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Bam and Duncan DHO Success to Precious and Tyler PnR Success

The Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo dribble hand-off combination has been known to be one of the best in the entire NBA.

The reason it has so much success is because it emphasizes each player’s biggest strength. Duncan Robinson shooting on the move with defenders flying high on him, and Bam Adebayo setting hard screens with the ability to put the ball on the floor when he catches on the roll.

There’s a reason Miami leads the league in field goal percentage when the roller gets the ball at 73% this season, and it’s because of the gravity of this duo.

But is there a new duo looking to do something similar?

The answer is yes. Tyler Herro and Precious Achiuwa’s unique pick and roll abilities have been one of the real bright spots to start the season.

As discussed with Duncan and Bam, it allows their biggest strengths to be utilized, and the same goes for Tyler and Precious.

Tyler can clearly score at all three levels, which makes for a good start to an efficient pick and roll. As seen above, there’s an opportunity for a pull-up three at all times, but that isn’t what makes this duo special.

Herro’s comfort level once he steps inside the three point line has been on display this far into the season. Once he gets the defender behind him, and gets into a 2 on 1 opportunity, it usually ends up in a score.

But why is that exactly?

For one, Tyler Herro’s tough in that mid-range area is great, which allows him to stop on a dime for a pull-up, go right up with a floater, or lay it up right at the rim.

The other reason is that Precious Achiuwa’s offensive activity around the rim has been remarkable. The ability to catch the lob with no problem, and can adjust when the ball comes his way as well.

I’m not sure if those off-season workouts allowed these two to have an immediate on-court connection, or their unique skill-sets just automatically aligned.

Either way, Miami has something with these two in the pick and roll offensive sets. Erik Spoelstra has been mentioning finding their identity since the start of the season, and I believe the best way to do that is placing players in spots that they’re most likely to thrive.

Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo’s ability to read each other’s game when running dribble hand-offs is one of the small parts that doesn’t get discussed. And since this Tyler Herro and Precious Achiuwa duo is only a few games in, it will continue to evolve. But seeing it to this extent this early in the season truly is promising.

These two unique offensive sets will create major headaches for opposing defenses, especially if all four share the floor together. But that doesn’t appear to happen anytime soon due to “simplifying” Precious’ game as much as possible.

But these flashes just reassure that this is the long term goal with this team. Not only Bam Adebayo and Precious Achiuwa wrecking havoc on the defensive end, but each having the ability to run individual sets that each continue to thrive in.

Tyler Herro Out Tonight Vs Raptors

Tyler Herro was ruled out for tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to neck spasms.

When Erik Spoelstra was asked about the injury, he responded, “I don’t have any new update for you, other than he’s making progress.”

He was then asked if he has practiced at all this week, but once again reiterated that’s the only update he has.

This means that Miami will be rolling with the same team from the other night against the Detroit Pistons. But will it be the same starting lineup?

Well, it makes sense to go with a starting Goran Dragic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Spo makes another abrupt adjustment.

Toronto’s two guard lineups with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet will clearly hurt Miami’s point of attack weaknesses, which makes me think Gabe Vincent may get the start.

Not because he’s a great defender, but they feel more comfortable with him on that end than others.

Either way, the starting lineup doesn’t hold much value, since as seen the other night, the bench lineups are the ones that seem to spark the team.

Kendrick Nunn will get yet another opportunity, but will KZ Okpala?

I’d bet on him starting again tonight, even though he only played 3 minutes. And if he doesn’t get playing time tonight, don’t bet on him impacting this team any time soon.

A Breakdown of Tyler Herro and Precious Achiuwa

Tyler Herro and Precious Achiuwa have been the bright spots of this Heat team right now, since half the team has been away due to Covid protocols. This was a time where possible leaps may have begun to be made, since Tyler and Precious had a lot more weight on their shoulders due to the increased roles.

But what are the exact areas that they’ve made strides this week?

Tyler Herro:

– Backboard Usage Around the Rim

Tyler Herro has been very efficient around the rim this season, and utilizing the backboard has been one of the main reasons for that. It’s something Goran Dragic uses a lot, and rightfully so, since it’s a veteran move. And by the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Goran was the one who got Tyler to do it. Either way, it’s an incredible attribute to have at his age. His touch around the basket continues to be impressive, and that’s a hard thing for defenses to guard consistently.

– Finding Dead Spots

Tyler Herro’s increased role these past two games has allowed him to shine in certain areas. Since he’s had the ball in his hands frequently in the pick and roll, his ability to find dead spots have been apparent. Tyler has mentioned his comfort level when facing a drop coverage, and that is clear right here. He can navigate the mid-range area, which is where he is at his best.

