Heating Up: Hawks vs Heat Reaction

Heating Up: Hawks vs Heat Reaction

by January 15, 2022 0 comments

Friday started off very well for the Miami Heat. First, it was reported that Bam Adebayo is targeting Monday for his return. Then, came news that Jimmy Butler was back in the Heat lineup. Miami started the first quarter off very well with a 17 point lead. However, the Atlanta Hawks came back with a 40-point second quarter to take a six-point halftime lead. Miami was slow on the defensive closeouts and the Hawks made them pay.

But in the end, the Heat stepped up their defense and sealed the victory. With the win, Miami moves to 27-15 for the season. Here are my takeaways from Friday’s win over the Hawks.

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Strus Starts Off Hot

Once again, Max Strus stayed in the starting lineup. He started the night off hot, scoring 16 points in the first quarter. It was the third time Strus has put up 16 or more points in one quarter. The previous two were against the Orlando Magic (20 points in the second quarter) and the Chicago Bulls (16 points in the fourth quarter). Strus scored most of his shots from downtown. He also scored off a cut to the basket. Strus didn’t score the rest of the game, but he did get a block and a charge. Strus ended the night with 16 points.

2nd Quarter Collapse

When the Heat had a 17-point lead in the first quarter, it looked like this was going to be an easy night for them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. With a huge boost from its bench, the Hawks climbed back into the game and took the lead from Miami. It was about as poor of a defensive quarter we’ve seen from the Heat all season. Miami was slow on the closeouts and the Hawks made them pay. Atlanta scored 40 points in the period to take a 70-64 lead into halftime. The Hawks’ 70-point first is the most the Heat have given up to opponents all season.

Yurtseven Huge in the Third Quarter

After a terrible second quarter, Miami was looking to start the third period strong. The spark didn’t come from Strus, Kyle Lowry, or Butler.  It came from Omer Yurtseven. The Heat kept looking for Yurtseven down low in the paint. His points came off of easy lob passes, post-play finishes, and a mid-range shot. He scored 10 points in the period and they were huge for Miami. With Adebayo returning, Yurtseven’s time may be limited. He’s going to fall behind veteran Dewayne Dedmon in the power rotation once the team gets fully healthy. However, the opportunities are still here for now. It’s good to see him take advantage of them. Yurtseven finished the night with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Herro Finishes Strong

Tyler Herro had a quiet first half offensively on Friday. By halftime, he was one of the few players who had a negative plus-minus. Despite the plus-minus stat, there were still some positives in that first half. For multiple possessions, Herro kept breaking down the Hawks defense. Even though the shots were not falling, he still put himself and his teammates in great positions to score. Some of the opportunities came without the use of a screen and only isolation. His ball-handling is as crisp as it’s ever been and he’s continuing to make good reads. He picked up his scoring in the second half and hit some key free throws down the stretch. Herro finished the game with a team-high 24 points.

Next up: The Philadelphia 76ers. The game tips off at 8 pm ET.

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