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5 Takeaways from Heat’s Late Loss to OKC

The Miami Heat fell short to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-115. This game did not carry much importance for Miami, which is why Miami sat their star players in the second half. Here are 5 takeaways from this game…

#1: Duncan Robinson needs much more than a hand in his face to be stopped.

Duncan Robinson put on another three point shooting display on Wednesday night, which is definitely nothing new. Duncan scored 19 points in the first half with 5 threes. He was such an issue for the Thunder’s defense that Chris Paul began to try and get under Duncan’s skin. It’s hard to disrupt a focused Duncan Robinson, especially when you have a leader like Jimmy Butler on the floor who has your back. This was the first game of the bubble that the opposite team didn’t totally key on Duncan, which is why he flourished tonight. Teams are going to have to continue to blanket Duncan in order to have a chance, and that’s when he will need to display his on-ball skills that he showcased against Phoenix.

#2: Bam Adebayo’s early foul trouble may become problematic.

Bam Adebayo had three quick first quarter fouls to start today’s game, which also occurred a few games against the Milwaukee Bucks. Bam Adebayo talked about what he thinks Spo should do in these circumstances and said if the offense is flowing leave him out, but if not then put him in. And well, this is what happened tonight when Bam got his third foul. The offense was clicking as good as it has all season, which is why they kept him on the bench. This is something to keep an eye on as we approach the playoffs, since Miami can’t risk having Bam out of the game for extended minutes. This is the type of thing that could change a playoff game, but fouls are going to come up with an aggressive defender like Bam.

#3: Goran Dragic still rolling offensively.

Goran Dragic got the start yet again with Kendrick Nunn out, and continued to be lethal. Goran entering the starting lineup seemed to hurt the bench unit a bit last game, since there was no floor general to take control of the offense. But, this problem definitely didn’t occur with the starting lineup. The starting lineup with Goran at the point seems to flow much smoother, due to the offensive connection of Jimmy and Goran. They both have a winning mentality and trust each other with the ball in their hands, which is why Spo has continued to try and play them together. Goran scored 16 points in 20 minutes of play, along with six assists. He’s the type of guy that can do the small things offensively, and consequently win you some playoff games.

#4. Miami’s ball movement seemed smooth throughout.

Miami’s shooting has continued to be lethal from the outside, but it’s because of the play-making set ups. The ball movement in the first half was what put the Heat in such great position. Pick and rolls, fast-breaks, swinging around the key for a three. It was all on display tonight. Goran was at the forefront of this passing display, but even guys like Duncan Robinson were making passes that they usually don’t make. It may be a match-up that they like on defense which forced them to make quick passes. But, it seems as if it’s just an increase in comfortability. This team contains some of the most unselfish players in the league, which is the biggest proponent of solid ball movement. This will be essential in a first round match-up with the Indiana Pacers, who seem to be a bit banged up.

#5: Tyler Herro forming more and more into a fluid scorer.

All of the pure scorers in the league score in the same way. With ease. Tyler was scoring with ease tonight, just as he has been in his last three games, which he scored 30 points on 56% shooting. After entering the league with the expectation of being a catch and shoot guy, he’s doing the exact opposite. He has plenty of star level moves in his bag, and has been showcasing great touch around the rim, especially when using the backboard. He seems to be getting back the confidence that he had in the beginning of the season, which is what this team needs from him in the postseason. There’s not many guys on this roster that you trust more when creating your own shot. Which is why we may see some late game Tyler Herro clutch shots since he will be looked to in these situations, as we saw tonight.

5 Post-Game Comments from Spoelstra, Herro, Adebayo

After another tough loss to the Phoenix Suns, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo talked about the game in a very positive way. This included a lot of high praise for their new starting point guard, Tyler Herro. Here’s what was said…

Post-Game Comment #1:

Tyler Herro has been playing shooting guard since his arrival into the NBA, since that is his main position. But, the Heat have seemed to want Tyler to expand his role into a primary point guard. Tyler says, “I felt comfortable.” That’s the most important trait for a point guard, especially one who hasn’t played much point previously. He also mentions that he’s been working on this aspect of game during the break. Spoelstra also says that he thinks Tyler did a solid job today, which may ultimately mean he will have that starting spot for good.

Post-Game Comment #2:

Bam Adebayo was asked about the Heat’s most important part of the team that needs to be fixed. He says, “Knowing how to win in close games.” This is definitely much harder to do without your best player on the court. Both Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic have been huge in second halves of games this season, since they slow the game down for the young guys on the team. As time goes on, Bam and Tyler will begin to pick up on things at ends of games, which is the best thing for this team in the long run.

