make a big run. This run was made behind Dallas’ Seth Curry and Luka Doncic who combined for 25 points in the third alone. Miami kept looking for somebody to give them momentum, but with every player having a negative plus/minus in the third quarter, it was tough. If the Heat could adjust their perimeter defensive struggles in the third then Miami could win, but the Heat trailed 93-88.

Duncan Robinson led the way in the fourth quarter as well, scoring 9 points and hitting two threes. He finished the game with a very efficient 24 points with six threes. Miami, needing to make a fourth quarter run, decided the best way to do it would be spreading the ball around. Every player scored in the fourth quarter except Jones Jr, who was making himself a problem on the defensive side of the ball instead. Miami hit some big shots down the stretch of this game and won it 126-118.

This game was a much needed win due to the fact that this Heat locker room needs to bring the fun back to these games like Bam Adebayo said yesterday in practice. The Heat play with a different fire at home when they play off of the intensity of the crowd. The home crowd seems to affect their defensive intensities more than their offense at times, which is always a great thing. Butler finished the game with 26 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, which getting him back to 100% is all Miami needs. Now Miami needs to prepare for another game tomorrow night against Brooklyn for a tough back to back. A win against the Nets will give the Heat the momentum they’ve needed after a very tough stretch.

 

Miami Heat: Tyler Herro expected to miss additional time

It appears that Miami Heat rookie sensation Tyler Herro may be out for quite some time. According to multiple sources, it is expected that Herro will be out multiple more weeks.

This is an unfortunate development for a Miami Heat team that can desperately use his scoring right now. Even as a rookie, there is no denying the impact he has made. He is averaging 13.1 points per contest, and has recorded a 41.4 field goal percentage.

The last game he played in was on February 3 against Philadelphia. In that game, he went down with his injury. He has not seen the court since.

An unfortunate blow to Miami Heat

This is a difficult loss for Miami Heat team that is struggling at the moment. Even though he is a rookie, he undoubtedly brings an energy to the team. There is a certain swagger that he plays with that energizes the entire team when he is on the floor. Hopefully, he will be able to heal up soon. He should undoubtedly be a crucial part of a Miami Heat playoff run.

At the time of this writing, the Miami Heat were engaged in a contest with the Dallas Mavericks. They have struggled a bit lately losing four out of their last five games. A win against a Talented Mavericks team could definitely provide the organization with some momentum.

Losing Herro for extended time will undoubtedly be a big blow to this organization. There is no doubt that players are going to have to step up. As an organization, the Heat will have to have a “next man up” type of mentality.

In particular,  I would look for the likes of Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to continue stepping up. They have helped the Heat succeed this season. It sounds as if they are going to be needed now more than ever.

Miami Heat Fall To Another Bottom Tier Team

Well, it happened again.

Another big late lead against a bad team.

Another loss, this one 129-126 to Minnesota, which was without Karl Anthony Towns.

The Miami Heat came into this game after a horrific loss against Cleveland on Monday night, during which they squandered a 19-point lead entering the fourth quarter. So you figured they’d learned some lessons. Plus, the Heat got Jimmy Butler back after he missed the last two games due to personal reasons. And Miami was back home, where it has been dominant this season, to start a five-game stretch.

Kelly Olynyk tried to set the tone early with back to back triples to start the first. He also added 5 rebounds in the first and started to establish his role in the offense. Dragić added 7 points off the bench to spark Miami to a late push to end the first. The Heat still trailed at the end of the first quarter 29-28.

The Heat had trouble in the second quarter defending the three, which has been the problem over this tough stretch of games. Minnesota hit 11 threes in the first half compared to Miami’s 5 first half threes and still led at the half 60-57. Bam led the way in the second quarter for the Heat, scoring 9 points and adding 4 rebounds. The Heat still needed a defensive change for the second half if they were going to keep this lead.

The third quarter was lead by Butler and Nunn who combined for 17 third quarter points. While scoring wasn’t the problem, Miami had made a defensive change to begin defending the three. This caused Minnesota to start attacking the paint, which actually worked in their favor. The Heat couldn’t stop the Timberwolves from getting to the rim. The Heat only trailed one at the end of the third, 95-94.

The Heat seemed to pull away at the end of the fourth when they took an eleven point lead with 3:30 left in the game. The Timberwolves defense stepped up and forced a couple turnovers which led to many fast break points. The Heat had the lead with 14 seconds left, and Timberwolves undrafted rookie, Jordan McLaughlin, drove by Bam for what would be the game winning layup. The Timberwolves beat the Heat 129-126.