– Natural Change of Speed

Tyler’s change of direction has been a surprising part of his game this far. As seen above, he can make quick adjustments when running at full speed. He turned his hips slightly to the right to freeze the defender, then exploded left for an easy bucket. He’s also shown his quick first step when in isolation. Defenses must have seen a lot of abrupt step-backs in film, which allows Tyler to explode off the dribble frequently this season.

– Decisive Play-Making

Now, this has been one of the most fun parts of Tyler Herro’s game this year. When people discuss Tyler as a play-maker, it’s not out on the perimeter setting up the offense. It’s actually when he is in full motion making instinctive decisions, which is why he’s been great with the lob pass. As seen in the first clip, Tyler comes off of a curl which creates a 2 on 1, which is when he is at his best. And his lob pass ability allowed a pass fake into an open layup. In the second clip, Joel Embiid stepped up which allowed an easy lob for a dunk.

Precious Achiwua:

– Utilizing an Escape Dribble

One of the things Precious Achiuwa didn’t do at the beginning of the season was put the ball on the floor. He found himself getting stuck sometimes since everybody knew he was swinging it or handing it off, while Bam has the ability to take others off the dribble. But after Precious got an increased role, he found himself becoming more comfortable in his skill-set. Here, he notices the crowd forming in the corner, and utilizes an escape dribble to the free throw line. And honestly, that’s more impressive than the jumper, which is also promising moving forward.

– Timing on the Boards

When people describe Precious’ rebounding ability, it usually starts with energy. But actually timing seems to be his biggest strength on the boards. As seen above, he doesn’t have any type of positioning on the taller Joel Embiid, but times it perfectly to go up and grab it, which then turned into a contested score at the basket. Timing has been seen a lot these last two games against Philadelphia, which is why he continues to get easy baskets off of tip ins.

– Patience Under the Rim

Most young bigs who have high energy instinctively go back up with the ball right away once they get it. But Precious has shown an immense amount of patience in the paint. As seen there, he showcases his athleticism to go up and grab the ball, then re-adjusts under the rim. He then gives Joel Embiid a slight pump-fake to get him up into the air, and immediately rises for a layup. That has a lot to do with reading a situation, which Achiuwa has been great with as well.

– Control at Full Speed

Now, this play was one of Precious Achiuwa’s most impressive or flashy plays he has had this far, but the control he portrayed was not the first time. He was running full speed down the floor, per usual, and had to slow down for an impressive euro-step. His control has been seen on the defensive end as well, since he will be running full speed for a block and immediately stop to contest without fouling. Having that amount of control 10 games into his NBA career is a great sign.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to the 76ers

The Miami Heat faced the Philadelphia 76ers once again on Thursday night with only eight guys, and came away with a loss. Although there’s not much to takeaway from a team perspective, there were a lot of promising individual improvements in these past two games. Anyway, here are five takeaways….

#1: Chris Silva gives quality first half minutes on both ends of the floor.

The first thing that stood out from Chris Silva was his defense on Joel Embiid tonight. He began to front Joel as soon as he checked in, which led to the person on the wing coming over to double. This led to Joel only scoring 5 first half points. This showed that Miami’s film sessions since Tuesday night’s game came out with a positive result. Now, on the offensive end, Silva surprisingly showed many flashes as well. He was active on the offensive boards on Tuesday, but held most of his activity off of the pick and roll as a lob threat, much like teammate Precious Achiuwa. Many have described Silva as a high energy guy, and he showed that description is pretty accurate tonight.

#2: Miami’s lack of depth showed tonight.

I think this is an obvious takeaway, since Miami having eight guys available definitely means they lacked depth. But the offensive showing from Philadelphia made this more apparent. The 76ers had Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Shake Milton return tonight, and that means Phili added depth. That was clear all night, since they seemed to have fresh legs on the floor at all times, while Miami basically had the same guys on the floor at all times. Shake MIlton exploded in the first half, scoring 19 which is yet another factor of their depth. Usually when Miami’s offense goes flat, Spo throws somebody in to be that offensive spark. But on a night like tonight, that clearly wasn’t a possibility.

#3: Tyler Herro displays his unique offensive package once again.

