The NBA playoffs are finally here for the Miami Heat. They started the game against the Atlanta Hawks very sluggish. Miami also turned the ball over numerous times. Still, their defense remained consistent throughout the game. As the game progressed, the offense got much better as well. Miami was in control for the whole game and didn’t look back. They finished the night in dominating fashion despite two of their top players struggling. With the win, Miami moves to 1-0 in the series. Here are four takeaways from today’s win over Atlanta.
Be sure to check out the rest of our NBA content.
Offensive Boost from Robinson
Should Duncan Robinson remain in the rotation? That was the discussion during the last part of the regular season. Robinson has had an inconsistent year this season, especially with his shooting. However, Miami kept him in the rotation, and he rewarded them on Sunday with a great performance. Robinson was hot from downtown shooting 8-9 from the field. With Robinson shooting well, it allowed Miami’s offense to come alive as well. When Robinson shoots this well, it can swing games for Miami. After Robinson’s second made three-pointer, the ball was swung around until it went to an open Kyle Lowry for three. This was a huge day for Robinson, who finished the game with a career playoff-high 27 points.
Miami still runs on Duncan. 🍩 pic.twitter.com/ODOceemYJs
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 17, 2022
While the offense is good, it’s Miami’s stifling defense that gets them going. Today, the defense’s attention was turned to Trae Young, who is a serious offensive threat. Miami was locked in on Young from the start. Miami put multiple defenders in front of him and even double-teamed him at times. The defense obviously made it tough on Young, who shot 1-9 from the field in the first half. Young usually has multiple counters against good defense but that wasn’t the case in Game 1. Miami also did a good job of staying in front of the other shooters as well. This kind of defense can frustrate anyone, especially individually.
Tucker Back in Business
P.J. Tucker was back with Heat for Game 1. Tucker’s impact was shown on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he did well as a help defender and held his own on the switches against Young. With teams playing off of Tucker on the roll, he was able to get to his floater game. Most importantly, his corner three-pointers were falling as well. He made three triples from the corner to start the third period. The floaters and corner three-pointers are going to be there every game. Those two shots are what the defenses are willing to give up. If he continues to take advantage of those gaps, it’ll be huge for Miami’s offense and spacing. Tucker finished the game with 16 points.
Tyler Herro didn’t start well in his Game 1 appearance. It was a sloppy game from him throughout. There were multiple times where he was careless with the ball. He had five turnovers in his first 10 minutes. However, Miami didn’t really need a huge Herro performance off the bench. They got it from so many different guys like Robinson and Gabe Vincent. Miami’s bench still outscored the Hawks bench 53-41. Herro should be able to pick it back up as the postseason progresses. There are going to be games where Miami needs him. But today wasn’t one of them. Herro finished the game with six points, five assists, and six rebounds.
Next Up: Game 2 versus the Hawks on Tuesday at 7:30 pm eastern.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23