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Five Stars: Heating Up

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The Miami Heat took advantage of an injury-depleted Wizards squad on Saturday night.

NBA: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat defeated the Wizards by four points on Saturday night, but who were the standouts?

If you watched the game, you wouldn’t be surprised. In fact, most casual Heat fans could probably guess without watching that Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Goran Dragić placed in tonight’s Five Stars.

Kelly Olynyk just missed the cut with 18, five and five, and Bam Adebayo was a rebound magnet in his 21 minutes, collecting 16, but he also had four turnovers and five fouls.

Five Stars is a series that I base mostly on John Hollinger’s formula for GameScore, with a small adjustment of my own based on each player’s plus-minus for the contest.

First Star

Jimmy Butler - Miami Heat (31.3)

There is no question that Jimmy Butler was far-and-away the best player in the Heat victory over Washington. In just a hair over three quarters, he scored 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, missing his only three-pointer but making all six of his foul attempts. He made it a double-double with 10 rebounds, including three offensive, but missing the triple by dishing out only nine assists. Sometimes, you can’t have it all.

Butler finished his night with a team-best plus-11 rating, adding two steals and a block to his final statline tally. It was his fourth time in the Five Stars, and his second First Star overall.

Second Star

Tyler Herro - Miami Heat (20.7)

Tyler Herro played a game-high 37 minutes, and finished with a game-high 31 points on 12-for-20 shooting. He only drained one of his five three-point attempts, sinking six-of-eight from the stripe.

Despite being the only Heat starter to finish with a negative plus-minus rating, at minus-2, Herro grabbed nine defensive rebounds and added two assists.

Third Star

Deni Avdija - Washington Wizards (18.1)

I have to admit, I was like, “WHO?”

Deni Avdija showed me who. Just a week after his 20th birthday, the Wizards rookie small forward stepped up in the absence of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook to lead Washington’s offense. In 32 minutes, Avdija scored 20 points on seven-of-15 shooting. He made his only attempt from the charity stripe, and was one-of-two Wizards to shoot better than 50 percent from deep, with five-of-nine finding net from outside.

Avdija finished at minus-four on the night, with five assists, five defensive boards, and a pair of steals to his credit. Look out for this dude.

Fourth Star

Goran Dragić - Miami Heat (17.5)

On a night when rookie Avdjia made us take notice, 13-year veteran Goran Dragić was his usual steady self. In under 20 minutes off the bench, Miami’s elder point guard scored 21 points, all on three-pointers. He made his first seven attempts before missing his final two, and also dished five assists.

Dragić, who like Butler is featured in the Five Stars for the fourth time this year, was the actual top-player in the game on a per-minute measure, with a 31.4 approximate PER (Butler had a nearly-as-impressive 30.2). Goran also had a pair of offensive rebounds and finished with a plus-4 rating.

Fifth Star

Garrison Mathews - Washington Wizards (17.4)

Garrison Mathews was the “other” Washington player to finish with a better-than-50-percent success rate from deep. A shooting guard in his second NBA season, Mathews played just under a half, making four-of-seven from outside and two-of-five from “inside.” Six-of-seven from the line, he had two rebounds, two steals, one assist, and a Wizards-high 22 points.

Honorable Mention

Moritz Wagner - Washington Wizards (19.6 approximate PER in 20 minutes)

Despite fouling out in just under 20 minutes, third-year center Moritz Wagner scored 13 points with seven rebounds. For a little context, if we take the personal fouls out of the equation, Wagner’s approximate PER rises to 23.9.

Dishonorable Mention

Avery Bradley - Miami Heat (0.8 approximate PER in 19 minutes)

Avery Bradley finishes the game with his second “Dishonorable Mention” in a row, managing to rack up a sub-1 PER. In 19 minutes, he made two-of-eight shots for five points with three rebounds and an assist. He also turned the ball over once and committed two fouls, finishing at minus-10.

Five Stars Seasonal Standings

Bam Adebayo - 35
Jimmy Butler - 30
Goran Dragić - 23
Tyler Herro - 16
Kelly Olynyk - 8
Duncan Robinson - 5
Avery Bradley - 3
Precious Achiuwa - 1