The Miami Heat’s continued problems occurred on both sides of the ball, whether turnovers or closeouts. Miami also seems as if they are lost at end of games and no one wants to shoot the ball. The ball continues to move until about 5 seconds on the shot clock, then that person has to take a contested shot. These problems are definitely fixable and it’s much better to have these problems in February than have them come playoff time. This loss will definitely test the Heat’s mental strength and hopefully can focus on the next game on Friday against Dallas.

 

Miami Heat: Several factors point to a win for struggling Heat

As the Miami Heat get set to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, they will be looking to bounce back from their difficult loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The good news for Miami is that Jimmy Butler will return to the lineup.

Butler has been out for the past two games. His loss has certainly been felt. Butler is the leading scorer for the Miami Heat with 20.6 points per contest. The last game he played in was against Atlanta. In that game, he scored 17 points. His presence on the floor as well as the energy he brings to the entire team has been sorely missed.

Miami Heat need to capitalize on opportunity

Not only will Butler return, but Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns will be out for Wednesday’s game. Leading the team in scoring with 26.5 points per game and rebounds with 10.8, he does it all. His well-rounded game is certainly an asset for Minnesota.

With the Timberwolves coming into Wednesday night’s action at 16-40 , they need a win badly themselves. Minnesota has lost 18 of the last 19 games, and is currently on a five-game losing streak.

All of the stars are aligning for Miami to have a bounce-back game on Wednesday. Especially with Miami’s key player coming back and Minnesota losing one, this is a perfect chance to get back on the right track. Miami has struggled after the All- Star Break.

Thankfully, they are playing at home. They have had tremendous success in their friendly confines, posting a 23-3 record.

Miami should be able to count on solid production from Bam Adebayo and Butler against Minnesota. Adebayo in particular has been playing strongly. He will need to have a repeat performance from Monday. The Miami Heat need this win in order to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

They have to take advantage of opportunities that they are given. No superstar for Minnesota is certainly opens the door for a victory. Butler coming back allows this offense to have more of a rhythm and flow to it. Hopefully, Butler’s return will lead to success, and more cohesiveness on the floor.

Miami Heat waste another strong effort from Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat fought hard, but on Monday night, they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime. Suffering defeat by a 125-119 score, the Heat wasted another strong effort from Bam Adebayo.

The power forward played in 41 minutes, and he made the most of every single one of them. He scored 22 points on nine-of-15 shooting. He also managed to grab 13 rebounds, 12 of which came on the defensive end.

It seemed like he was involved in every single play. Chipping in nine assists and four blocks, he brought energy defensively. The nine assists matched his total from Saturday. He also proved to be somewhat of a pick-pocket, recording three steals on the evening.

If there was one negative to his game Monday, it was the turnovers. He had six on the night. However, when you consider how many touches he had over the course of the game, that is not a horrible number. Even still, that is a number you would like to see on the lower side.

Monday night was a strong bounce-back game from Saturday night. Saturday, Adebayo managed to score 15 points in 26 minutes. However, he was lacking in the rebound department, only recording three on the evening.

Monday night, he was able to put it all together.

Adebayo surging for Miami Heat

Ever since the All-Star break Adebayo has played well. He scored 28 points against Atlanta on February 20, and follow that up with the decent showing against Cleveland on Saturday. This post-break surge bodes well for a Miami Heat team that needs all of their stars to start rounding into playoff form.

Adebayo needs to continue to play at a high level. Particularly in the rebounding department, he is the main source of boards for this team. His stock is definitely soaring right now, and he is proving he can be a reliable option game after game. This bodes well for the future.

Miami Heat: Team needs to win rebound battle on Monday

As the Miami Heat get set to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, they need to clean up one thing. Rebounds were a huge problem for them in Saturday’s game. Even though Miami won by a 124-105 score, Cleveland significantly beat Miami in the battle for the glass.

Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman each had seven rebounds. Andre Drummond had six. Off the bench, Tristan Thompson had seven and point guard Dante Exum had eight . Cleveland cleaned up the offensive glass particularly well, holding an 11-4 advantage.

