Heating Up: Nets vs Heat Reaction

Heating Up: Nets vs Heat Reaction

by October 28, 2021 0 comments

Wednesday night represented an early test for the Miami Heat. It was an opportunity to challenge themselves against the Brooklyn Nets, one of the league’s top contenders. As expected, it was a very physical game. The referees allowed a lot of contact throughout, and it was the kind of game Miami wanted. The Heat closed the game on a 14-2 run to seal the deal. With the win, they are now 3-1 on the season.

Here are my takeaways from Wednesday’s game against Brooklyn.

Jimmy’s Impact on Both Ends

It’s always interesting to see how Jimmy Butler approaches each game. Against the Indiana Pacers (and without Kyle Lowry), Butler focused on playmaking. In Brooklyn, it was all about scoring. He was attacking the rim consistently and hard. Despite not receiving calls, Butler was still converting his attempts. He was impactful on both ends of the floor. as his rebounding and defense were key for Miami on Wednesday. This is the Jimmy that’s going to be needed for the upcoming stretch of games against tough opponents.

Butler ended the night with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists.

PJ’s Night

While Bam Adebayo and Butler were the stars of the game, P.J. Tucker deserves a lot of credit. On Wednesday, Tucker showed why Miami went hard after him in the offseason. Defensively, he made Kevin Durant very uncomfortable. Even though Durant still scored 25 points, he had to work for everything, and that’s all fans can ask for. Tucker was also competing on the boards and diving for loose balls. His three-point shooting was the icing on the cake.

Tucker finished the night with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Dominating the Boards

Last season, Miami had trouble crashing the boards. This was an issue that needed to be addressed prior to the season, and at first, it was unclear if the team did. They didn’t add size at the 4-position, but the guys they acquired are strong at theirs. Instead of length, they use their strengths to box out and rebound. Still, Miami killed the Nets on the boards on Wednesday night, and it was a team effort. Butler lead the way with 14 rebounds. Adebayo did his job with nine rebounds. Tucker and Dewayne Dedmon also helped in this category.

Miami outrebounded the Nets 62-42.

Miami’s New Offensive Wrinkle

For the past few seasons, Miami has always played at a slow pace. Now things have changed with the arrival of Lowry. A traditional point guard, he does a great job of controlling the tempo of the game. He can push the ball down the floor and slow the offense down when needed. A new change in the Heat offense is the hit-ahead pass. Immediately after a defensive stop, the ball is pushed ahead of the floor. Both Adebayo and Butler have fully embraced this new change. Of course, they’re still trying to adjust to the timing of it as it’s early, but it’s something Miami is doing a lot more of this season.

Next up: Home versus the Charlotte Hornets. Game tips off at 7:30pm EDT Sunday on ESPN.

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