Observations and other notes of interest from Wednesday night’s 116-108 loss to the Chicago Bulls:
– Difficult to discern which was worse in this one.
– Bam Adebayo trying and being unable to score?
– Or Kyle Lowry perhaps even more passive than before?
– But there has to be more than the one-two punch of Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro.
– That isn’t sustainable.
– As the Heat learned after Wednesday night’s first quarter.
– Yes, Herro can make shots.
– Yes, Butler can get to the line.
– But a limited menu ultimately provides limited results.
– With Adebayo, it can’t be about forcing shots out of his wheelhouse.
– Forget the offseason narrative.
– It’s not about more shots.
– It’s about more of the right shots.
– Yes, he rebounded.
– But his first trip to the foul line did not come until the closing minutes.
– Too little too late.
– As for Lowry, based on how it ended last season, the expectation was of an opening statement.
– None delivered.
– There has to be more Friday night against Boston.
– And it can’t be about Lowry saving it for the two games that follow against the Raptors.
– This one should have provided ample motivation.
– The worst-kept secret became the Heat’s starting reality, with Erik Spoelstra opening with a lineup of Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Butler, Herro and Lowry.
– Herro was introduced first, Butler last.
– The Bulls, lacking starters Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball, opened with a lineup of Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams, DeMar DeRozan and Ayo Dosunmu.
– Ball and LaVine are dealing with ongoing knee issues.
– Inactive for the Heat were Victor Oladipo, Omer Yurtseven and Jamal Cain, even though the Heat were required to place only one on the inactive list to meet the limit of 15 in uniform.
– Oladipo (knee) and Yurtseven (ankle) are dealing with injuries.
– Cain is on a two-way contract, limited to 50 games on the active roster.
– The sense with Cain is to save his games for when most needed.
– Similar to how the Heat handled Martin last season.
– Max Strus played as the Heat’s first reserve, entering for Butler midway through the opening period.
– With Oladipo out, that got Butler back in with the second unit as a shot creator.
– Dewayne Dedmon and Gabe Vincent then followed off the Heat bench.
– Butler got back into the initial mix before Herro took his first break.
– Entering the same time as former Heat guard Goran Dragic entered for the Bulls.
– Dragic received a warm ovation when he entered.
– It was his second game back since being dealt in the 2021 offseason for Lowry.
– Duncan Robinson then entered as the Heat’s fourth reserve, for Herro.
– Out of the initial mix were Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith.
– With Highsmith getting a token moment at the end of the first half.
– Herro’s third point moved him past Michael Beasley for 21st on the Heat all-time list.
– Butler’s first free throw moved him past Bob Lanier for 91st on the NBA all-time list.
– Butler’s eighth free throw moved him past Eddie Jones for ninth on the Heat all-time list.
– Lowry’s third assist moved him past Stephon Marbury for 27th on the NBA all-time list.
– Lowry’s first steal tied him with Charles Oakley for 68th on the NBA all-time list.
– Ahead of his 20th Heat season, Udonis Haslem addressed the crowd pregame at midcourt, He opened by mentioning Brittney Griner’s incarceration in Russia.
– He said, “We are still thinking about you and everything that you’re going through. You’re in our hearts and our minds.”