If there was anything positive from tonight’s game, it was that Tyler Herro continues to put a stamp on his scoring abilities. Last game, Phili seemed to focus on him directly throughout, which led to him driving to the basket most of the game, until he got going in the fourth. And tonight, the 76ers seemed to make it a priority to not give him any room, and that didn’t matter. He began to create for himself with unique pump-fake up and unders, as well as some impressive step backs. It doesn’t seem necessary to harp on Tyler’s scoring, since everybody knows it is there, but it is necessary to discuss when he’s the first option on a team and still finds ways to consistently score.

#4: Once again, Gabe Vincent making his way up the roster.

One thing about this unfortunate Covid circumstance with Miami is that they’re getting a look at certain guys that they wouldn’t in a normal situation. The main player that has stood out from the increased playing time was Gabe Vincent once again. On Tuesday, I basically discussed his advanced offensive package other than shooting. But tonight, it seems necessary to just focus on his shooting ability. On this Heat team, depth has continually been harped on, and for a while I don’t think many pictured Gabe Vincent when discussing it. But now, he seems to be rising up the roster slowly. Seeing him in action in these two games will give extra confidence in Spo to play him going forward, and I believe he can find himself in a consistent role with a healthy Heat team.

#5: Precious Achiuwa’s consistency as a rookie is very promising.

I’ve discussed all aspects of Precious Achiuwa’s game throughout the season, but what truly stands out is his consistent effort with every attribute. Even when entering a game with eight players, while facing the best center in the NBA, Precious still brings the same thing he does every single night. Rebound effort, defensive activity, rim roamer, and most importantly effort. Erik Spoelstra and the coaching staff have to be feeling good watching him improve, especially when picturing the return of Bam Adebayo. He can replicate many of the things Bam brings, except the play-making ability, but it’s very promising considering the fact he is only 10 games in.

The Young, The Hungry, The Heat

The Miami Heat were short-handed in Tuesday night’s match-up with the Philadelphia 76ers, and got to showcase one of the biggest strengths of this Heat team: Hunger.

The players are always talking about this locker room having a bunch of dogs who have a chip on their shoulder, and that was clear yesterday.

Gabe Vincent is a perfect example, since he got an opportunity that was a bit unexpected, and absolutely shined. He got a chance to show people his all-around game, since he gets classified as a deep threat most of the time, and took advantage of the moment.

Duncan Robinson also noticed the need for him to step up and expand his offensive game, and that was a huge contribution to Miami’s late run in the fourth. After Tyler Herro was out of the game for some time, the 76ers began to dial in on Duncan on the defensive end, which ultimately allowed Herro to explode in the fourth.

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As much as we can discuss certain guys falling under the category of young and hungry on this Heat team, Tyler Herro and Precious Achiuwa need to be at the forefront.

Many people are aware that Tyler Herro is capable of hitting big shots down the stretch in a tight game, but last night doesn’t compare to other games.

He was the number one option. No Jimmy Butler on the floor. No Bam Adebayo on the floor. No Goran Dragic on the floor.

Philadelphia was aware who would have the ball in their hands at the end of that game, and they still couldn’t stop him from scoring.

And when they continued to play that drop coverage, Tyler took advantage of the mid-range jumper and floater. After a mid-range jumper late in the fourth, the next play he looked to do it again, but Joel Embiid stepped up. And well, that’s where Precious Achiuwa comes into play.

A perfect lob up to the rim for an Achiuwa slam. Tyler’s feel for the game deserves credit, but Achiuwa’s presence around the rim needs to be noticed as well.

Precious is not the tallest or lengthiest big man to go up and catch lobs over the 7’0 Joel Embiid, but what he does have is heart. Getting thrown into the fire as the starting center, against arguably the best big man in today’s NBA, is far from an easy task. And although Joel scored 45 points, Precious guarded him pretty well throughout.

Although a game where Miami only had eight available players does not seem like it holds much importance, it does.

It gave the young guys an opportunity to take a step forward and grow, since they were asked to step outside of their comfort zones.

And more importantly, Jimmy Butler and company were sitting at home watching these young dudes battle. So you already know they’re wanting to get back out there with those guys as fast as possible to continue to fight with their team.

One game is one game, and one loss is one loss. But in the big picture, this game will be looked at as the moment the young guys grew. And there’s plenty of more growth to be made in the near future.

5 Takeaways from Miami’s Short-Handed Loss To Philadelphia

The Miami Heat faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a game where Miami was missing half of their team, but fell short in overtime. They were missing Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, among others but still showed plenty of heart throughout this game. Some late game Tyler Herro heroics weren’t enough, but still a great sign moving forward. Anyway, here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: Well, Duncan Robinson was Duncan Robinson, but showed flashes of growth.

