What a crazy 48 hours it has been for the Miami Heat. After having their last game in San Antonio postponed, Miami had to find eight available players before Friday’s game against the Houston Rockets. They quickly signed six players, with two being former Heat players. Despite the different look, Miami finished the first half with a season-high 74 points. They looked like a team that has played together for a while. Houston made it interesting late in the fourth quarter by cutting Miami’s lead down to five. However, Miami pulled away in the end and sealed the victory. With the win, Miami moves to 23-13 for the season.
Here are my takeaways from Friday’s win against Houston.
There was no passive Jimmy Butler in this game. He was aggressive from the start with the mindset of scoring. Butler stayed inside the paint and at the free throw line. Butler also hit two three-pointers in the first half. By halftime, he had 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. While the assist numbers weren’t up, his aggression opened up the game for his teammates to shine. Whenever Miami’s offense became stagnant, Butler took control and made the right play, especially in the fourth period. There was a point where he yelled at his teammates to keep feeding him the ball. Overall, this was Butler at his best. Butler finished the night with 37 points.
Kyle Guy made his season debut on Friday. He was the most impressive newcomer on the Heat. After playing in the G-league, he played like he belonged in the NBA. It wasn’t just his hot three-point shooting or his comfort running the pick-and-roll actions with the ball, but the confidence he played with. He was making flashy passes and difficult shots in just his first game. It’s incredible how Miami can find players out of nowhere and turn them into contributors. Guy finished the night with 17 points.
Tyler the Playmaker
We all know that Tyler Herro can put the ball in the bucket at all three-levels of the court. However, he showed he can impact the game in other ways. It was not an efficient night for Herro, but his passing game was excellent. He was able to collapse the defense and hit a couple of assists to his teammates. The Rockets put length on him at times with Christian Wood jumping out to guard him and he was often trapped by the Rockets. Still, Herro was able to navigate his way inside the arc and make the right reads. Herro finished the night with 16 points and nine assists.
Evaluating the Other Newcomers
Outside of Guy, the Heat also got contributions from the other newcomers. Chris Silva, who is very familiar with the Heat’s system, came in and provided good minutes. As always, he played hard on both ends with high energy. He drew charges and grabbed a couple of boards. Haywood Highsmith was also impressive. He played good defense and provided huge spacing for the Heat on the other end. Highsmith also converted all three of his three-point attempts. While it’s unlikely he keeps a roster spot, he could be a guy Miami brings back down the road. Mario Chalmers didn’t play against the Rockets, but could see some time in the Heat’s next game.
Next up: The Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Game tips off at 6pm EST.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
Main Image designed by Jeremy Guerin @jeremycguerin