The Miami Heat came into Friday looking for a bounce back win after two bad losses. The New York Knicks, who have been terrible all season, entered Friday’s game shorthanded. What should be an easy win, unfortunately was not. After three strong quarters, it appeared that Miami was headed to a blowout win. Then, Miami’s offense went cold in the fourth and the Knicks’ young guards took the game over. With the loss, Miami moves to 47-27 for the regular season. Here are my takeaways from Friday’s loss.
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Fourth Quarter Meltdown
Miami entered the fourth quarter with a 15-point lead. It was looking like it was going to be an easy Heat victory before a date with the Brooklyn Nets the following night. But then, the Knicks young guards started taking over, and Miami’s defense had no answer for the young quick backcourt. New York was also crashing the boards, as well. Immanuel Quickley led the charge with 16 fourth quarter points. The Knicks kept attacking Max Strus and no adjustments were made. Offensively, the Heat could not get anything done. The majority of the offense had too much isolation. In the end, the Knicks outscored the Heat 38-15 in the period.
Where was Caleb Martin Late?
As mentioned, the New York was targeting Strus late in the game. With Miami often switching early, the Knicks kept getting the matchup they wanted, and Strus was no match for Quickley. The former Kentucky guard kept getting to the basket at will. Surprisingly, there were no adjustments made by Miami, with Strus being hunted. this is where Caleb Martin should’ve entered the game. Miami has always praised Martin for his defensive intangibles. With no other options available, the Heat should have gone with Martin. But that’s not on him. It’s on the coaches to decide. Overall, it wasn’t a good night for Miami.
Jimmy Assertive Early
Miami needed Jimmy Butler to be assertive early on in the game. And that’s what they got. Butler was aggressive going to basket and scoring down low. The Heat star kept getting the basket with ease and took good shots outside the painted area. Butler had 17 points in the first. He also did well as a facilitator with six first half assists. This was the response that the Heat wanted from Butler, after Wednesday’s scuffle on the bench. They’re going to need more of that as the playoffs approaches. Butler ended the night with 30 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
Bam Goes Silent Late
Bam Adebayo played well the first three quarters of the game. After three quarters, he had 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field. He took advantage of his quickness and went to the basket a couple of times. Adebayo also hit a couple of tough jumpers as well. It was good to see him shoot and make them at a high rate. However, he got quiet in the fourth period. With the offense struggling late, we didn’t see that same aggressiveness with Adebayo. Adebayo only scored one point in the period and that came from the free throw line. Adebayo ended the night with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Next Up: Home against The Brooklyn Nets. Game tips off at 8pm EDT.
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