Coming into this game, it was obvious that the coaching staff can get a look at a lot of these players from a different perspective. The main one being Duncan Robinson, since he always thrives when he shares the floor with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Tonight, he had to figure things out on his own, and he did. He hit 5 first half threes, after shooting poorly from deep to begin the first quarter. And during that stretch of struggle, his play-making abilities began to get showcased. He was forced to put the ball on the floor and drive, which led to him throwing some nice bounce passes to the cutter or cross court skip passes to the opposite corner. We know exactly what Duncan can do from the perspective of shooting, but it’s great to see flashes in the other parts of his offensive game.

#2: Gabe Vincent gets his opportunity, and takes advantage of it.

Gabe Vincent began to get into a flow offensively early in the game, and it wasn’t only from the three point line. Although he looked good from beyond the arc, which many know he is capable of, his ability to attack the basket stood out. Miami didn’t have many players that are primary attackers, although Tyler Herro looks to be at times, which led to Gabe driving and using his craftiness around the rim. He’s going to be an interesting name moving forward, since he could be a player that can help this team now. Since Kendrick Nunn hasn’t made many contributions as of late, Gabe is a guy that can slide in front of him awaiting an opening in the rotation. He got an opportunity and made the most of it, which was definitely noticed by the Heat’s coaching staff.

#3: Precious Achiuwa steps up into new role and thrives.

It’s not normal for a rookie in his ninth NBA game to step into the starting center position to guard the best center in the NBA, Joel Embiid. Precious looked good in the match-up with Joel in the first half, defending him well throughout, as well as showcasing some nice offensive moves. One of the biggest highlights from the game was when Precious took Embiid off the dribble for a wide open dunk. Joel Embiid began to look like Joel Embiid in the third quarter, absolutely taking over. When he began to do this, it was when Chris Silva was on the floor matched-up with him, which forced Coach Spo to send Precious right back in. It was a very unique circumstance that the game was being played, and it was a good thing that rookie Precious Achiuwa was a part of it.

#4: Kelly Olynyk third quarter, Tyler Herro fourth quarter.

As I mentioned before, Joel Embiid had it going throughout the third quarter. And when it looked as if Miami would be put away then, Kelly Olynyk kept them in it. Miami’s offense began to grow stagnant, and Kelly hit two straight threes when they were needed most. That is what Kelly Olynyk does. Tyler Herro, on the other hand, took over in the fourth quarter which is no surprise. When it looked like the game got out of reach once again, Tyler Herro put on a scoring clinic from all three levels to give Miami a comfortable lead. It is promising to see that even when Miami is without their three best players, they still have plenty of guys capable of stepping up in crunch time.

#5: This game will be looked back on down the line, as the moment players took a leap.

Although this game may not seem to hold much value, it does in the big picture. This game allowed many of Miami’s players to get outside of their comfort zone, which it’s important for players to go through stretches that are uncomfortable. Duncan Robinson being forced to drive and play-make was one that I discussed before, since I believe it’s something we see more of moving forward. Precious Achiuwa continued to put the ball on the floor, which is something he hasn’t done much of up to this point. And of course Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, who didn’t necessarily take a leap, but took their initial step forward. We may see certain players that I mentioned have an expanded offensive package from this unique NBA game that was played tonight.

Why is Attacking the Basket Essential for Tyler Herro?

In Miami’s match-up with the Washington Wizards on Saturday night, Tyler Herro put on a scoring clinic, reaching a new career high 31 points.

The scoring wasn’t being generated from the perimeter though. Instead, he continued to attack the basket on Washington’s weak defenders, and used his craftiness to score around the rim.

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The reason that part of Tyler’s game is so important is because the rest of his strengths generate from it. Once Tyler gets into the paint a few possessions, it leads to more room on the perimeter for him to work. And when they began to play high on him, he found himself wide open off back door cuts for open layups.

And as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s when his passing abilities are most visible. He is a great play-maker once he is in an offensive rhythm, since he makes instinctive decisions instead of over thinking.

When Tyler Herro is rolling with confidence, it’s when he is at his best.

Before this game, he mentioned throughout the week that the performance against Boston was totally on him, and he needs to be better. And well, he was.

This team is very confident with Tyler Herro having the keys on the offensive side of the ball, especially since it gives their two stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, a break from their efforts on the defensive end.

Another main reason Tyler Herro’s penetration is important for his overall game, is because it leads to increased effort on the defensive end.

When he sees the ball go through the net a few times, the energy levels naturally rise. And although Tyler struggles on that end, all you can ask for is effort.