Post-Game Comment #3:

Coach Erik Spoelstra talked about the improvements Bam has made and some things he already has instilled. He says, “Getting Bam to play winning basketball is not high, because he does that.” He seems to have the ultimate trust in Bam, but it seems as if Bam doesn’t have that same trust in himself at times. Bam always is reluctant to shoot the mid-range, which is something players and coaches have been urging him to do. He also gets slightly passive at ends of games, which when you’re the team’s best player on the court, you need to look to score. Bam also made a huge play at the end of the game which was a block that was called a goal tend, but Spoelstra thinks otherwise.

Post-Game Comment #4:

Tyler Herro expands on his ball handling conversation with some information on how this came about. Tyler says, “I’ve always had the ball in my hands, in high school, and in college some.” This is definitely true that Tyler was the point guard in high school, but he was a straight scoring point guard. He says this time in earlier years has helped him grow, and feels he can impact the game in other ways that shooting. He mentions it’s very tough to balance play-making and scoring, and says “I’m sure I missed some guys open tonight.” Even if he did miss some open guys, it doesn’t matter when you’re a 20 year old rookie with the amount of natural skills in his arsenal.

Post-Game Comment #5:

The Heat had some leeway with their seeding at the beginning of the bubble games, but after a few losses, these Indiana match-ups matter much more. Bam says, “This is bigger than (TJ) or Jimmy. We want to get in the playoffs and make a run.” This team is no longer worried about the petty fights that occured earlier in the season, it’s now time to win. Spoelstra talks about this Indiana match-up with the same exact mindset, saying “You know us, it’s who we are,” when referring to approaching these games with a winning mentality. This is not to say Jimmy won’t rise up to the occasion for this match-up, which very well may happen, but this team is much more concerned about falling to 6 than fighting with TJ Warren.

5 Takeaways from Suns Victory Over Short-Handed Heat Team

The Miami Heat played yet another game short-handed against the Phoenix Suns, due to Jimmy Butler, Goran Drgaic, and Kendrick Nunn being out. Miami fell short to Phoenix, 119-112, even with big games from the Heat’s young projects. Here are some takeaways from this game…

#1: Duncan Robinson uses team’s offensive shortage to expand his game.

Duncan Robinson seems to be one of the keys to every game the Heat play, but this was a different Duncan. I previously mentioned him expanding his game on the ball in this game, due to the fact that three of Miami’s four best scorers were out. Duncan definitely has some tricks in his bag that don’t involve catching and shooting, but he hasn’t been able to showcase them much. Tonight, he showed his ability to attack the basket, which seemed to catch the Suns off guard since it definitely wasn’t on the scouting report. People also forget that this is basically Duncan’s rookie year, which means he has plenty of time to develop this side of his game.

#2: Gabe Vincent utilizes minutes to try and earn rotation spot, but showcases another aspect.

With Kendrick Nunn away from the team at the moment, Tyler Herro was called up to the starting lineup and consequently lead to Gabe Vincent minutes off of the bench. This gave Gabe the opportunity to prove he can get minutes on this team, especially with Kendrick’s recent struggles. Although Gabe struggled shooting the ball from deep, which is his strength, he proved the other parts of his game are just as strong. He seemed to be a good play-maker, a high basketball IQ, and most importantly solid defense. These are some things that have been in question for Kendrick Nunn over the last few games, which may ultimately lead to yet another lineup change.

#3. Miami using new strategy, which is attacking team’s best player.

The Heat have seemed to try out a new offensive strategy through these few bubble games, which has been to get the other team’s best player in foul trouble. They have continued to attack early in games over the last week, which lead to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Marcus Smart early foul trouble. They also tried to attack Devin Booker early in today’s game, but it evidently didn’t lead to fouls. This may not be a bad idea to do, especially with the amount of physical offensive players on this roster. This also points to another advantage for the Heat over the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s been pretty easy to get 76er’s star Joel Embiid in foul trouble this year, which may ultimately be their game plan in a series against him. This may be something to keep your eye on over the course of Miami’s next few games.

#4: Tyler Herro tries to match his player comparison, Devin Booker.

