The Miami Heat played the shorthanded Washington Wizards on Monday. The Wizards were missing their leading scorer Bradley Beal, who’s sidelined with a wrist injury. Miami was also without Tyler Herro, who is their leading bench scorer. The Heat lead throughout the whole game. The only time the game was interesting is in the second quarter when the Wizards trimmed Miami’s 20-point lead down to seven. However, Miami was able to create separation in the second half to seal the deal. With the win, Miami moves to 35-20 for the season. Here are four takeaways from Monday’s win over Washington.
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Adebayo Gets Aggressive
The talk out of Miami has been the recent aggression of Bam Adebayo. He didn’t start Monday’s game with the same aggression though. As the Wizards started to creep back in, all eyes were on Adebayo. In the third quarter, we started to see Adebayo get more aggressive. He was able to get going with a couple of dunks off the pick-and-roll actions. After that, we started to see Adebayo attack the smaller defenders more. On one play, we saw Adebayo get a deep seal on a smaller player, which he then shot a right hook over him. Then, he was able to draw a foul off the face-up. These aggressive moments from Adebayo have been huge for Miami. Adebayo finished the night with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds.
Third quarter belongs to Bam 🔨 pic.twitter.com/Cei91La1yO
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 8, 2022
Butler in Control
Jimmy Butler got the Heat going early with his aggression. He got into the paint and was hitting on his turnaround jumpers. When the Wizards crept back into the game, the Heat went right back to Butler. Butler continued to do what he does best in attacking the paint. Using Kyle Lowry as a screener, Butler was able to draw the mismatch. Most of the time he had Aaron Holiday guarding him whenever they switched. Whenever the Wizards put a big on him, he was able to use his quickness to get by him. Butler will most definitely take advantage of switch-heavy teams. He’s also Miami’s go-to option whenever their offense stalls. Butler finished the night with 19 points and four assists.
Vincent Steps Up
Without Herro, the Heat were going to need scoring from their bench. They got that early with Gabe Vincent shooting the ball very well. There was one stretch where he shot back-to-back triples. Throughout the season, he’s been great as a Lowry filler. Most importantly, he seems to play well alongside Lowry. Whenever one player has the ball, the other one gets to his spot and is ready to shoot it. This has been an outstanding year for Vincent. When the playoffs arrive, he may not see as much time as the rotation shrinks. But if the Heat need a player with a defensive spark and offensive versatility, they can go to Vincent. Vincent ended the night with 16 points and eight assists.
Upcoming Trade Deadline
The Heat are now on a three-game winning streak. What better time to be on a winning streak than now. Monday’s game was the Heat’s final game before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday. Usually, there’s a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the Heat around this time. However, things should be quieter for Miami this time. Yes, the Heat could still make marginal moves like finding a backup for P.J. Tucker insurance. Another possibility is moving a contract to convert Caleb Martin‘s two-way deal to a normal standard contract. Still, Miami is in a great spot. When guys miss time, they found guys that will step up in their places. Most importantly, Miami has climbed its way to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference despite the injuries.
Next up: The New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. The game tips off at 7:30 pm eastern time.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23