This week hasn’t started off well for the Miami Heat. They lost to a Philadelphia 76ers team missing their two stars. On Wednesday, they had another opportunity against a shorthanded Golden State Warriors team. Plus, the Warriors had played the night before. Still, it looked like the Warriors came prepared to play and they did. Miami, on the other hand, played like a team that played the night before. After trailing by double-digits early in the game, the Warriors stayed with the Heat all night and eventually won by double-digits. With the loss, Miami falls to 47-26 for the season. Here are four takeaways from Wednesday’s loss to Golden State.
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Tempers Flare in the Third
Things went south in the third period. After Jordan Poole‘s three-pointer gave the Warriors a 19-point lead, things started to get heated on the Heat’s bench. Heat players Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem were seen going at each other, with players separating them. Erik Spoelstra also had to be held back from going at Butler. However, we’ll see how this moment affects the team going forward. This moment will either spark or hurt the team going forward. The Heat did respond a little bit after the scuffle and trimmed the Warriors’ lead down to one point. Miami also kept their starters in the whole quarter.
Lowry continues to be Aggressive
If there’s one positive takeaway, it’s the aggressiveness of Kyle Lowry. Throughout the regular season, we have seen how good of a playmaker Lowry is. He’s done an excellent job of orchestrating the Heat’s offense. The one issue that he’s had is the pull-up three-pointers or lack thereof. Recently, we’re starting to see him take and make more of those. When he’s hitting the pull-up three-pointers off the pick-and-roll, it shifts the defense a bit. After hitting a couple of three-pointers in previous possessions, Lowry drove to the basket after a shot fake, shifting the entire defense to him. Once the defense moved, he found an open teammate. Lowry is a great playmaker but when he’s hitting pull-up three-pointers it elevates it to another level. Lowry ended up with 26 points and nine assists.
Tyler Herro missed Wednesday’s game due to a knee injury. Without Herro, the Heat didn’t get much scoring from their bench. Victor Oladipo is still searching for his rhythm and others were struggling to hit shots. That put much of the scoring pressure on the Heat’s starters. Usually, Herro would come in and spark the Heat’s offense with his playmaking and scoring. It allowed Miami to rest Butler for long stretches. Miami didn’t have that option on Wednesday though. As a team, Miami ended the night with 13 points off the bench.
Since Markieff Morris‘ return, the Heat have been using him as the team’s backup center. It’s the only way they could give him minutes with Caleb Martin a lock as the backup power forward. Plus Morris provides more spacing on the Heat’s offense. Against the Warriors, Morris’ minutes weren’t good. So, Miami shifted to Dewayne Dedmon instead. They felt they needed Dedmon’s interior presence in this one. This probably won’t be the last time this happens. Instead of having a set backup center, the Heat will have multiple options depending on the matchup.
Next Up: The New York Knicks on Friday. The game tips off at 8 pm eastern.
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