Observations and other notes of interest from Thursday night’s 111-108 victory over the Houston Rockets:
– Transfixed on Tyler has become a thing.
– And deservedly so.
– Tyler Herro has been sublime these past two games.
– Yes, in a Dwyane Wade sort of way.
– (He has.)
– But with the Heat shorthanded, these wins also are a factor of complementary pieces.
– With Caleb Martin the latest in a lineage of Heat contributing complements.
– No, not about the numbers.
– Rarely about the numbers with Martin.
– But the type of efforts that make the Heat leading men better.
– So, yes, sort of in a P.J. Tucker way of his own.
– Only a late ankle twist limited the late contribution.
– Then, Thursday, there also was something to be said about Orlando Robinson again stepping in almost directly from the G League.
– As he did in the Heat’s gritty overtime loss in Washington last month.
– He bought the Heat minutes in the middle.
– When there was no Plan C beyond emergency starter Udonis Haslem.
– And on it went.
– With Haywood Highsmith again energizing on call.
– No, not leading men.
– But men who allowed others to lead.
– When there weren’t that many men available in the first place.
– With Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon sidelined, 42-year-old Haslem got the start at center for the Heat.
– It was Haslem’s first start since the 2020 lockout bubble at Disney World.
– Also injected into the starting lineup was Max Strus, who on Wednesday night started in place of Jimmy Butler and this time started in place of Kyle Lowry, with Herro shifted to point guard.
– The Heat opened with Haslem, Buler, Strus, Herro and Martin, who previously had been listed as questionable due to a sore left ankle.
– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said there was no choice but to accept being shorthanded and then moving forward from there.
– “Look,” he said pregame, “every team will go through some version of this at some point during a long NBA regular season. And we’ve learned how to just deal with what the task at hand is, no matter who’s available and who’s not.”
– Spoelstra added, “We have empathy for the guys that are not available, and we know how badly some of these guys want to get out there. But we also have to be responsible to the person and the player, just to make sure everything is safe.”
– Unlike the approach with Butler, which will keep him out of both games of back-to-backs until February, the Heat say there is no such preset plan with Lowry.
– Not yet ready for back-to-backs, Victor Oladipo went through a thorough pregame shooting session with assistant coach Anthony Carter.
– Duncan Robinson and Highsmith entered midway through the first period as the Heat’s first two reserves.
– With Orlando Robinson following in place of Haslem.
– Herro’s third 3-point attempt was the 1,200th of his career.
– Herro’s second free-throw attempt was the 500th of his career.
– Herro’s second assist tied him with Justise Winslow for 25th on the Heat all-time list.
– Former Heat forward Jason Kapono watched from the stands with Heat executives.
– Andre Johnson also was in attendance.