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Miami Heat Summer League: Takeaways from 88-78 loss to Raptors

Heat drop to 1-3 before Summer League finale on Saturday.

2022 Las Vegas Summer League- Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

In their penultimate game of the Las Vegas Summer League Friday, the Miami Heat dropped to 1-3 with a 88-78 loss to the Toronto Raptors. — here are a few immediate takeaways from their performance.

1. It’s clear why Jamal Cain earned Exhibit 10

Jamal Cain signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat Friday, becoming the third Heat player on their Summer League to do so over the last eight days.

And it’s pretty clear why.

The undrafted forward totaled six points on 2-of-6 shooting with five rebounds in 18 minutes, but his box score doesn’t do him enough justice. What stood out most was his energy — like it has all Summer League.

During his time in Vegas and San Francisco, Cain has been a tremendously active and anxious (in a good way) multipositional defender on- and off-the-ball; he’s active on the glass on both ends and showed activity as a roller and around the dunker spot. He’s very active on both ends of the floor — which the Heat like — which is why he’s become one of the few to compete for a roster spot in training camp.

2. Fumbling the rock

The Toronto Raptors used their length to generate havoc in the passing lanes, pressing at the point-of-attack and took advantage of every Heat mistake in transition.

If you read that, you’d think I’d be talking about their regular season team. Funny how teams find players who fit their mold, even for Summer League. Wonder who that reminds me of.

I could, but won’t belabor Miami’s ongoing shooting struggles this Summer; I’d rather talk about another key difference in this game: Defense and Turnovers. Toronto forced 19 Heat turnovers — 11 live-ball turnovers — that led to 27 points-of-turnovers.

The Raptors also out-rebounded Miami 51-46 and shot better from the floor. But their true takeover began by playing sound defense (which, in part, has led to Miami’s poor shooting), forcing turnovers and getting out in transition — three feats they’ve prioritized and perfected throughout Nick Nurse’s tenure.

3. Wait, Miami did the same?

To answer your question: Yes.

Miami gave Toronto a taste of their own medicine, ramping up the pressure in the final 10 minutes after entering the quarter down by 21 (70-49).

By forcing five fourth-quarter turnovers (that led to 10 POT) with quality offense from Orlando Robinson and Kyle Allman (more on him below), the Heat trimmed it to five with less than two-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Despite missing four players — Omer Yurtseven, Nikola Jovic, Marcus Garrett and Jamaree Bouyea — on Friday, it was an inspiring late-game effort, but they ultimately could not generate nearly enough stops-and-scores to complete the comeback victory.

4. Tonight’s Heat standout: Kyle Allman Jr.

Allman was one of Miami’s best summer league players in generating rim pressure with his explosiveness, along with Javonte Smart, Bouyea and Garrett. Without the latter pair, Allman was its primary source for Miami’s off-the-bounce juice; he finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. He shot 5-of-7 from inside the painted area, adding five rebounds, four assists and one block.

Other standouts include Robinson (13 PTS, 11 REB), Haywood Highsmith (10 PTS, 5 REB, 2 STL), Javonte Smart (13 PTS, 7 REB) and Dru Smith (9 PTS, 3 REB, 2 STL), among others.

5. Heat close Summer League “regular season” at 1-3

Outside of Miami’s 10-point win against the Boston Celtics, it’s lost three straight: By seven to the Hawks, four to the Sixers and 10 tonight to Toronto — the latter of which needed to win by 18 to compete for the Summer League title against the Knicks on Sunday.

Miami closes its trip to Vegas with a bout against the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow night at 11:00 p.m. ET.