This game wasn’t pretty for the Miami Heat. Like yesterday’s game in New York, the Heat got off to a slow start and were down 10-2 early on. Miami’s offense and energy started to pick up once the second unit entered the game. Despite being shorthanded, the San Antonio Spurs competed with the Heat all night long. The game ended up being close and it came down to late clutch free throws by Gabe Vincent. After knocking down both free throws, Miami’s victory was sealed. With the win, Miami moves to 40-21 for the regular season. Here are four takeaways from Miami’s win over the Spurs.
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Bam Takes Over on Both Ends
Bam Adebayo was scoreless in the first quarter on 0-for-3 shooting. The rest of the way he became more aggressive. He attacked the rim off of straight-line drives, dive cuts, and midrange jumpers. He even went coast to coast after grabbing a defensive board. This was the most confident we’ve seen Adebayo all season long. He knew he had the matchup advantages and didn’t disappoint. Defensively, he was just as good. We saw the blocks he made in the game. However, he also deterred a lot of shots down in the paint. His defensive performance in the second quarter allowed Miami to overcome a double-digit deficit. Adebayo ended the night with 36 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.
Butler Keeps Heat Afloat
Last game, Jimmy Butler got going late in the third period when Miami’s offense was stagnant. This time, he had to do it early. The Heat were unable to get things going early in the game. With the offense struggling, the Heat went to Butler in the low block, and he had some nice finishes down low. He was able to get to the free throw line off of straight-line drives and pick-and-roll actions. He took over to keep the Heat within distance of the Spurs. Butler also hit a step-back three-pointer, which is something he rarely does. Despite Butler playing well, Miami surprisingly didn’t play him in the fourth quarter. Instead, they chose to ride the group that was hot in the fourth period. Butler ended the night with 27 points.
Herro Continues to Excel
Can we just wrap up the sixth man-of-the-year race now? It’s clearly Tyler Herro‘s to lose. He continued to provide huge scoring off the bench. He’s doing it well on all three levels of the court. With his tight handle, he’s able to navigate his way to the paint. He’s also going with the floater game more as well. Herro is able to go to his floater game on two-on-one situations in the paint. Another thing he’s showing improvement in is the lob pass. He connected on a couple of passes with Adebayo in the paint. If he continues to improve in these areas, it’ll help him become more dangerous in the Heat’s offense. Herro finished the night with 27 points.
Upcoming Schedule Gets Tougher
Miami took care of business against two teams that are expected to miss the playoffs. Now, things are about to get tougher for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat. Next week, they face the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers. Two of those games (Nets and Bucks) are back-to-back games. This also gives us a chance to see how Miami stacks up against the conference’s best teams. We’ll see how it goes next week.
Next up: The Chicago Bulls on Monday. The game tips off at 7:30 pm eastern time.
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