Tyler Herro has continually been compared to Devin Booker, which is as good of a comparison as you can get. Tyler has said that he tries to model his game after him, and has watched a lot of film of him over the break. And with Tyler being the starting point guard tonight, he was looked at to try and match Devin Booker’s scoring, which is far from an easy task. But, Tyler Herro did just about that. He showed a lot of Devin Booker flashes scoring the ball with 25 points, but really stepped up as the point guard. He continues to showcase different ball-handling packages and most importantly his play-making, which he ended the game with 10 assists. He seems to be very comfortable at this position now, even more comfortable than Kendrick looked at the point. Tyler used this as a statement game to prove he will be the starting point guard on this team for a long time to come.

#5: Bam Adebayo’s offensive motor more important now than ever.

After Bam talked about his body not responding as quickly as it usually does during a media session yesterday, there were a lot of questions about him in today’s game. But, he began to make that jump that was much needed in a game without three of your offensive talents. He also seemed confident in his jump shot from 15 feet early in the first, which seemed Chris Bosh-esque, but it just wasn’t falling. This lead to the basket attacking Bam Adebayo that Heat fans have been waiting for in the second quarter. This included some post-moves, finishing at the rim, and a pair of And-1 plays. With all of the elite shooting on this roster, Bam is key to open up the floor for all of their shooters. Once Bam becomes a consistent offensive problem for other teams, this will elevate this Heat team to the next level.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Late Collapse Against Milwaukee

The Miami Heat played a tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday afternoon without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, and fell short 130-116. This game was clearly a tale of two halves, since Miami came out with fire in their eyes in the first half and became slightly complacent in the second half. Here’s my five takeaways from this game…

#1: Although a tough outcome, Miami should feel better than Milwaukee does.

The Miami Heat were going into a match-up with the best team in the NBA without two main pieces, Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. But well, the team showed up in the first half. Emphasis on first half. They played at an elite level on both sides of the ball, which was pretty suprising. But, they slowly fell apart in the second half. It was evident this was because they did not have a go to guy on the floor. All of the best lineups this season included either Goran Dragic or Jimmy Butler. This is why Miami fans should feel pretty good about this game. Without veteran leadership on the court, it’s hard for guys to sustain a lead or close a game. With a healthy Jimmy and Goran, Milwaukee should hope that they don’t have to face this physical Heat team.

#2: Tyler Herro’s scoring wasn’t even his best attribute.

Tyler Herro exploded in the first half for 16 points, which lead to Miami’s huge lead. He proved that he can be good at many aspects of his game including his play-making, rebounding, and most importantly defense. His defense has been in question for quite some time along with his teammates Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn. But the difference with Tyler is that he continues to improve on defense every night. He played exceptional on-ball defense on the offensively talented guards and wings from Milwaukee’s roster. Tyler will need to clean up some mistakes with decision making that have consequently lead to turnovers, but the more he plays in games like this, the more he will learn.

#3: Miami’s wings prove to be the only viable Giannis stoppers. Well kind of.

The Heat began the game the same way they did in their two previous match-ups. Frustrating Giannis. Miami has pretty much showed that their plan against the Bucks is to contain Giannis, and let the supporting cast beat you. They continued to double team and draw fouls on Antetokounmpo, which lead to Miami’s huge lead. Miami’s ability to throw multiple bodies at Giannis is what separates them from the rest. They threw Bam, Crowder, Iguodala, and DJJ at him throughout, since this seems to be their only offense during tough stretches. But, you can only contain him so much. On a day that didn’t seem to go very well for Giannis, he still ended up with 33 points on 77% shooting. This will be a rough series for Giannis if they were to match-up, since he will have to outwork all of these guys 4 out of 7 times.

#4: Duncan Robinson is clearly an elite shooter, but finally overcoming tough defense. 

Duncan Robinson has not only been an outstanding three point shooter, but an absolute efficient one. There began to be uncertainty if teams would begin to figure out Duncan’s game, like Toronto did early in the week, but he’s beginning to overcome it. He continues to show that he will need much more than a hand in his face to not have a green light. He has been using a pump-fake and side step fadeaways much more comfortably than he did before the NBA restart. Duncan is beginning to realize how huge his offensive role is on this team, which is why Miami runs on Duncan.

#5: Kendrick Nunn may be slowly playing his way out of the starting lineup.

