Elation and then deflation in Heat loss to Blazers – The Denver Post


Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 110-107 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers:

– Of course the Trail Blazers’ winner came in transition.

– It has, after all, been the bane of the Heat this season.

– Some good or not good on one end, then the opposition off to the races on the other.

– All season.

– And this one stung the most.

– Elation.

– And then deflation.

– It’s almost as if it has to be Tyler Herro or bust.

– Which can’t be the preferred way to build a season.

– Not that Max Strus didn’t have his moment with his tying 3-pointer.

– Which immediately became secondary.

– There simply is something missing with this mix.

– As the record shows.

– It was another stop-gap lineup for the Heat, this time, after filling in for two games in place of Jimmy Butler, Strus started in place of Herro, who was out with an ankle sprain.

– The other Heat starters were Butler, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin and Kyle Lowry.

– The game was Adebayo’s 250th career regular-season start.

– Herro was hurt in the second quarter of Friday night’s loss in Indiana, playing through to the finish.

– “He tweaked his ankle in the Indiana game. He was able to finish the game, but you could see he was just powering through,” Spoelstra said. “But he’s been making progress, and that’s the important thing. It’ll be a short-term deal. How long he’ll be out? I don’t know. But he’s already feeling a little bit better.”

– Also out for the Heat were Victor Oladipo (knee), Omer Yurtseven (ankle), Udonis Haslem (personal reasons) and Jamal Cain (G League).

– In an encouraging development, Oladipo shot and worked pregame with assistant coach Anthony Carter.

– Dewayne Dedmon, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson entered together midway through the opening period during the Heat’s first substitution.

– Two early fouls led to Strus’ initial departure.

– The game was Robinson’s 250th regular-season appearance.

– Strus’ second 3-pointer moved him past Kendrick Nunn for 21st on the all-time Heat list.

– Martin’s third point was the 1,000th of his regular-season career.

– Butler’s sixth rebound moved him past Dan Majerle for 24th on the all-time Heat list.

– Spoelstra said having the likes of Strus and Vincent made it easier to plug holes.

– “Both of them are unique, because they can shift back and forth to different roles and in both lineups seamlessly,” Spoelstra said. “They can play in the second unit and really spark that group. And they both, because of their skill sets, as two-way players, they fit in with our starters, as well, throughout the court of the game.”

– Spoelstra added, “I don’t even hesitate. I don’t think anything about it, playing them in different lineups. They have institutional knowledge in how we do things, and they’ve both improved in our program significantly in the last three years.”

– Blazers coach Chauncey Billups was complementary pregame of former Heat forward Justise Winslow.

– “I love everything I see about Justise,” he said. “He added some toughness to our group. And obviously he can really guard most positions. His IQ is really high. He can ballhandling for us.”

– He added, “He’s smart. Justise has added a lot to our group.”

– Winslow played as the Blazers’ first reserve Monday.

– Monday marked the third season series completed this season, having also completed their two-game season series against the Warriors and Kings. The Heat split those other two series.



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