If he can consistently score at the rim on a nightly basis, it makes everybody’s job easier, especially Duncan Robinson. Now that they’re sharing the floor quite a lot, it’s important for them to bounce off each other offensively.

It’ll be interesting to see if Tyler Herro can keep this up on the second night of a back to back, since they’re playing a short-handed Boston Celtics team.

5 Takeaways from Miami’s Win Over Washington

The Miami Heat played a short-handed Washington Wizards team on Saturday night, and came away with the win. The Miami Heat looked pretty sharp offensively throughout, which clearly won them this game. Here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: Miami comes out on fire offensively, but invisible defensively.

The Miami Heat set a franchise first quarter record tonight, scoring 47 points on 78% shooting. Only issue was that Washington put up 44 points as well in that first quarter. As much as we can discuss Miami’s impressive shooting early, the defense is what truly needs to be keyed in on. The reason for that is because you’re playing a team without their two best players, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. A lack of individual efforts on defense was obvious, since there seemed to be a lack of urgency. That is not surprising, since that is what usually happens when going into a game against a team without their top players. It comes down to intensity on that end of the floor, and they didn’t have it early in this game.

#2: Kelly Olynyk having one of those Kelly Olynyk like games.

In Miami’s impressive first quarter scoring display, Kelly Olynyk was one of the players that truly shined. It is known that Kelly is capable of having those type of shooting games, but it just come down to consistency. Tonight was one of those games though, where he just couldn’t miss from deep. He also used his nightly fake hand-off, which usually ends up with an open layup at the rim. It was especially needed for Kelly Olynyk to have this type of performance tonight, since Bam Adebayo and Precious Achiuwa each had three early fouls. Obviously nothing can be replicated on defense or by rebounding, but the offensive boost was a huge positive for this team.

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#3: Goran Dragic getting back to his normal shooting abilities.

Goran Dragic, surprisingly, hasn’t been shooting the ball great to begin the year. Heading into this game, he was shooting 25% from beyond the arc. But he came out in the first quarter going 4 for 4 from three, which i discussed before the game since Washington’s lackluster defense can give those types of guys the rhythm they’ve been looking for. Those 4 triples were his only scores in the first half, and actually his only four attempts, but he used his passing to create for others on offense. The defense began to fly high, which led to him dribbling right by for a kick to the opposite wing or corner for a three. And that right there is the Goran Dragic effect.

#4: Tyler Herro showcases his great touch around the rim.

Tyler Herro was scoring the ball well tonight against the Wizards, mostly by attacking the basket with the ball in his hands. He seems to have great touch around the rim when using the basket, almost Goran-like, and showed his aggressiveness to get to the rim. He also cuts off the ball quite a lot, and against a defense like Washington, he found himself open a few times. And once he begins to get his scoring going, his play-making begins to look better and better. Not only did he score the ball well tonight, but he scored it efficiently, and that’s more important than anything.

#5: Jimmy Butler’s offensive initiative was this Heat team’s staple.

Although many of Miami’s players exploded on offense in that first quarter, nobody scored the ball as consistently as Jimmy Butler did tonight. He clearly could score the ball at will tonight against this poor Washington defense, and chose to do just that throughout the game. He probably could’ve done it a lot more, but that’s just not Jimmy’s game. Well, unless he’s in the finals. I’m pretty sure everybody is aware that Jimmy is more than capable of taking over on offense when needed, but if there was uncertainty, tonight should’ve cleared that up. Once again, there’s not much to takeaway when it’s against a team you’re supposed to beat, but Butler can do exactly that against pretty much anybody.

How Can Miami’s Game Against Washington Be the Big Turn-Around?

One of the biggest issues for Miami has been the lack of getting a good amount of shot attempts up, which turnovers and rebounding have played into that.

Miami currently ranking 26th in the NBA in points per game mirrors that statement as well.

But how cam Miami turn things around in their match-up with Washington?

Although we can dive into things Miami can do better, looking sharper on offense will be the spark for everything else. And since Washington’s defense is known to not be very good, the Heat can use this game to get into a rhythm.

When the players spoke with media on Friday afternoon, there seemed to be a mutual statement and feeling towards the importance of this road trip. Tyler Herro even mentioned looking back at it later in the season, since it can be the turning point.

Tyler Herro is also the name that can benefit from this game tomorrow. He has taken major accountability for Miami’s struggles, saying “Everything is on me.” But I’m not so sure it’s all on him.

