Heating Up: Thunder vs Heat Reaction

Heating Up: Thunder vs Heat Reaction

by November 16, 2021 0 comments

The road trip started off rough for the Miami Heat, who lost the first three games on the trip. After beating the Utah Jazz on Saturday, the Heat finished off the road trip with a win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat started the game off sloppy on the offensive end. Led by Tyler Herro, the Heat picked up their scoring in the second half and were able to close the deal. With the victory, Miami moves to 9-5 for the season.

Here are three takeaways from Monday’s win in Oklahoma City.

Herro takes center stage

With Butler and Adebayo out, all eyes were going to be on Herro, and that was exactly the case. The Thunder’s defensive plan was keyed on slowing down Herro. Every time the ball was in Herro’s hands, all eyes were on him. While the Thunder did a good job of keeping him out of the paint, Herro made them pay from the outside. He shot 4-for-4 from beyond the arc by halftime. From there, he went back to his midrange game in the second half. He hit a couple of difficult shots and wasn’t fazed at all. The ability to hit those difficult shots will be crucial come playoff time.

Herro finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

Duncan is back to himself

After getting back into his three-point shooting grove on Saturday, Duncan Robinson continued to shoot the ball well on Monday. He was big for the Heat in the second half. He hit on a couple of three-pointers to help build Miami’s lead in the third period. With Robinson hitting from the outside, it opened up the rest of his game. With defenses respecting his shot, Duncan was able to get into the paint and score. Duncan scored 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting from downtown.

KZ Receives Minutes

For the first time this season, KZ Okpala received minutes in the rotation. Okpala played the majority of his minutes at the power forward position. He played terrific defense on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Okpala also hit a hook shot and got a dunk in the paint. It was the best game of the young player’s season. So far, Okpala’s career with Miami hasn’t taken off as they would have hoped. When the team traded multiple second-round picks for him, they had high hopes of him being a major rotation player. He’s unlikely to stay in the rotation once the Heat get healthy. However, when the opportunity arises, he needs to stay ready.

Okpala ended the night with eight points and seven rebounds.

Next up: The New Orleans Pelicans. The game tips off at 7:30 pm EST.

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