Jacari McRae | January 6th, 2020
Even with Justise Winslow and Jimmy Butler sidelined, the Miami Heat still managed to beat the Portland Trailblazers. After a rough offensive week, the Heat erupted for 122 points on 52.2 percent shooting from the field. The victory moves the Heat’s season record to 26-10. Miami also improves to 10-0 after suffering a loss.
Here are my takeaways from Sunday’s win over the Blazers.
Goran Leads the Way
With Jimmy Butler out, the Heat needed someone to pick up the scoring slack. And who better to ask than Goran Dragic, who provided that and more. In addition to his scoring, Dragic did a great job of finding teammates. Dragic had eight assists by halftime.
Dragic finished the night with a team-high 29 points and dished out 13 assists.
JJ Enters the Rotation
For the first time since November 27th, James Johnson received playing time. Johnson entered the game with five minutes left in the first quarter and drained his first three-point attempt. His minutes on the floor Sunday were very encouraging. Johnson provided playmaking and played terrific defense off the bench. With Kelly Olynyk struggling, this could mean more minutes going forward.
Johnson finished with 12 points, six rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes.
Still No Waiters
When the Heat announced Butler was out, I thought it would open up minutes for Dion Waiters. When healthy, Waiters has shown he can be a playmaker for the team. However, Waiters remained an active scratch. Miami instead decided to stick with a tight eight man rotation until the last minutes of the game when Chris Silva entered the game.
Waiters has yet to play this season after serving three suspensions.
Next up: The Heat take on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, January 8th. Game tips off at 7pm EST.
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