Kendrick Nunn has been such an intriguing young player this season since he was a natural scorer. But well, this hasn’t been the case as of late. In a game that was supposed to be his breakout game, without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, it still didn’t occur. He scored 14 points on 29% shooting, and still has not shown improvements on the defensive side of the ball. And with Tyler Herro’s continued scoring and defensive improvements, he may be getting closer and closer to that starting point guard spot. If Kendrick doesn’t fix this quick, Spoelstra will have to make the decision going forward, which may occur even faster than you may expect.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Win Against the Boston Celtics

The Miami Heat were coming off of a tough loss against the Toronto Raptors, but rallied against Boston to get the win, 112-106. Jimmy Butler did not play today due to ankle soreness, but the team rose up to the occasion. Here’s my 5 takeaways from this game…

#1: Tyler Herro appears to be back to himself.

Tyler Herro has struggled a bit shooting the ball during his time in the bubble. This all shifted today when Tyler finally found his rhythm. I’ve said many times that Tyler’s game revolves around his shooting early in the game, due to confidence. Once Tyler sees the ball go through the net, he’s very hard to stop. Another big improvement that was seen in Tyler’s game today was his defense. He continues to showcase his active hands, quick feet, and natural instincts on the defensive end. Definitely not too bad for a guy that’s only 20 years old.

#2: Derrick Jones Jr elevates Miami’s defense.

Derrick Jones Jr has been one of the most effective defenders on this Heat team, and the absence of Jimmy Butler improved his minutes. Derrick is definitely a card that Erik Spoelstra will use if they were to face off against Boston in the playoffs. His main assignment was to guard the Celtic’s star Jayson Tatum, and he did this pretty well. He forced Tatum into shooting 2/5 in the first half, which is not an easy task. If Derrick had the help of Jimmy Butler on defense to guard Kemba Walker, this would disrupt Boston even more.

#3: Bam Adebayo needs to trust his offensive game more.

Bam Adebayo seemed to be as present as Jimmy Butler was early in the first quarter. But that slowly changed after Bam realized the importance of his offensive game. He began to use his strength, which is his athleticism around the rim. This lead to Bam’s 21 points, along with 18 free throw attempts. This was his career high in free throw attempts. This may be because this bubble format has increased the amount of foul calls, which is why Bam will need to attack the basket just as his teammate, Jimmy Butler, does. After showcasing his offensive dominance, Bam will need to continue to trust his scoring abilities as much as Heat fans do.

#4: Without Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic is essential.

Due to the absence of Jimmy Butler, it hurts their amount of play-making leaders on the roster. This is why Goran Dragic was going to be looked to in this match-up, even on a back-to-back which definitely doesn’t benefit him. Goran’s success scoring the ball today was all strategy. He was facing a tough defensive match-up off of the bench, in Marcus Smart, but he prioritized and took advantage of switches, which lead to many Goran Dragic iso’s on Boston’s bigs. Goran was a little shaken up on the final play of the game with an apparent ankle injury, and went to the locker room. With the hopes of a healthy Goran Dragic, the duo of him and Jimmy Butler will be a scary site for teams in fourth quarters come playoff time.

#5: The Boston match-up may not be as scary as it seems.

The Miami Heat have pretty much dominated every top team in the East this season, except the Boston Celtics. This is why this win feels so much better for the Heat than any other game of this regular season restart. And of course, they were without their star Jimmy Butler. The reason that Miami has struggled with Boston is because of match-ups. But well, the match-ups didn’t seem to be a problem today. This may be because of the lineup change of Jae Crowder for Meyers Leonard, which adds much more versatility and matches up with Boston’s wings. Kelly Olynyk also entered the starting lineup, who has been very impressive in the bubble. After this win, Miami definitely feels a lot better about themselves tonight than they did yesterday.

5 Things to Watch in Miami Heat’s First Official Game

The Miami Heat will be playing their first official regular season game of the NBA restart on Saturday against the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are a tough game to start out against for the Heat since they are pretty strong defensively. Well, here’s some things to look out for in Saturday’s game…

#1: The Heat need good interior defense to beat this Nuggets team.

The Miami Heat have struggled this season with their perimeter defense, mostly at the point of attack. Well, this Denver Nuggets team will challenge them on the interior. Miami’s bigs will have to deal with not only one of the best centers in the league in Nikola Jokic, but also the rest of their lengthy bigs off of the bench. Meyers Leonard will probably see most of the match-up against Jokic, but Bam will probably get some possessions on him in the fourth quarter. The containment of Jokic in this game is important since this is a similar match-up they may see in a series against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Instead of countering Nikola Jokic all game with Meyers Leonard, Erik Spoelstra will need to go stretches with Bam as the center, since he can attack Jokic’s weaknesses on defense.

