The Los Angeles Clippers were expected to flip the switch in the playoffs, but looks like the Miami Heat did it instead. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were supposed to provide game-winning defense and timely scoring. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have kidnapped their playbook. The Clippers have a deep and talented roster. The Heat bench steps up when the starters need a breather.
The Heat roster features players with multi-dimensional skills who do more than one thing well. Duncan Robinson can shoot the ball, but he’s also an alert passer as he shows by zipping the rock to a cutting Butler in the sequence below. A great read by Robinson.
Known affectionately as Uncan Robinson during his college days, people forget he’s still learning the NBA game on the defensive end. On offense his versatility isn’t totally appreciated due to his lights-out shooting numbers. For instance, Robinson lead all qualifying players as a pick & roll ball handler during the regular season with a ridiculous 1.65 PPP (points per posession) according to NBA stats. Jae Crowder was second at 1.50 PPP.
Speaking of Crowder, who’s needs Danilo Gallinari when Crowder made the fourth most 3-point baskets (38) at a 40% clip in the playoffs? Miami thought it was getting a Heat Culture guy, which happened. But the team got a much more complete player than just a hard-nosed defender in the deal.
What about the braced-up Slovenian Dragon? He didn’t win Sixth Man of the Year Award, so seems like he’s setting his sights for a more meaningful accomplishment: another championship to accompany his 2017 EuroBasket one. Not being selected for the NBA All-Defense team has Dragic breathing fire to become the team’s top scorer in post-season action.
Snubbed for the NBA All-Rookie First Team by one vote, Tyler Herro rebounded by showing he’s more than a bucket. He impacts the game in so many ways with his cold-blooded performances. He’s even listed on the DraftKings site as a long-shot candidate for the NBA Finals’ MVP Award (a $100 wager on him wins $8000). Surprising nod for a 20-year old player who’s only getting started.
Picked as one of the preseason favorites to win the NBA Championship, the Clippers were supposed to get serious once the real season started. Didn’t happen. Instead with one overtime loss and ten wins in the postseason, it looks the Miami Heat are the team who found another gear when the stakes became the highest.