Are the Heat losing fire starting the new season? Has Bam Adebayo lost his magic? Should Heat Nation be worried about Jimmy Butler’s absence? Is Tyler Herro ready to emerge as a consistent star? Is it way too early to discuss these worries? Absolutely.
Heat Losing Fire is NOT the Case
The Heat have obviously struggled in their first three games, leading to an abysmal 1-2 record, with their only win coming on Christmas Day against the New Orleans Pelicans. Their two losses include a road loss against the Orlando Magic and a 47-point blowout against the Milwaukee Bucks.
With Butler battling an ankle injury, it’s important that the Heat let this fully heal at the beginning of this season. They don’t need to explode out of the gate. They can play slower and get their feet back from the short off-season and still come in at a mid-level playoff seeding.
We’ve consistently seen Erik Spoelstra start Herro at point guard, with Duncan Robinson running the shooting guard position. This is going to be a work in progress and an adjustment for Herro, as he’ll have to look to create his own shots off the dribble.
We’ve seen the Heat start Maurice Harkless in two out of their three games. In the opening night loss to Orlando, Harkless posted almost 23 minutes and had 3 points, 2 rebounds and an assist to show for it.
In the game two win against the Pelicans, Spoelstra gave the starting nod to Meyers Leonard, who played for almost 20 minutes and hit 3/5 from deep. Leonard only pulled down two rebounds, and that’s what hurts this team most. Rebounding deficits.
This leads perfectly into the nightmare that was Tuesday night. The 47-point loss to the Bucks. Milwaukee grabbed 15 more rebounds than the Heat and shot 56.9% from the deep, hitting 29 threes. The Bucks broke the the Houston Rockets previous record of 27 threes in a game. Bucks superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was the only player that played that didn’t hit a three in their 144-97 blowout.
This obviously isn’t an everyday thing for the Bucks, who shot 7/38 from deep against the New York Knicks just days before. Milwaukee was averaging 37.6% from deep before their explosion of 29 threes.
The Heat narrowly won the rebounding battle in their opening night loss 43-41, and even in their one win, the Heat grabbed less boards. The Pelicans outrebounded the Heat 41-35 on Christmas.
No matter how exciting this team can be to watch or how many points they can put up, rebounding should definitely be a concern with this undersized lineup.
Bam is turning the ball over at an alarming rate, averaging five turnovers a game, with a shocking seven on opening night. Hopefully this turns around sooner rather than later, as we look for him to “the guy” for the future.
Happy Thoughts, Heat Nation
Now that we got the bad out of the way, let’s talk about some positives (I promise we have some).
Avery Bradley is still a defensive stud and will prove to be a great asset for this team. I’m excited to see more how he’ll step into his role with the Heat and the Jimmy-Bradley punch.
Yesterday, Avery Bradley…— Joseph Beguiristain (@JoeBeguiristain) December 26, 2020
-Ran 2.22 miles (second-most on the team behind Duncan)
-Racked up two deflections
-Totaled two steals
-And held his defensive assignments to just 2-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-7 from downtown. pic.twitter.com/TAlnHtwosj
Another thing I feel I should point out is, Bam is still the player we all know and love. We have to remember that the Heat only had a two month offseason. It’s going to be a rocky start. Adedayo is shooting exceptionally well, averaging 65.6% from the field and 18 points per game. Cut the man some slack, it’s not time to worry just yet.
Despite the horrid loss on Tuesday night, Herro played his best game at his new point guard role. He put up 23 points, dished 7 assists and shot 9/16 from the field with 3 hits from downtown. Look for Herro to develop some Devin Booker-like tendencies as he learns how to adapt.
Dragic is still everything we’ve come to know and love. A consistently great guard with a knack for finding the open man. He played a low nine and a half minutes in the blowout against Milwaukee, but gave us 20 points and 7 assists on opening night and 18 points and 9 assists in the win against New Orleans. This 6th man role for Dragic might be exactly what the Heat need.
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