Heating Up: Hawks vs Heat Game 2 Reaction

Heating Up: Hawks vs Heat Game 2 Reaction

by April 20, 2022 0 comments

After blowing out the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1, the Miami Heat knew this game was going to be tougher, and it most definitely was. The Hawks came out swinging throughout the game and made it competitive. Every time Miami made a run, Atlanta responded with a big run of their own. This was a game Miami had to dig deep and pull out. In the end, the Heat did that and went on another scoring run to end the game. With the 115-105 win, Miami now has a 2-0 series lead. Here are my takeaways from Tuesday’s victory over the Hawks.

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Jimmy Freaking Butler

Jimmy Butler is one of the most unselfish stars in the league. He loves to get his teammates involved more than himself. There are times where Butler can even be too passive. However, Miami got a different Butler on Tuesday. With his teammates struggling, Butler took it upon himself to be more aggressive with his shots. He attacked the smaller guards on the block and got his defender to bite on the pump fake multiple times. Butler also mixed in a couple of three-pointers. At the end of the day, he did it all. This was Butler in full effect. He finished the night with 45 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Extending the Rotation

Miami typically sticks to an eight-man rotation in the playoffs. They did so for the most part in the Game 1 blowout win. On Tuesday, however, they extended that number to 10 guys. Bam Adebayo’s foul trouble also played a part in that. Once Adebayo picked up his third foul in the second quarter, Caleb Martin was inserted into the game. This forced Miami to go even smaller with P.J. Tucker as the center. This allowed Miami to keep their defensive versatility and switch on the pick-and-rolls. It was very successful in the second half when Adebayo left with four fouls. Do not be surprised if we see more of these smaller lineups throughout this series.

Dewayne Dedmon Appreciation

Butler deserves all the praise for his dominant performance. However, there were also minutes where Miami got contributions from key reserves. One of those reserves was Dewayne Dedmon. Dedmon provided much needed energy, especially in the fourth quarter. He cleaned up the boards on the offensive end for putbacks and was impactful on the defensive end as well. His spark in the fourth period kept Miami afloat while Butler and Adebayo were out. Most importantly, he held his own against the Hawks’ smaller lineups. This is the type of consistency the Heat will need from him going forward in the playoffs. Dedmon finished the night with six points and nine rebounds.

Gabe Vincent Had His Moments

Heat backup guard Gabe Vincent also had his moments in this game. His on-ball defense was huge against Trae Young. He kept making Young work on the offensive end whenever he was matched up with him. There was one play where he just snatched the ball out of the opposing player’s hands to force a turnover. Offensively, he also hit timely three-pointers throughout the game. He was a key part in Miami’s run to end the game. Overall, this was just a typical Vincent game, and he finished the night with 11 points.

Next up: Game 3 at Atlanta on Friday. Game tips off at 7pm EDT.

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