Coming off back-to-back losses against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nets looked very beatable. This gave Heat fans hope going into their double-header against the three-headed snake known as James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Game One: Nets Defeat Heat 128-124
The first game of the double-header was a scoring barrage from both sides. Heat center, Bam Adebayo, led all scorers, pouring in 41 points on 70% shooting. The big man also finished the game with 9 assists, 5 rebounds and a steal.
The Nets led the Heat in most major stat categories, outrebounding the Heat 47-31 (no surprise there) and shooting over 50% on the night.
Durant and Irving led the charge for the Nets, with Durant scoring 31 points and Irving scoring 28.
The Heat FINALLY cut down on their turnovers, giving the ball up half as much as the Nets in the game. Miami currently averages 16.6 turnovers a game, but only lost the ball 8 times in the matchup.
Bam exploded to show what he can really do for the Heat. This is the best we’ve seen Adebayo in a while, and we loved to see it. Off 20 attempts, the superstar cashed in on 14 shots and even shot 12/14 from the stripe.
In the Heat’s defeat, they shot atrociously from deep, hitting only 28.3% of the threes they tossed up. To compliment this, Robinson shot 3/11 from downtown, Dragic shot 0/6 and Kelly Olynyk went 1/9.
Compared to the Nets 51.4%, one could argue this as the reason for the loss. Poor perimeter defending mixed with terrible perimeter scoring seems like a recipe for a nice loss.
To nobody’s surprise, the Heat got crushed in the rebound battle for another night, grabbing 16 less rebounds than the Nets in a 47-31 defeat. Miami continues to be dead last in league rebounding.
Game Two: Nets Defeat Heat 98-85
This loss… This loss was just utterly embarrassing. The Heat shot 36.9% from the field and 25.6% from deep. There was little ball movement and shots simply weren’t falling.
Bam led all scorers for a second straight night with 26 points, while KD led in the rebounding category with 13 boards.
Bam played extremely well for a second straight game against a very talented Nets team, putting together his seventh double-double of the season. He also shot well with his 52.6% field goal percentage.
Adebayo and Dragic led the team with five assists a piece, which accounted for half of the team’s total assists.
We saw a huge defensive impact from KZ Okpala, playing extremely tight defense on KD, who shot 6/21 on the night. Hopefully, we’ll see increasing minutes from the sophomore moving forward.
Someone add defensive specialist to KZ’s wiki page pic.twitter.com/uFbxJkjvOg— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 26, 2021
The Heat overall played good defense, holding the Nets to 40% from the field and 28.9% from downtown. They also sent back seven shots throughout the night.
The rebound battle was significantly closer in this second game, losing the matchup by only four boards, 49-45. Adebayo grabbed 10 rebounds and Andre Iguodala added another 8.
Mentioned above, the Heat shot a rough 36.9% from the field and 25.6% from deep. Robinson and Olynyk only added on to their horrific shooting from just two days before, by Robinson shooting 1-10 and Olynyk shooting 0-5. This makes Duncan’s shooting 4-21 over the stretch and Olynyk 1-14.
Miami was back to their old ways with the turnover story on Monday night, giving the ball away 12 times, which is still better than their 16.6 TPG average. Brooklyn capitalized on this by scoring 18 points.
The shooting was astronomically bad from three-point range in both games. Our best shooter didn’t show up, and guys we can typically count on to hit a three or two a game simply didn’t. I don’t think this is something to worry about long term, because both games were winnable in my opinion. Some guys just need to get out of the slump.
The missing of Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro really showed in the two outings. We needed the scoring from Herro and the defensive anchor of Butler. Based off what I saw in the two matchups, I don’t see us losing a seven game series against the Nets with a healthy squad.
Bam Adebayo showed why we paid him. If he can get hot early, he can be a 23-25 PPG scorer. I’m hoping this will be the confidence boost he needed to turn up the heat on the offensive end.
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