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Miami Heat Summer League: Takeaways from 88-78 win against Celtics

Miami kicks off its Vegas trip with an 88-78 victory!

NBA: Summer League-Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat kicked off their 2022 Las Vegas Summer League journey with a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics Saturday afternoon. Miami opened with a 88-78 victory -- here are a few immediate takeaways from their performance.

1. Yeah, Marcus Garrett is *back*, folks:

Garrett was on Miami’s Summer League roster a year ago and eventually secured one of its two-way spots. The former Naismith Defensive Player of the Year was waived in the middle of the season after he underwent wrist surgery and hasn’t played since. Miami brought him onto their Summer League roster once again this year, and in his first action, he definitely made his presence known.

The 6-foot-5 guard finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, in addition to three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 26 minutes. Just like he so often does, he utilized his quickness, anticipation and physicality to hound opposing guards at the point of attack. He slithered through screens with ease and was connected on all fronts along the perimeter on- and off-the-ball. Garrett’s jumper on the offensive end looked smoother and quicker, while also finding ways to get to the rim with ease.

If Garrett continues impressing like this over the next week-and-a-half, Miami should undoubtedly offer him an Exhibit 10.

2. More undrafted success stories?

Along with Garrett and some of the others on the roster, as I’ve belabored before: Haywood Highsmith **might** be well on his way to joining the famed “undrafted Heat gem” lineage. Highsmith impressed again this afternoon, tallying 14 points, six rebounds and three assists while canning six of his 11 attempts, including 2-of-6 from distance. He’s more-than-proven his ability to switch and guard multiple positions, as well as consistently hitting (open) catch-and-shoot 3s.

Highsmith also had a couple of tough finishes at the rim, like this one:

3. DO NOT freakout over Jovic’s performance:

First off, it’s Summer League. No need to completely freak out over the 19-year-old’s performances yet, regardless of how good or bad the stat line is.

That said, after closing the California classic with a 25 point-9 rebound stat line, Nikola Jovic began the Vegas Summer League scoreless on one shot with four rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes. The game’s commentators remarked about Jovic’s lack of aggressiveness in the third quarter...but he wasn’t getting very many touches to begin with. There were multiple possessions where Jovic moved to open pockets of space, but the Heat backcourt didn’t get him the ball because 1.) They were looking for their own shot or 2.) They found someone else open.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the box score watchers might attribute Jovic’s stat line — or lack thereof — to a poor performance when he hardly received any touches to begin with.

4. Mychal Mulder’s (3-point) shots fell!

In the California Classic, Mulder, on a two-way contract, went 5-for-23 from 3-point range; Miami, as a team, shot 24-of-87 (29.0) from distance over those three games.

Collectively, the Heat shooters — including Mulder, who tallied a team-high 23 points — were better. Miami shot 8-of-24 from 3-point range as a team, while Mulder netted five of his eight long-ball tries. Miami shot 44.6 percent overall, their second-highest percentage of the Summer League thus far.

5. Today’s Heat standout not already mentioned: Jamaree Bouyea

Bouyea had his most impactful outing of the Summer League thus far, tallying nine points, three rebounds and a team-high five assists in 22 minutes off the bench, netting 4-of-9 on the afternoon. The offense, once again, was most under control under his tutelage — especially in the pick-and-roll.

Bouyea conducted the offense well, routinely got into the lane and fashioned plenty of adequate offense with his paint touches. He was also aggressive at the point-of-attack alongside Garrett. Another key standout was starting big Orlando Robinson (12 PTS, 4-5 FG, 8 REB, 2 BLK), who signed an Exhibit 10 contract on Thursday.