The Miami Heat continued their 2022 Las Vegas Summer League journey against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second leg of its back-to-back on Wednesday. Despite a late comeback attempt, Miami lost 75-71 and dropped to 1-2 in Vegas — here are a few immediate takeaways from their performance.
1. Haywood Highsmith returns....against former team
Highsmith sat out the first leg of the back-to-back Tuesday and returned Wednesday against the Sixers, whom he spent part of three years in the organization with.
And he had arguably his best Summer League game yet.
Highsmith filled up the stat sheet and finished with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor, adding seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks in 32 minutes. He was practically the Heat’s best (and only?) source of offense for most of the evening, while also flashing the typical multi-positional versatility he’s so used to displaying. He was everywhere defensively Wednesday evening.
Nikola Jovic (quad), Omer Yurtseven (quad) and Mychal Mulder (undisclosed) did not suit up for Miami Wednesday.
2. Another rough shooting start for Miami
In the first half, Miami canned 11 of their first 47 attempts, including 3-of-16 from 3-point range — mustering together 34 points. That’s 23.4 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively. Not to mention, Highsmith had nearly half those of makes (5) on eight attempts, too. Do the math, and the rest shot 15.4 percent (6-38).
Somehow, it still led by two at halftime, holding Philadelphia to 32 points on 43.3 percent shooting, but the Heat have struggled all Summer League to consistently generate any semblence of half-court offense. That was apparent against Wednesday evening, shooting 27.4 percent overall (23-84) and 16.1 percent from 3-point range (5-31).
3. A Sixers block party
I know this isn’t a Heat specific takeaway, but it sure seemed like every Heat half-court attempt at the rim was contested. The Sixers rejected 12 shots; eight different Sixer players had blocks, including three from Charles Bassey and two from both Julian Champaigne and Malik Ellison.
The Heat, on the other hand, had eight blocks — seven combined from Robinson (4) and Highsmith (3), including a blocked fastbreak dunk in the final minute of the game.
4. A Heat offensive rebounding, steal party
Okay, let’s transition into a Heat-specific “party” takeaway.
The Miami Heat registered 21 offensive rebounds (!!) — 57 rebounds in total, finishing a plus-one on the glass. Orlando Robinson had six; Jamal Cain had four in 16 minutes; Highsmith had three; Jamaree Bouyea, at 6-foot-1, had two of his own.
Miami also had 17 steals — including five from Dru Smith, three from Haywood Highsmith and Jamal Cain with two apiece from Marcus Garrett and Jamaree Bouyea. Its stout defense and ability to force turnovers helped stemmed its late comeback — despite not being able to pull through with the victory.
5. Tonight’s Heat standout: Orlando Robinson
Robinson, who signed an Exhibit 10 with the Heat last Thursday, posted his first double-double of Summer League action. The former Fresno State center totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds and made four of his 10 attempts. He was perhaps Miami’s second-best player outside of Highsmith. He was energetic and active on both ends against Bassey, clearly establishing himself on the offensive glass despite producing suboptimal shooting results.