Have you ever missed a game or two during the week? Want to go through some Xs and Os? Or catch up on some news? Well, welcome to the Miami Heat Weekly Round-Up!
Each week, I’ll dive into some key points from this week, any trends, go through film breakdowns, provide fun stats, and other interesting tidbits that have caught my eye.
Weekly Summary & Stats
The Heat finished with a 1-3 record:
- 120-108 win vs the Oklahoma City Thunder
- 113-106 loss vs the Philadelphia 76ers
- 118-104 loss vs the Golden State Warriors
- 111-103 loss vs the New York Knicks
What a disappointing week. This week honestly couldn’t have been worse. Before heading into the week, I’ve mentioned in the last article that the Heat should get the number one seed if they go 6-6. The thought process behind that was can they get the first seed in the worst-case scenario where they win the games they should against sub 500 teams.
When it was clear that neither the 76ers nor the Warriors would have their star players play, that number one seed looked pretty much on lock. The gap between the 76ers would widen, get another easy win against the Warriors, and you’re looking at a potential 8-4 record, which would have made things easier.
But this is the Miami Heat! They make things harder than they should be — they make it more interesting for us, though it’s also more stressful.
Some key, fun stats from the week (not counting Friday night’s Knicks game):
- 138.8 offensive rating against the Thunder (98th percentile)
- 122.1 defensive rating this week (24th in the league in that span)
- 42-88 — team’s bench scoring and opponents in the last two games
- 16/27 from Kyle Lowry beyond the arc
- 44.0% on 8.3 3s from Duncan Robinson
The funniest thing about all of this is how the Heat suddenly are getting media attention. A quick YouTube search, ESPN Miami Heat, and I see seven different videos talking about the Heat’s altercation during the Warriors game. Then there are more videos talking about whether the Heat should fear the Brooklyn Nets.
I honestly can’t tell you when was the last time I’ve seen this much attention in this short span. But did this altercation, fight, argument, or whatever you want to call it, warrant this type of reaction?
A short answer. No, it didn’t.
We know that Jimmy Butler is a big personality. We also know Udonis Haslem is that type of guy too. And we know that Erik Spoelstra is that guy too. So, it’s not surprising to see things get a bit heated in a spur of a moment — we’ve seen Haslem throw chairs during a playoff game.
We always preach that this is Heat Culture — that it’s all about keeping each other accountable and not being afraid to say something that a person may not want to hear.
So, no, based solely on this incident alone, there shouldn’t be any overreaction. However, it could get interesting if this becomes a pattern or there is a clear change of vibe around the team.
Lowry Stepping Up
These losses have overshadowed what Lowry has been doing recently. It wasn’t long ago that I have been getting rather concerned with Lowry’s passiveness and not looking to score at all.
Lowry, however, has done a 180 turn when it comes to his aggressiveness. In the last three games, he’s averaging 20.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists, while shooting 59.3% from deep on nine attempts.
It’s not just the stats that stand out. Sure, he’s shooting extremely well and made ridiculous shots like these:
Kyle was just ridiculous on some of the shots he made— John Jablonka (@JohnJablonka_) March 25, 2022
He was a bigggg reason why they still had a chance and didn't lose by 30 pic.twitter.com/fb6T6NbycE
But it’s also how he’s playing with more urgency and aggression — he is looking to attack, looking to score, and getting the defense to pay more attention to him. Take this attack on a closeout:
Bam 1v1 draws that stunt as he begins to get inside— John Jablonka (@JohnJablonka_) March 25, 2022
That's a kickout to Lowry, attack the closeout as the defender most likely won't recover
Nice floater from Lowry pic.twitter.com/UdzjXsmNkU
That is the Lowry the team needs. There was a similar play last week where he didn’t even think about attacking a closeout like that but looked to pass immediately. Maybe he is coasting through the season and tries to see where he fits on the team, and also get others involved. But if this is the guy that will show up in the playoffs, then this team can be even more dangerous.
Someone’s Going to get Hunted
In the game against the 76ers, they run the same type of play for what seemed like the entire quarter — possession after possession after possession. Each play involved either Tyrese Maxey or Tobias Maxey taking turns on Tyler Herro.
He was getting hunted. The 76ers were actively looking to get him involved to score. You can check out an in-depth thread of all the key plays that happened in the fourth below.
Same play— John Jablonka (@JohnJablonka_) March 22, 2022
This time, he takes away the drive but Maxey hits him with the stepback pic.twitter.com/298NCUohbE
But this play summarises what they were doing. And it’s not entirely Herro’s fault — that is simply the team’s scheme. However, there must be some counters and adjustments to it.
You can’t allow a team to run the same thing over and over again and hope it won’t work.
Herro or Robinson will get hunted simply because they will always be the worst defender on the court in the closing minutes, so it’s on Spoelstra to make counters to the switching — send help early, have guys help off on the nail, pre-rotate, or avoid switching those guys.
Tidbits & Other News
The defense has been horrendous. There are lazy closeouts, zero effort in transition, plenty of miscommunication, and many missed rotations.
There were simple communication breakdowns like these— John Jablonka (@JohnJablonka_) March 25, 2022
3 players and not a single one picks up the ball - all pointing as if someone's gonna take him
Duncan tries to contest but it's a quick pass for an open corner 3 pic.twitter.com/E3KVg9gkHx
Victor Oladipo hasn’t been looking well and has already been missing some games. There still may be some concerns with his health or whether he will get back to even 70% because right now, he’s not looking that great to me.
I miss Gabe Vincent. With Herro struggling in the 76ers game and being out against the Warriors, the bench could have used Vincent a lot.