Early in the second quarter, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young sprained his right ankle after he landed on Justise Winslow’s foot on a fast-break attempt. Young had averaged 34 points in his first three games of the season, but he was done for the night.
The Miami Heat soon took advantage, going on an 11-0 run later in the quarter to build a lead that crested at 20 and end with a 112-97 win.
It was Jimmy Butler’s season debut, and he got right to work. The four-time All-Star made his first four shots in a 12-point first quarter. I’ve said this before, but this is the first time Miami’s had an in-his-prime superstar since LeBron James in 2013-14.
Butler ended the night with 21 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field, five rebounds and three steals. On the flip side, Butler missed five free throws on the night, including an empty trip in the fourth quarter amid a mini-Hawks run. Butler also missed a couple shots around the rim he should’ve made.
Although it was Butler’s season debut, Tyler Herro stole the show. The rookie scored 19 points in the second quarter — tying a Heat rookie record set by Caron Butler. It wasn’t just the catch-and-shoot 3. Herro also made drives to the basket and competed defensively. He made three triples, made 16 trips to the foul line and grabbed seven rebounds. Herro also made the extra pass to Kendrick Nunn in this beautiful offensive sequence.
This might be the finest offensive sequence of Miami's season so far.— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) October 30, 2019
Has a little bit of everything that should make them work. pic.twitter.com/TRFW1fnt4C
(And oh yeah, don’t forget who wrote that we should give Herro a chance after many criticized Miami picking him.)
Tyler Herro WENT OFF for 19 PTS in the 2Q pic.twitter.com/0AhA0Ud8h5— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 30, 2019
Miami’s biggest blemish were the 26 turnovers (and the Heat turned the ball over 21 times in their loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night). Miami players made several lazy passes in the fourth quarter that allowed Atlanta to make the game closer than it should’ve been down the stretch. While the Heat have several new players who will need time to mesh, many of those turnovers were inexcusable.
Goran Dragic continued to thrive in his role as the Heat’s sixth man, scoring 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Dragic made three first-quarter 3-pointers and was crucial to help the Heat direct their offense.
In just a few months, the 33-year-old point guard has gone from someone who was nearly traded to an invaluable member of this team. And if Dion Waiters continues to sit out, it would be wise for the Heat to have a veteran presence in the backcourt alongside Herro and Nunn.
For his part, Nunn shook off a quiet first half in which he missed his first four shots to go back into his offensive arsenal to finish the night with 17 points. Nunn has undoubtedly been the biggest Heat surprise this season; at times Tuesday night, he looked like a capable second option next to Butler. It’s only been three games, but Nunn continues to meet the hype.
The Heat will face the Hawks again Thursday night at 7 p.m., but this time in Atlanta.