The Heat looked very solid to start with Bam was embracing “bully ball” early for the Heat, but Kevin Durant didn’t waste any time, knocking down tough jumpers early and getting to the line. Unfortunately, just when it looked like he was feeling it, he’d tweak something and head to the locker room. Injuries suck.
Miami’s defense was solid, with Ariza and Bam forcing the Nets into bad shots. Ariza was getting it done on both ends, hitting some big shots.
With Jimmy out, Bam took over the leadership role, playing aggressively on both ends and facilitating as much as possible to get others going.
The Heat reserves were very good with Dragic and Nunn both finding their three-point range. Even Dedmon saw minutes grabbing three rebounds almost immediately. Brooklyn’s reserves were also solid, with Landry Shamet sparking multiple runs for the Nets.
Goran finally looked like his old self with some impressive three-point shooting and active hands-on defense. He’s had a tough time this season, and it’s easy to forget he suffered a significant injury during the Finals. Dragic probably should have been on load management for the first three months of the season, instead, he saw big minutes with so many players out early on. Hopefully, him regaining his form is a sign of things to come.
Landry Shamet continued his hot shooting in the second quarter, erasing a small Heat lead to tie things up. It would go back and forth for the rest of the quarter with both teams exchanging threes.
The Nets elected to double team Bam leaving him open every time for fadeaway jumpers, which he exploited enough for the Heat to take a 4 point lead into halftime.
The Heat struggled to hold onto the basketball to start the second half, and that didn’t help with Landry Shamet continuing to cook.
Miami did a really good job of sharing the ball, getting everybody involved. Unfortunately, turnovers were still a big issue for Miami (they were up to 13 around the halfway point of the third quarter.) Still, despite the negatives Miami kept things close staying with three points.
The Heat’s offense was noticeably sloppy, but it was Kendrick Nunn and Dedmon who kept things going for the Heat. He’s had some duds this season, but when Kendrick is going on offense he is very good. It also helped that Dragic started driving to the bucket again, continuing his solid play from earlier on.
Bam continued to be aggressive and it kept the Heat ahead for the most part, but he was often swarmed by Brooklyn defense resulting in turnovers (he had 5 at the start of the 4th quarter). Still, Bam’s presence on defense was felt as it always is as he stayed quick laterally and forced Brooklyn into bad looks.
Once again it was Landry Shamet who would hit two big threes for Brooklyn to steal the lead back and extend on it. So I think it’s safe to add him to the list of random Heat killers who emerge a few times a year.
Bam made an attempt to will Miami back within the game with multiple dunks and even got some help from Trevor Ariza to get back within 2. Goran Dragic then slashed to the rim to tie things up once again. With 16 seconds left in the ball game, Bam would get a chance at a game-winner and he would deliver.
This is what Jimmy wanted, a Bam bully ball buzzer-beater for a much-needed Heat win.