The Miami Heat got a 115-91 dominant win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their first-round series. And although it is only one game and one win, we learned a couple of things we can take away from this game, both good and bad.
So let’s discuss some hot takes from Game 1.
TAKE #1 — Trae Young is going to have to work really hard in this series.
The Miami Heat simply aren’t going to let one player beat them. And as good as Trae Young is, when you enter a playoff series against Erik Spoelstra, you have to be thinking one move ahead. For Game 1, Spo had the advantage. The Heat were able to mix and match their defense and prevent Trae from getting anything that was comfortable.
Trae is best in a pick and roll type offense but the Heat take nearly all of that away because they switch everything. So the pick and roll voids their action except for any cross-matches it creates. On the ball, the Heat are comfortable and have plenty of defenders to guard Trae one on one. They did a great job not allowing Duncan or Max to get iso’d too many times and when they did they sent a second defender and made someone else beat them — they rarely did.
Trae shot 1-12 FG and had 8 points.
The defensive coverage will change throughout the series, but Trae is going to get frustrated and have to work hard to be successful. He’s going to shoot better than he did, for sure. But nothing will be simple for him.
TAKE #2 — The Heat can play better than they did in Game 1
That might seem like a stretch for someone who watched them hit 18-38 from three and breeze to this victory. But you have to remember a few things. First, yes, let’s acknowledge that Ducan Robinson won’t be that flam thrower every game. But, what if Max Strus does?
Also, Tyler Herro was actually not very good in this game. If he plays to his normal self, the Heat are substantially better than what they were. Herro just seemed to be off on his rhythm and couldn’t get his shot going, even missing a layup. And on top of that, Bam Adebayo didn’t take full advantage of his opponents on the inside. Bam was great defensively, but he sure can play better and be more aggressive on the other end to help Miami even more.
Herro and Adebayo combined for 12 points in Game 1.
The Heat turned the ball over quite a few times (15) and it all points to a reality that Miami played a really good game, but it wasn’t their best game. And if they are able to reach their best game, they become a real juggernaut to beat.
TAKE #3 — John Collins can change this series if he wants to
The Heat have struggled with guarding John Collins in the past. He’s a versatile big who can shoot and also be dominant scoring at the rim. He didn’t look healthy in Game 1 or in shape enough to really put a stamp on the game.
And he’s also had his issues with Atlanta and his involvement in the offense before, so there’s no real indication that he will be a great factor. But if he were to find a rhythm and if he were to be healthy enough to play 30+ minutes, he could create an extra layer of problems for the Heat that they don’t currently have with the Hawks.
Collins played 21 minutes and had 10 points on 4-6 shooting (1-3 from three). I just notice that someone who has given Miami issues before could surface as a problem if the Heat keep blitzing Trae like they are. Collins is a smart offensive player and knows how to be in the right spot. It’s his defensive motor and ability to withstand struggle that make him liable.
Let’s hope he doesn’t become a problem because Collins playing well could shift things to extend this series.
WHAT ARE YOUR TAKES?
Comment below with your hot takes after Game 1