#2: Kendrick Nunn getting back to his old self.

Kendrick Nunn has been trying to get back into mid-season form since arriving to the bubble late after testing positive for Covid-19. He was a little rusty in the two scrimmage games he played, but the more games he plays, the better he will look. In the second scrimmage, Kendrick scored 5 points on 29% shooting, and in the third scrimmage he scored 6 points on 20% shooting. He will definitely look to pick that back up, especially since he will be out there on the floor with one of the most productive starting lineups in the league. He also is a major part of the offense since he can attack the rim and control the mid-range, which is something the Heat haven’t done a lot of on offense in these scrimmage games.

#3: Miami’s offensive players will receive more minutes.

As mentioned previously, Miami’s defense has been the biggest problem throughout the season, but their offense has enough firepower to exceed their defensive struggles in this game. This is because Denver has seemed to have the exact opposite problem than the Heat. Denver has been pretty strong defensively this season, but has struggled at times on offense. The Nugget’s offense only goes as far as Jamal Murray takes them, which may be a problem for the Heat since they’ve struggled against similar guards. But, Miami will most likely look to beat this team the way they know how to. Shooting the ball. For example, we will probably see more Kelly Olynyk minutes than Derrick Jones Jr minutes since they will just try to straight up outscore this Denver team.

#4: Heat’s depth must outweigh Denver’s depth.

One of Miami’s biggest strengths of the team has been their solid depth. But, Denver is one of those teams that has pretty solid depth themselves. They do have a lot of guys injured at the moment, which may hurt their depth, but they have the kind of role players that seem to break out against the Heat. Miami’s bench will need to outperform Denver’s bench if they want to win this game. Plain and simple. The Nugget’s offense has tailed off this season when the bench unit enters the floor, which it seems as if it improves when Miami does it at times. If Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Jae Crowder, and others can get a rhythm going early, they will most likely win this game. But on the other hand, if Denver’s bench out performs Miami, it’ll be a hard game to win once NIkola Jokic and Jamal Murray enter back in.

#5: A Jimmy Butler offensive display.

Jimmy Butler has shown that his strengths are basically everything other than scoring this year, since he can play-make and defend at such an elite level. Well, he showed what he can do offensively in the last scrimmage game when he scored 18 points 80% shooting. This is what the Heat need Jimmy to do once the postseason comes around. The team trusts him scoring the ball, the coaches trust him scoring the ball, the fans trust him shooting the ball. But, Jimmy needs to trust himself scoring the ball. He obviously needs to continue to play-make and defend as his number one option, but will need to have scoring confidence at ends of games when the team needs him. If Miami begins to have trouble with Denver’s physical defense, look for Jimmy Butler to step up as the elite scorer that he is in this game.

5 Key Moments from Post-Game Media Call with Spoelstra, Herro, Nunn

After the Heat’s loss in Saturday’s scrimmage game, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn spoke about different improvements they can make and their current health standpoint. Coach Erik Spoelstra also shared his opinion on this. Here’s what they had to say…

Post-Game Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra talked about Tyler Herro’s impressive bounce back game today, which he said “He’s fearless.” This seemed to be true when he went up to try and dunk on Rudy Gobert early in the third quarter. Spoelstra also said that he continues to develop his skill level, which was proven true with his play-making ability today. Another aspect of his game that has shown major strengths is his rebounding. As he continues to round out his game, he continues to show signs of a superstar type player in this league, and it is evident Spoelstra thinks the same.

Post-Game Comment #2:

Spoelstra talked a little about the main problem that hurts this Miami Heat team, which is the point of attack defense. Spoelstra said “You nailed it on the head.” He knows the problem that they have defensively, which is why we see him try so many different schemes. No matter if it’s changing to zone or rolling with a new lineup, Spo is constantly adjusting to try and fix this. He also mentions how important it is, which was seen in the first half of today’s game. Donovan Mitchell would get right by one of the Heat’s guards and throw a lob to Rudy Gobert. This is what put the Heat in such a bad position early, and will happen again if they don’t fix it quick.

Post-Game Comment #3:

As mentioned previously, getting Tyler Herro these opportunities now, will benefit him so greatly in the future. Tyler says, “I feel comfortable,” when discussing running the offense for majority of his time in the game. The most important thing for a ball handler is comfortability and the most important thing for a shooter is confidence. Well, Tyler’s got both. Tyler also mentions that he’s still young and learning, which is why these scrimmages impact him more than any other player on the team. Especially with his eagerness to learn, Tyler will pick up on this quick and be a major threat come playoff time.

