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Three takeaways from the Heat’s 94-90 Summer League loss to the Hawks

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Strus and Yurtseven continue to impress but who else is making strides?

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

Behind strong performances from Skyler Mays and No. 20 overall pick Jalen Johnson , the Atlanta Hawks downed the Miami Heat in their fourth Las Vegas Summer League contest on Saturday, 94-90.

After winning their first four Summer League affairs, the Heat drop to 2-2 in the Vegas Summer League and 4-2 overall. The Hawks, who were without No. 48 overall pick Sharife Cooper (health and safety protocols), improve to 2-2.

Mays, who handled lead guard responsibilities in Cooper’s absence, had a game-high 26 points on 7-of-17 shooting with nine assists. Johnson had 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting and 3-of-6 from deep, adding seven rebounds, two steals and a block.

Max Strus led the way for the Heat, posting 24 points with six made 3-pointers (on 13 attempts).

Here are my three takeaways from Saturday’s loss:


1. Miami’s best showed out once again

To nobody’s surprise, the Heat’s two best players Saturday were Strus and Omer Yurtseven.

The duo combined for exactly half of Miami’s 90 points on 52 percent shooting, connecting on seven of the team’s 13 made 3s at a 43.8 percent clip.

In five Heat summer league affairs, Yurtseven is averaging 22.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest. He’s tallied four 20-plus point performances in such games.

Like he has for much of his Heat career, Strus kept diversifying the way he scored — whether off the dribble and on continuous spot-up looks — with non-stop movement off-ball. It’s translated to success. Strus, who’s averaging 22.0 points in five Summer League affairs, has recorded 20-plus points and five-plus 3-pointers three times.

Both were re-signed to two-year standard minimum deals this offseason and could potentially be mainstays at the back of Erik Spoelstra’s rotation next season.

2. Jarreau nears triple double, continues improvement

Marcus Garrett — who left after the first quarter of Friday’s game due to illness — and Gabe Vincent did not play Saturday.

It led to more on-ball reps for DeJon Jarreau, who has improved since the beginning of the Vegas Summer League after getting held out of the California Classic due to a thigh contusion.

Jarreau neared a triple double, notching 14 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and knocking down 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. He also snatched a team-high three steals.

His eight rebounds tied center Brandon McCoy for a team high, while his nine dimes were five more than the next-most (Yurtseven, Strus - 4).

He has made strides in decision-making, specifically in the pick-and-roll. Miami had 18 turnovers on the afternoon; Jarreau was the only Heat player without any. Similarly to Garrett, Jarreau’s been stout defensively — one of his main calling cards while at Houston.

In four Vegas Summer League contests, he’s averaging 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. He has a solid case for being Miami’s best all-around guard throughout the Summer League.

Though it has yet to be decided — in my view, Jarreau and Garrett are Miami’s frontrunners for its two two-way spots.

3. McCoy makes impact in limited action

McCoy was added to Miami’s Summer League roster prior to its second game against the Warriors in the California Classic.

He struggled out of the gate. Against the Warriors, he played in just five minutes, missing his only shot attempts with two rebounds. McCoy had four fouls — three offensive on consecutive possessions — in his Heat Summer League debut.

The only direction for the former UNLV alum to go was up, though he hasn’t gotten much an opportunity to since arriving in his former college town.

He played eight minutes in the Heat’s 20-point victory over the Nuggets in its Vegas Summer League opener, with six points and two boards — making all four of his free throw attempts.

Though he possessed the size that this year’s Heat Summer League team lacked — a reason why he was added to the roster — he didn’t play in any of the two other affairs up until Saturday.

It might go unnoticed since he played in just 12 minutes on Saturday, but McCoy made a resounding impact. He connected on his only field goal, hauling in eight rebounds — four offensive — with two assists in his brief time on the court.

With all but three of the Heat’s 14 players listed below 6-foot-9, McCoy helped the Heat mitigate damage with its lack of size — a reason why it fell in yesterday’s game against the Utah Jazz.