Aside from Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat offense was abysmal Friday night in a 99-79 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. In his first game back after a hamstring injury sustained in the first round, Kyle Lowry looked like the player from March who maddeningly passed up open looks. He took just four shots and scored zero points in a playoff game.
Danny Green made as many 3s as the entire Heat did — seven. Now facing Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo returned to the tentative offensive player for much of the Atlanta Hawks series.
Miami Heat players other than Jimmy Butler made 15 of 55 shots tonight— Five Reasons Sports (@5ReasonsSports) May 7, 2022
I was surprised Erik Spoelstra didn’t give Duncan Robinson a look at some point in the game. Maybe the fact that Max Strus made two 3s in the third quarter led Spoelstra to stick to his usual rotation. But Robinson at least deserves a chance to unlock the Heat’s half-court offense when things bog down, as they did Friday night.
The Kyle Lowry/Bam Adebayo pick-and-roll gave Lowry the space to take pull-up jumpers because Joel Embiid plays drop defense. For whatever reason, Lowry didn’t take those chances. Hopefully in his second game back Sunday, Lowry will feel more comfortable taking open looks.
Strus missed the looks the Sixers defense gave him — again, aside from that stretch in the third quarter. He was 3-for-11 from 3. Lowry didn’t take those shots. Tyler Herro was just 2-for-7 from 3 on Friday night. Those three players need to knock down 3s if Robinson is going to stay out of the rotation. (P.J. Tucker attempted just one 3 Friday, and Tucker isn’t a volume shooter even if he’s hitting corner 3s.)
But if they don’t hit their 3s — as was the case in Game 3 — why not give Robinson a chance for a few minutes? The attention Robinson draws could also give Adebayo the opportunity to score over smaller defenders.