For the second consecutive night, the Miami Heat found themselves in a similar spot late in the game. With less than five minutes, the Heat once again had a double-digit lead over a team. The Brooklyn Nets then went a run to trim Miami’s lead down to two points. Miami responded by going to Bam Adebayo in the paint and he put them up by four with less than four minutes left in the game. In the end, Miami was able to get a stop and knock down two free throws to seal the deal. With the win, Miami moves to 42-22 for the season. Here are four takeaways from the Heat’s victory over the Nets.
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Adebayo Punishes the Nets
If there’s one team Adebayo loves to play against it’s the Nets. We’ve seen Adebayo put up 41 points in the Nets building last year. He also shot the game-winner against them in Miami last season as well. He continued to punish the Nets on Thursday night. It’s clear this is the matchup Adebayo has the advantage against. The Nets’ bigs are not quick enough to stay in front of him. Adebayo is also surrounded by shooters who can open up driving lanes for him. With the Nets defenders hounding the Heat’s shooters, Adebayo would roll to the basket for easy slams. Miami had no choice but to run the offense through him and it’s something they should continue to do more of. Adebayo finished the night with 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Free Throws Keep Heat Afloat
The first half didn’t start off well for the Heat. At one point, they were trailing by 16 points in the game. Despite this, the Heat kept fighting to stay in the game. How did they do it? They kept going to the free throw line. Miami had 21 free throw attempts in the first half. Adebayo and Tyler Herro combined for 13 of the team’s 21 free throws. Without the rim pressure of Jimmy Butler, both players took on the heavy ball-handling duties and kept attacking the paint. Miami cut the Nets lead down to seven by halftime. They didn’t go to the line as much in the second half. However, Miami’s offense came alive, and they were clicking from outside. Overall, they finished the game with 28 free throw attempts.
The Heat’s Big Lineup Short-Lived
Without P.J. Tucker and Butler, Miami started the game with a big lineup by starting Omer Yurtseven alongside Adebayo. Adebayo was tasked with guarding Kevin Durant, while Yurtseven played center. Unfortunately, the lineup wasn’t a success with the Heat trailing 19-8 early in the game. Yurtseven picked up quick fouls and the spacing was clearing an issue on the offensive end. The lineup would only last for six minutes with Miami replacing Yurtseven with Caleb Martin to start the second half. Martin played exceptionally well in his role with 22 points off the bench. He also did a great job of hounding the Nets shooters on the other end.
Oladipo Day Announced
During the game, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Heat and Victor Oladipo are eyeing Monday’s game against the Houston Rockets for his debut. Oladipo has been away from the game all season after undergoing surgery on his right quadriceps last May. He’s recently spent time with the Heat’s G-league affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce for scrimmages. The Rockets game also made sense considering it’s against an inferior opponent. He’ll probably be rusty in his return but it’s going to be interesting to see what impact he can make on this team.
Next Up: The Philadelphia 76ers. The game tips off at 8 pm eastern time.
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