Post-Game Comment #4:

Tyler Herro talks about watching both Devin Booker and CJ McCollum in pick and roll situations. After Tyler was compared to Devin Booker coming out of the draft, it’s amazing to see how much more realistic this becomes the more he plays. He said, “Taking extra dribbles, making the right pass, getting off the ball early.” These are all things I’ve said he had improved on in today’s game alone. This is another instance of being comfortable. Their must be a certain level of confidence in your skill-set to make certain passes and dribble moves, which was seen today a lot.

Post-Game Comment #5:
Kendrick Nunn “Well it’s definitely a different kind of rhythm. By the first game of the season, I will have everything under control.”

Kendrick Nunn also got to talk with some media today after his first game back, which he discussed getting back into the swing of things. Kendrick said, “It’s a different kind of rhythm.” Well, it’s definitely a different kind of rhythm when you don’t pick up a basketball for four months. His stamina definitely didn’t seem to be a problem in today’s game, which Spoelstra mentioned yesterday was due to the fact that he put in so much work in May and June. Kendrick also said he thinks he will have everything under control by the first game of the season. This will be a very helpful addition for the Heat’s offensive firepower, but may be mixed in with different lineups then we saw today. Since some of those lineups did not have enough defense on the floor.

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 Takeaways from Heat’s First Scrimmage Game

The Miami Heat got the win against the Sacrament Kings in their first scrimmage game in the bubble, 104-98. There were a lot of positives from this team throughout the game, especially the amount of talented depth on the roster. Here’s five takeaways on the Heat from this scrimmage game, heading into the regular season and playoffs.

#1: Duncan Robinson hasn’t skipped a beat.

Duncan Robinson apparently wasn’t fazed by a four month layoff with no basketball. He started the first quarter with four threes. This is something that is expected from Duncan, but not many expected it to happen this fast. Especially since Duncan didn’t have his running mate, Bam Adebayo, who usually sets him up for his three point attempts. This shooting display eventually impacted the rest of the team, which usually happens once Duncan gets going. It opens up the floor for the rest of the team. If he’s doing this after not picking up a basketball for 1/3 of a year, it’s a scary sight on what he will be doing in the next few weeks.

#2: Andre Iguodala is positioning himself for major playoff minutes.

If there was one guy that was a surprise in this game, it was Andre Iguodala. He seemed to be comfortable running the point throughout the game, and definitely slows the game down. He has a natural feel for the game, most likely due to the fact that he’s had plenty of playoff experience. He seems to have a pretty good on court connection with Heat rookie Tyler Herro. This seems to be a connection on and off the court, since Andre spoke about this relationship with media on Friday. Andre seems to fit right in with every lineup, which subsequently means he will be one of the first guys looked to off the bench when Spo is in a tough spot.

#3: Jimmy Butler forces a smooth running offense.

The Jimmy Butler narrative has seemed to be the same all season. Shooting struggles, but major play-making improvements. This was shown in the first quarter of the scrimmage when Jimmy couldn’t get in a rhythm shooting the basketball. But, once he went to the bench, the team looked kind of lost. He has such control of the offense with passing, leadership, and spacing off of the ball. Which when Jimmy checked back in the game in the second, the team looked much more under control. This isn’t too much of a shock since it’s always tough to get in a groove with your leader off the floor, but will need to be fixed in order to beat teams like Milwaukee or Boston.

#4: Miami’s defensive lineup looked effective.

One of the most intriguing lineups on this heat team is the defensive lineup of Jimmy-Crowder-Iguodala-DJJ-Bam. We got a slight glimpse at this lineup in the scrimmage, of couse excluding Bam, and it seemed pretty productive. The defensive veratilities of this lineup gave the Kings major trouble. One of the biggest questions with this lineup was the offense. And there seemed to be no problem there since Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala, and Derrick Jones Jr looked pretty offensively sound. Now, adding Bam Adebayo to this lineup only makes it scarier, which means there’s a big possibility we will see Coach Spo pull this card in the postseason.

#5: Tyler Herro dusting off the rust.

