Heating Up: Timberwolves vs Heat Reactionby Jacari McRae November 25, 2021 1 comment
This was the first of the two-game reunion trip for Jimmy Butler, who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2018. At first, this was shaping up to be a nice win for the Miami Heat. They had a big scoring first half with 62 points and Karl-Anthony Towns was in foul trouble. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. The foul calls started going the Timberwolves way and the Heat got frustrated. Instead of building off their first half, Miami was outscored 59-39 in the second half and ended up losing the game. Minnesota’s defense and the frustrating calls made Miami lose its composure. With the loss, Miami falls to 12-7 for the season. Here are my four takeaways from the game.
Bam Goes Cold in the Second Half
Bam Adebayo did everything Miami fans wanted in the first half. Besides the missed free throws, he was very aggressive early. He kept driving to the lane and drawing fouls. On one fast break, he hit a euro-step move on a defender. This is usually a great sign for Adebayo and the Heat. You expected to see more from him in the second half. However, that wasn’t the case. After being aggressive in the first half, Bam was quiet in the second half. Minnesota made it tougher for him down low in the paint with their length. There were also a couple of times where he turned the ball over. Adebayo finished the night with 18 points and five rebounds.
The Turning Point
The first half was everything you expected from Miami. With Towns in foul trouble, Miami ended the half with an eight-point lead. They had control of the game at this point. But then, it momentum of the game changed in the third period. There was a Udonis Haslem technical foul, Kyle Lowry receiving his fifth foul, and the Butler-fan reactions. There were also multiple stoppages in the period with the referees reviewing plays. This was the period where Minnesota took control of the game and Miami lost its composure. Minnesota took the lead after the third period.
Butler was back in one of his former cities. You expected more of an aggressive Butler, who has played well all season. Instead, Butler was passive for most of the game. Butler was looking to get his teammates going first before finding his offense. He started to look for his offense more in the third period. After two consecutive jumpers, it felt like Butler was about to get going. He even went at it with a couple of fans and Anthony Edwards. But then, he became more passive again. With Lowry in foul trouble and Adebayo struggling, Miami needed Butler to pick it up. Butler finished with 18 points and five assists.
Gabe Vincent Excels
Surprisingly, Max Strus has been kicked out of the Heat’s rotation. He’s been replaced with Vincent, who played well Wednesday night in Minnesota. Defensively, he was making things tough for the Minnesota guards. Most importantly, the three-pointers were falling. Vincent is known for his good defensive qualities, but it helps when he’s making shots. That’s the one thing that’s been missing in Vincent’s game. He brought it Wednesday night on both ends. Hopefully, he keeps this up as the road trip continues. Vincent finished the night with 14 points.
Next up: The Chicago Bulls on Saturday. The game tips off at 8:00 pm eastern.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23