Heat get starters back, but also find shaky footing in loss to Hawks – The Denver Post


Observations and other notes of interest from Monday’s 121-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks:

– This is what rust looks like, the three early fouls on Caleb Martin, the 0 for 7 start on 3-pointers by Tyler Herro.

– Yes, the Heat were able to push through injuries with their recent run.

– But the second part of the injury equation is working players back in.

– And that often is not a simple process.

– With Monday standing as Exhibit A.

– As the Heat still await the return of Kyle Lowry.

– Without sustained health, it simply could be a roller-coaster to the finish.

– With the Heat going with their 20th lineup Monday.

– So now the search for another winning streak.

– With challenges in New Orleans and Dallas ahead on this trip.

– The Heat got back to fourth-fifths of their preferred starting lineup, with Martin and Herro back.

– The left only Lowry out of the mix, due knee discomfort that has him day-to-day.

– With Gabe Vincent making his fourth consecutive start at point guard, again scoring in double figures.

– Vincent was a nominee for NBA East Player of the Week that Monday went to Knicks guard Jalen Brunson.

– The Heat had gone 4-1 with Haywood Highsmith starting the previous six at power forward in place of Martin. This time a limited role for Highsmith.

– The Heat’s other starters were Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

– The Heat also had Jamal Cain as inactive, saving him an NBA day on his two-way contract.

– Victor Oladipo again played as Heat sixth man, this time entering when Martin was called for two early fouls.

– Oladipo was solid as a playmaker, reaching double figures in assists for the first time this season.

– Orlando Robinson and Max Strus then entered to make it eight deep for the Heat.

– With Robinson, who is on a two-way contract, again playing ahead of veteran big man Dewayne Dedmon.

– Monday was the first game since Dedmon became trade eligible this season.

– Highsmith then entered as the Heat’s fourth reserve.

– Leaving only Dedmon and 42-year-old captain Udonis Haslem as those not to enter.

– Adebayo set a personal best with his 56th consecutive games scoring in double figures.

– Adebayo’s fifth defensive rebound was the 2,400th of his career.

– Adebayo’s 20th point moved him past Grant Long for 11th on the Heat all-time scoring list.

– Butler’s second free-throw attempt moved him past Haslem for ninth on the Heat all-time list.

– Herro’s ninth shot was the 3,000th of his career.

– Herro’s third assist moved him past James Johnson for 22nd on the Heat all-time list.

– The Heat entered 5-1 within their division, with the lone loss a shorthanded defeat on the road against the Wizards.

– The game was the sixth of nine afternoon games this season for the Heat (games that start before 6 p.m. local time).

– The game was the 17th time the Heat played on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the 11th time on the road. The Heat had won their previous three on the holiday.

– Former Atlanta mayor and civil-rights leader Andrew Young was among those in attendance.



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