Tyler Herro had to get through some rough patches in the first game back after a couple of months. Though he ended the game with 15 points, he had some trouble shooting the ball, going 0/7 from three. One of the only positives of his struggles, is that it’s a learning curve. Coach Spo left Tyler in the game throughout his difficult stretches, which seemed like Spo wanted him to figure it out. This is the only way for a young guy to get better of course. He continued to fight through his shooting problems, which caused him to attack the basket and play make. He began to draw fouls and get in a bit of a rhythm. These struggles in games like this, will only make Tyler more comfortable in a playoff setting.

5 Key Moments from Spoelstra, Herro, Silva Interviews

After another day of 5 on 5 practice, Tyler Herro and Chris Silva talked to media along with Coach Erik Spoelstra. Here are 5 Key Moments from Spoelstra, Herro, Silva Interviews.

Spoelstra, Herro, Silva Interviews Comment #1:

There was some pretty unique news reported last night by Chris Haynes about Miami Heat’s own Jimmy Butler. It was reported that there was a noise complaint in the hotel, and when security got to the room, it was Jimmy Butler drenched in sweat in the middle of a full workout. Coach Spoelstra seemed to enjoy this, saying “That’s why I love Jimmy.” He continued to talk about his work ethic and described him with the word discipline. He says Jimmy is so unique with his workout times, nutrition, consistency, and more.

Comment #2:

Tyler Herro received the same question that Spoelstra did earlier in the interview. Tyler Herro was not surprised at all when he heard the news about Jimmy, since he’s seen Jimmy’s drive all season. He says that Jimmy was probably “bored in his room,” and usually causes him to do what he does best which is put in more work. The phrase “not surprised” is used all the time by teammates of Jimmy Butler. The team knows how he is which is why they respect him so much on and off the court.

Comment #3:

Tyler Herro talked about his health standpoint and the shape he is in after the hiatus. He says “I’m the best I’ve ever felt in my life.” This is a good sign due to the fact that it’s pretty much the exact opposite for other players in the bubble as of right now. Tyler follows this statement discussing his body fat and says it’s down to 5.5%. It seems as if that Jimmy Butler hard work is contagious throughout the locker room, especially since the coaches made sure they stayed in shape as well during the hiatus with zoom workouts.

Comment #4:

Chris Silva also got to talk to media today. He discussed the topic that seems to come up a lot in these interviews. Depth. He says he doesn’t think everybody is going to play as many minutes, which will definitely be true for the eight regular season games and probably the first round. Chris Silva will be ready to play if his name gets called once the season return. He may see the court a lot during the regular season since Spoelstra will be playing around with different lineups. Chris also talked about the impact this virus had on him personally. He planned on returning home to Gabon before the pandemic.

Comment #5:

Erik Spoelstra talks about the depth of this team once again. He says, “I don’t know if there’s ever been more of a need for depth.” This is definitely true for a couple different reasons. Guys will need some time to get back in game shape, which means there’ll be more of a need to get fresh legs on the court. Another reason is that this format is different than anything the NBA has ever seen, which means this playoffs may not only benefit veterans. Young guys may flourish in this type of format, which is why Erik Spoelstra will be playing around with this roster as much as he can before the playoffs start.

 

Voices

Tyler Herro is here to silence his doubters

Tyler Christopher Herro is not someone who wants to just fade into the background. He is a brash rookie that doesn´t back down from anyone,  but his confidence doesn´t bleed into arrogance and he is also respectful of the coaching staff and the veterans that are eager to mold him into the next Miami Heat superstar.

Herro is the kind of shooter that the Miami Heat hasn´t seen since…well, ever. His seven three-pointers during a 134-129 win against the Washington Wizards set a Heat rookie record for threes made in a single game. The 20-year-old even already had his first signature moment in the NBA when he made American Airlines Arena go bonkers after a dramatic game-winning shot against the hated Philadelphia 76ers.

He could have done so many things on that play. Drive to the rim at full speed, to begin with, since he would most likely have gotten fouled. He could have passed the ball to the trailing Jimmy Butler, who had gotten the steal and is the team´s veteran star closer after all. But no, he pulled back and shot from long distance with no worries in the world. Like 20,000 people at the AAA and millions more in their homes weren´t holding their collective breath.

His restart debut in Orlando only emphasized that growth, which went beyond his seven points in 20 minutes of action off the bench during Miami’s 125-105 rout of the depleted Denver Nuggets. Herro seemed at ease and already showcases new facets of his offensive repertoire as well.

People seem to think that his upside is a Devin Booker-type player, but his mentality is different. Booker is about his numbers, while Herro is about rising to the moment.