Many can point to his offensive struggles thus far, but he’s actually averaging the same exact numbers he put up in his rookie season, just with a bit better field goal percentage. Now, of course those numbers should be up since it’s supposed to be his second year breakout, but they’re only seven games in. He will begin to find a rhythm offensively, which can ultimately be a huge plus for this team.

His three point shooting has not been ideal this far especially, since he is currently shooting 30% from three. And even with Goran Dragic’s hot start, he is shooting 25% from beyond the arc up to this point.

Lastly, many figured Bam Adebayo would take a leap in aggressiveness and initiative to begin the season, but that hasn’t happened as much as many would’ve liked as well.

It’s a combination of a bunch of guys across the board that have contributed to Miami’s struggles, but each of them can look to benefit in this road trip, starting with the Washington Wizards.

Miami should be able to explode offensively on Saturday night, which would be even better due to the fact that they can rest for the following night against Boston.

And once offense begins to generate on this Heat team, that will make their other issues much less noticeable.

If they come out with the mindset of just getting the ball up when they have an opportunity, rhythm will begin to form.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Tough Loss to Mavericks

The Miami Heat had an offensive night like no other, losing to the Dallas Mavericks. Shots weren’t falling, rhythm wasn’t forming, and nothing could go right. Although there only seems to be one overall takeaway from this game, here are five…

#1: Miami Heat or Miami Cold?

Well, it’s obvious that this would be the first takeaway from this game, since the Miami Heat did not hit one three in the first half. It seems as if the troubles change every game. It went from turnover issues to offensive issues, which I will say I definitely did not expect. Goran Dragic has been a guy that has helped Miami when they begin to struggle offensively, and not even he could save them in that first half. It’s not everyday you see Duncan Robinson shoot 5 threes in a half and not make a single one. Ball movement is probably one of the main points you can look to, since they had 4 assists in the first half. So, it was clearly the Miami Cold in the first half, or better yet the entire game.

#2: Tyler Herro comes out under control offensively, back into his role.

As discussed previously, Miami could not get any shots to fall early in the game, except for Tyler Herro. He continues to look like the Tyler Herro that we all know. One who is confident in his game and looks to score first when he has the ball in his hands. He looked good off of the pick and roll, specifically when Precious Achiuwa was setting the pick. He knows he can utilize the pull-up mid-range, but he also threw a nice lob to Precious under the goal, which may have been Miami’s first offensive spark. A second year Tyler Herro, who struggled in his first game or two, being the rock of their offense in a game like this is a very positive sign.

#3: Although the struggles were clear, Bam Adebayo gave it his all from the jump.

Now, there’s obviously not much to point to statistically in that first half performance, but Bam Adebayo definitely stood out when watching. He was playing with a level of energy that was needed in this type of game. That mostly was visible in his ability to run the floor once he grabbed the ball off the rim. He also knocked down some mid-range jumpers, and it seems as if every one of these takeaway pieces includes an improved jumper from the past game. Bam being the source of energy and offense in a game where Jimmy Butler returned is interesting, but it’s also promising for their young centerpiece.

#4: Precious Achiuwa looks good once again, while it seems as if the KZ Okpala unleashing is ways away.

Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala seem to get linked together quite a lot, since they were two of Miami’s most intriguing young projects heading into the season. And well, not many would’ve expected the rookie to get the edge. Precious played very well tonight once again, since as I’ve mentioned, he knows how to play to his own role without straying off. He set good screens, played good defense, active around the boards, and lurked around the rim for lobs. And in a game where Miami trailed for most of it, and were looking for some type of spark, KZ Okpala was never inserted. He may still need some time to grow and put his entire package together, and the key word there is “time.” If he isn’t getting any run in a game like this, it doesn’t seem like he will have a set role in the rotation any time soon.

#5: Jimmy Butler doesn’t appear to look like himself.

Jimmy Butler returned to play tonight after missing the past two games, but he clearly wasn’t himself. He didn’t have it going offensively, and more importantly he didn’t seem to have that same energy that we’re used to seeing with Jimmy. Now, you can categorize it as a bit of rust after taking some time off with the ankle, but I would expect more initiative from the team’s leader when the team struggles this way. When speaking about him offensively, he just had no rhythm at all and did not seem to get off of his feet much, but I guess the entire team didn’t have any offensive rhythm as well. Either way, it was a poor performance from Miami in this game, and the team’s best player and leader will always get looked at first, especially since he was 0-6 from the field. And I’m sure he will take accountability, but he just needs to be Jimmy for this team to strive.