Bam showed improvement as a scorer immediately as he attacked the rim for the first bucket of the season. He’d also get to the free-throw line on Miami’s next possession. Bam had seven of Miami’s first eleven points.
This is not the same Heat squad as last year and they showed that off immediately. Jimmy also did work, attacking the paint and scoring in transition. The biggest improvement right off the bat was the Heat defense, they’re aggressive as hell. Miami held the Bucks scoreless for over five minutes.
Miami looked energized as they exploded for a 12-0 run. The Heat didn’t let up turning that into a 22-3 run, with Herro, Dedmon, and Tucker getting involved on offense. Max Strus came into the game and immediately went to work with a driving bucket and a three. The first quarter seemed to be a statement to the team that swept the Heat in the first round last season, and it was a loud one. The Heat took a 20 point lead into the second quarter.
The Bucks were better in the second quarter with Giannis and Grayson Allen doing a little bit of damage. Kyle Lowry exited after a nasty-looking ankle roll, but he’d thankfully return. Still, Miami maintained their assault on Milwaukee with Jimmy Butler getting to the line. Jimmy was electric, not having to force anything and exploding into every attempt.
Every time it seemed like the Heat might be slowing down, they’d execute on defense to turn momentum. There were times last season where that just wasn’t a possibility, so this is a welcome change.
Lowry and Duncan struggled to score in the first half, but with Miami playing so well it wasn’t an issue. Duncan would continue his three-point streak hitting a three
After his first-quarter explosion, Bam converted back into scoring mode to end the half. He’d finish the half with 14 points.
Kyle Lowry opened the second half with his first bucket as a member of the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, Miami’s offense started to stagnate slightly with Bam being pressured in the key. He’d get it going again though.
It was Kyle Lowry who would get things moving for the Heat again with multiple assists to Bam and PJ Tucker. He’s a true point guard in every sense of the definition.
The Heat would build on their lead with strong play from Jimmy Butler doing damage in the midrange.
The Heat was also very effective on the glass outrebounding the Bucks significantly. A welcome sign, after the Heat, struggled to rebound last season.
The Heat reserves didn’t slow down, especially with Tyler Herro delivering. He was phenomenal tonight, scoring well from beyond the arc and attacking the rim with aggression. He could very well be the sixth man of this year this season. The Bucks, though shorthanded, just didn’t have any answers for the Heat as they continued to run up the score.
With the Heat up by 38, it would unload the bench showcasing KZ Okpala and Ömer Yurtseven to end the game. Ömer, would score his first NBA bucket and continue to score while grabbing rebounds. Caleb Martin would also get on the board. Miami has some really strong talent hiding away on the bench.
The Heat would cruise to a huge victory to open the season. The Bucks won’t be this injured the next time they face each other, but this was a great way to start things off especially given how sour last season ended. This new era of Heat basketball will be a fun one.