In other words, the kid has cojones. Then again, we are talking about a guy that was born in Wisconsin but made for South Beach with a penchant for luxury cars and Gucci purses.

FROM SNOW PLOWER TO SHOT CALLER

Herro grew up in Milwaukee, and naturally his first job was as a snow plower for his dad Chris.

Life in the suburbs of dairy land wasn´t exactly like the basketball showcase of nearby Chicago. Far from it, the most famous alumni at his local Whitnail High School were former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Joel Stave (who was the school’s all-time winningest QB but also was waived by six different NFL teams without ever taking a single snap) and 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Month Jeana Keough.

In other words, the fast lane to basketball glory wasn´t at 5000 South 116th Street, Greenfield, Wisconsin. However, if you are talented, the recruiters will find you.

Herro averaged 32.9 points per game and took his school to the sectional semifinals as a senior phenom, hitting game winning shots against archrivals, having ridiculous nights with 45-point triple-doubles and having his classmates call Milwaukee “Tyler City” while making First Team All-State. It didn’t matter if he was snubbed for the McDonald’s All-American game, schools like Kansas and Villanova were already knocking at him, but his original intention was to stay at home with the Badgers, committing verbally as a junior in 2017.

That senior year changed everything, and a visit from Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari made him question what he thought was so clear as well. That was how Calipari convinced Herro that the Wildcats were “a better fit” for him.

That didn’t sit well in Wisconsin.

“A lot of people were calling me ‘snake’ and stuff like that,” Herro told the Kentucky Kernel in 2018.  “Different Wisconsin fans coming to my games, booing me and stuff like that.”

Herro arrived at Rupp Arena ready to fill the void left by current Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, one of five one-and-dones and six NBA-bound Wildcats and in 2018. Alexander averaged 14.4 points and took Kentucky to the Sweet 16, but Herro went a step further into the Elite Eight while also being second on the team averaging 14.0 points per contest and shooting 46.2% from the field, 35.5% from deep.

Calipari has seen many super talented prospects come and go during the past decade since he arrived at Kentucky in 2009, but he considers Herro one of his 10 all-time best clutch players and “bucket getters” (makes sense), and also one of his two best lockdown defenders. That’s curious, because Herro’s defense is actually one of the main things coaches, writers and fans emphasize as an area of improvement for the rookie in the NBA.

Herro started all four games for Kentucky during the NCAA Tournament, averaging 12.3 points and 3.5 assists…but his three-point percentage was a horrendous 18.8% (3-for-16), something to keep in mind for when the lights shine brightest in the NBA playoffs later this month.

His last game as a Wildcat was one to forget, as he scored just seven points going 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from deep in a 77-71 loss to fifth-seeded Auburn.

After the game, a dejected Herro sat in his locker fielding questions and said that “of course” that there was a chance he would be back in blue-and-white for a sophomore year.

However, the lure of being a potential lottery pick *https://nbadraftroom.com/p/2019-nba-mock-draft/) made him decide to turn pro instead.

DRAFT NIGHT DOUBTERS

And a lottery pick he was indeed, the last one actually, as Pat Riley picked him with the 14th  selection, just one spot after Kentucky top scorer P.J. Washington went to Charlotte,

In spite of that feel-good moment and Riley’s praise, the pick was met with a lot of skepticism in Miami, where the team was coming off a 39-43 season and resided in salary cap hell. Some fans booed the pick and Twitter didn’t hold back, as always.

Herro put in the work during the summer of 2019, and the second game of his NBA career was in Milwaukee. You would think his hometown would have been proud of him, but he got greeted by boos instead. Dwyane Wade, who also played college basketball in Milwaukee at Marquette and is the Heat’s all-time best player, came to his defense.

Herro didn’t care much, or at least he didn’t show it. His 14 points and five rebounds contributed to a thrilling 131-126 overtime win against the Eastern Conference’s best team, and that would be just the beginning of a fairytale season for both him and the team.

Let’s just say the bandwagon filled up quickly after that. “Old Ass Taintstick” is probably bragging about how he always loved Herro.

Herro injured his ankle in mid-February and the Heat went 7-9 in his absence during the following six weeks. His return would be short-lived, since it was during the final game before the pandemic against P.J. Washington’s Hornets.

Four months later, he is fully healed and better than ever, hoping to write a new chapter of his story as many experts are not so sure about the Heat’s chances to make it far in the playoffs. Then again, he already knows what to do with the doubters.