The Miami Heat have played 6 games to start the NBA season and they look different than the team we saw in the Orlando bubble. Here’s 6 takes about the Heat after 6 games.
#1 — Bam Adebayo has raised his game
The All-Star center has leveled up his play and it has helped the Heat so far. Bam is boasting a 23.5 PER while averaging 19.2 PPG and 8.0 RPG. But the most notable thing is that he is no longer hesitant to take the open 15-foot jumpers.
Last season, it became glaringly obvious (especially in the Finals), that teams would prefer to just lay off in the paint and dare Bam to shoot. He wouldn’t. And now that he is able to keep those defenders more honest, it helps open the floor and the paint for his team.
Adebayo is on a rise that is really really good. He has the makings of a player that could be special and it is great to see him off to a solid start this year.
#2 — Tyler Herro at point guard is here to stay
It got off to a shaky start. Herro did struggle against ball pressure and fitting in with the starting unit. But he has settled down and he has found his rhythm with the group. Herro has already had a 15-rebound game!
Although not his primary position, it seems like the Heat is investing in Herro at point guard to see how this works — giving him more time to develop those skills. There are many times the Heat play Dragic, Herro, and Bradley together. We thought that once Herro took the starting spot in the Finals that the Heat wouldn’t turn back. It seems like that.
#3 — Spo is still figuring out rotations
This is painfully obvious. 6 games and 6 different starting lineups. Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard have gone from starters to DNP-CD. Kendrick Nunn seems to not know where he fits either.
A couple of things are for sure...Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro are starters (the fifth is still rotating). Dragic is clearly best used as a reserve and Spo is willing to go to him early if the team needs it. After that, he still has some work to do to figure out who the best 9-man rotation is for this team. He hasn’t got it yet.
#4 — Avery Bradley is exactly what the Heat needed
The defensive ball-hawking and point of attack defense is everything the Heat didn’t have last year. Bradley has even provided good offensive outputs in his 5 games, averaging 13 PPG in those games. Bradley is going to win the Heat some games and make the likes of guarding the NBA’s elite point guards more manageable for a team where the rest of the roster’s guards aren’t great defenders.
#5 — The Turnovers have been ugly and frustrating
The Heat are a league-worst in turnovers per game at 17.7. That has contributed to them being a bottom-five scoring team at only 105.8 PPG (only the Cavs, Knicks and Thunder are worse).
It’s been a combination of sloppy play, overpassing, and poor decision-making. But the Heat have to clean that up to be a superior team. They are obviously capable, but they cannot continue this trend.
#6 — Precious seems to be ahead of the curve
The Heat rookie is having a solid start to the season, averaging 7.5 PPG and 4.7 RPG. That’s not going to win any awards, but the Heat see the potential in him. When you compare his start to Bam’s rookie year, you can’t help but to see the promise. Precious is shooting 60% from the field (and by shooting I mean dunking and layups).
He has found a place in the rotation and is fitting in as a screener and lob option. He won’t have any plays called for him, but he will make an impact. Allowing him to play consistently will only help the Heat down the stretch of this season and for their future.
What have been your takeaways so far from this season?