The Miami Heat got off to a slow start, but finished it off against the Dallas Mavericks to improve to 6-1 on the season. Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro were active offensively early on, but Kyle Lowry was the story of the night.
It was his scoring debut.
Anyway, here are five takeaways from this game…
#1: Tyler Herro continues to do Tyler Herro things.
The beginning of this game had Jimmy Butler on an island written all over it. He was the only one generating points in the starting lineup, leading to them falling behind early. But then, here comes Tyler Herro as he stands at the scorers table. 17 minutes later and he had 17 points in the scoring column at the half. The guy is just a bottle of energy and production on the offensive end, pretty much matching the scoring dominance of Luka Doncic in the second quarter. Doncic buries a three, and the camera couldn’t even pan back out before Herro’s laying the ball in on the other end. That play just defines Herro, which was quickly followed by back-to-back pull up threes off the dribble. Simply: Tyler Herro is doing Tyler Herro things.
#2: Kyle Lowry picking his moments offensively, which is a fun twist.
As I noted before, the first half of this game was summarized by Butler scoring out the gate and Herro dominating in the second quarter. But don’t overlook Kyle Lowry once again. He was doing his usual offensive things by flinging the ball down the floor and hitting others in their spots in the half-court, but the outside shooting was back. And he’s not just letting it fly all of a sudden, he’s waiting for empty spots of the game. Transition pull-up three, late shot clock chuck, etc. They don’t need the full-out scoring Lowry every night, but awaiting for those needed moments is going to be key, and his IQ of the game allows him to do that so well. If Lowry can shoot like that more and more from the outside, with expanded catch and shoot opportunities, then something really is brewing.
#3: Dewayne Dedmon’s impact even bigger than originally expected.
We knew what Dewayne Dedmon was going to be upon arriving. They got a back-up big who can grab you some rebounds off the bench, provide a certain level of physicality and toughness, and score on the inside when needed. Yet the latter has stood out more than the others. For one, let me just put it to you straight: Dedmon just doesn’t miss around the rim. Yes, that may sound weird, but the guy combines a mixture of Kareem sky hooks, awkward finger rolls, and simple bank shots, while they always seem to drop. His impact has been huge to begin the year, and not just focusing on him stepping up into the starting lineup last game. He was a big reason Miami beat Brooklyn earlier in the year, and he made tough bucket after tough bucket again tonight with 10 first half points.
#4: The three-point shooting night arrives.
As Miami takes an eleven point lead halfway through the third, I decide to take a look at their three-point shooting up to that point: 65% shooting on 17 attempts. Yeah, that’s a bit different than what we’ve seen so far this season. Part of that tonight was Herro rolling and role players hitting the shots available to them, but Lowry deserves most of the credit. As I mentioned earlier in this piece, the outside shot was falling for Lowry in a multitude of ways, which will be his primary scoring role in the regular season. This Heat team has totally shifted their offensive structure. More post-up reps and less spot-up shooting opportunities. But making the most of those catch and shoot jumpers can truly capitalize on the updated diversity of this offensive scheme.
#5: Could it be time for Duncan Robinson to take a step back? Not in role, but literally backing up.
This wasn’t another night where Duncan Robinson struggles to make shots, but instead he struggled to attempt shots, which might be worse. Yes, teams do fly out at him at an outstanding level, but the one-dribble mid-range pull up doesn’t seem to be the outlet right now. Stepping back, though, feels like it’s arriving soon. One of Robinson’s three-point makes included a deep heave early in the game which dropped through. I’m not basing this off of one make, but finding a spot on the floor where he can release freely feels like it should be utilized. Focusing on the production of Robinson night after night isn’t the reason I bring this up, but if he’s going to play extended minutes down the stretch, the attempts have to be higher. I wasn’t worried in earlier games when they weren’t dropping, but the lack of getting them up draws my attention.
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