Heating Up: Pelicans vs Heat Reaction

Miami Heat Heating Up

After a crazy NBA trade deadline, the Miami Heat took on a new-look New Orleans Pelicans team. It was the debut of the new Pelicans guard C.J. McCollum. It was a competitive game throughout. The Pelicans took advantage of Miami’s turnovers in the second period and made a run late in the second quarter. Then, in the third quarter, Miami was able to create separation by playing tight defense. Miami closed the game on a huge run late in the fourth period to seal the deal. With the win, Miami moves to 36-20 for the season. Here are my takeaways from the win over New Orleans.

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Jimmy Butler Dictating

This year, the Heat have had moments where the offense gets cold. In the past, they would usually keep shooting the ball until they got out of the slump. But this year, they give the ball to Jimmy Butler, and that’s normally the signal that it’s Jimmy time. Butler usually does a good job of keeping the Heat afloat whenever the offense struggles. His ability to get to the free-throw line helps. Butler also does a good job of hunting mismatches and taking advantage of them. When the Pelicans trimmed Miami’s lead down to four, Butler was inserted into the game, and he took over. He impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Butler ended the night with 29 points and eight rebounds.


Bam Aggressive Early

When the trade deadline ended, Miami ended up only trading KZ Okpala. However, their biggest acquisition might be the newly aggressive Bam Adebayo. For the past five games, the Heat have seen Adebayo become more assertive on the offensive end. He’s taking advantage of mismatches and attacking the clear lanes to the basket. He was assertive again against the Pelicans on Thursday. This time he faced a bigger player in Jonas Valanciunas. Despite the size, Adebayo was still able to be effective around the rim and he was also hitting on his jumpers. Defensively, we all know how great he is. But we’re seeing a player evolve on the offensive end. An aggressive Adebayo certainly changes things. Hopefully, he keeps this up. Adebayo ended the night with 29 points and 10 rebounds.


Lowry Triple Double

In his fourth game back, Kyle Lowry played exceptionally well. While the Heat’s two stars excelled, Lowry’s impact shouldn’t be taken lightly. With him on the floor, the Heat’s offense runs so much better. Lowry’s ability to make good reads on the offensive end is very important to the offense. The pitch ahead passes were certainly there throughout the game. Miami is able to get into its first action quicker when he makes the full-court passes. Another thing that’s been noticeable is Lowry’s jumper. After struggling with his jumper, Lowry seems to be getting more comfortable now. He hit a couple of three-pointers from deep on Thursday night. Lowry finished the night with a triple-double, recording 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Miami’s Next Moves

As mentioned earlier, the trade deadline ended with Miami only trading Okpala. The move cleared a roster spot and gave Miami flexibility to use additional first-rounders in trades. Miami now has two roster spots available. They’re expected to convert Caleb Martin‘s two-way contract to a standard contract. The last roster spot may go to a veteran in the buyout market. Miami is most likely looking for insurance for P.J. Tucker. We’ll see if they’re able to find a good power forward in the buyout market in the coming weeks.

Next up: vs. Brooklyn Nets. The game tips off at 8 p.m. EST.

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