For their part, Miami did manage to do a decent job on the glass. Derrick Jones Jr. led all starters in rebounds with four. Off the bench, Udonis Haslem had five rebounds. He didn’t make much of an impact in the scoring department, missing all five field goals he attempted. However, he did a solid job on the glass, especially when you consider that he only played 10 minutes.

Cleveland and Miami are pretty even on the glass. Miami has recorded an average of 44.7 rebounds per contest. Cleveland has recorded an average of 44.4 rebounds per game.

Miami Heat need to watch Andre Drummond

As the Miami Heat get set to take on Cleveland Monday, Miami needs to watch out for Drummond in particular . He has been active on the boards sense he came to Cleveland.

The six rebounds he tallied on Saturday night were actually his fewest so far in four games with the Cavaliers. In his first game with the team on February 9, he recorded 14 rebounds. He followed that up with a 15-rebound performance against the Atlanta Hawks on February 12. Prior to the Miami game, he tallied 12 against Washington on February 21.

Drummond has quickly helped the Cavaliers become more of a force on the boards. Miami will have to be cognizant of that.

The Heat will have to watch out for Cleveland on the glass Monday. If they are able to contain the Cavaliers, then they should be able to come away with the victory on the glass.

After having only three rebounds in 26 minutes of play on Saturday, Bam Adebayo should be in line for a much bigger game. If he can bounce back, the Miami Heat should be able to offset Drummond and others. That matchup in the post is certainly one to watch for on Monday.

Miami Heat: Biscayne Boulevard renamed in Dwyane Wade’s honor

 Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade is receiving another honor. According to a tweet from Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami is now designating the street fronting Biscayne Boulevard as Dwyane Wade Boulevard.

The push for Dwyane Wade Boulevard was started by Miami media personality Brendan Tobin. This campaign has been going on for a while.  Now, Tobin and Miami fans get to see their hard work come to fruition.

This  has been a great weekend for Wade. After the Miami Heat retired his jersey on Saturday, he received the key to the city and this honor on Monday.

Wade meant so much to Miami Heat organization

It is all well-deserved for a player who meant so much to the Miami Heat basketball team and the community. When you talk about Dwyane Wade, you are talking about someone that was the face of a struggling Miami franchise when he came into the league in 2003. From there, he was able to put Miami back on the map. Not only that, he did so in impressive fashion.

Drafted with the fifth overall pick in 2003, he put together quite a career. Winning the NBA championship three times, the LeBron James years were some of the biggest of Wade’s career as well. From there, he was able to solidify himself as a Miami sports legend.

Prior to that, he put Miami on his back in seasons prior,  playing in 79 games in 2008-2009.  Scoring 30.2 points per game that year, he  solidified himself as a gritty workhorse and someone who gave it his all every time he was on the court. His athleticism and ability to make tough shots were hallmarks of his playing career.

Now, he gets to be remembered forever. The Miami sports icon has cemented himself in Miami Heat and basketball history. He has certainly come a long way from Marquette.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler out against Cavaliers on Saturday

A key member of the Miami Heat will not play tonight. Jimmy Butler is not going to be in the lineup against the Cavaliers for personal reasons. It is not injury related and it is not related to his newborn child.

Butler has been a workhorse for the Miami Heat this season. He has recorded 20.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He has also managed to be an apt playmaker. Recording 6.2 assists per contest, he had nine in Thursday night’s loss to Atlanta.

This is a tough break for a Miami Heat team that will be looking to bounce back from the loss to the Hawks. They are facing a Cavaliers team that has had a tough go of things. They are the 15th in the Eastern Conference with a 15-40 record. Most recently, they beat the Washington Wizards 113-108.

Miami Heat look to bounce back

This is a big game for Miami as they look to keep pace with the rest of the Eastern Conference. The leading scorer in Miami’s last game was Bam Adebayo. He had 28 points and 19 rebounds. The All-Star will look to continue stuffing the statsheet on Saturday night.

Saturday night is also a special evening as the Miami Heat will retire Dwayne Wade’s jersey. Wade is a Miami legend, and it is great to see him getting his due on Saturday. Saturday also marks the three-year anniversary of the trade that sent Wade from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Miami.

As you may recall, Wade’s tenure in Cleveland was an effort to get as many star possible players around Lebron James as possible. Unfortunately for both parties, it did not work out as expected.

Saturday should work out much better for Wade and the Miami Heat as it should be a fun celebration of an iconic figure in the Miami sports scene. Tipoff is set for 8 PM.