Heat’s wings (other than Herro) are clipped yet again – The Denver Post


Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 101-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers:

– When Victor Oladipo was a thing, an apparent Heat strength was their depth of talent on the wing.

– Since the preseason, there has been no Victor Oladipo.

– And Friday, with Jimmy Butler back in Miami dealing with hip soreness, the Heat’s wings basically were clipped.

– Yes, Tyler Herro had his moments.

– Actually a lot of them.

– And Max Strus made timely plays.

– But the Heat were unable to match what the Pacers offered with Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton (how the heck did the Kings let him get away?) and Bennedict Mathurun.

– Kyle Lowry may be many things, but a dynamic wing is not one of them.

– And even Butler offers more of a methodical approach.

– So Herro or bust.

– And on Friday, again bust.

– If Oladipo can’t make it back soon, and can’t make it back looking like Oladipo, all-or-nothing Herro it might have to be.

– And that likely is not enough.

– Strus started for the second consecutive game in place of Butler.

– Actually, it was the second-and-a-half start for Strus, who opened the second half against the Warriors on Tuesday night when Herro was lost in that second quarter with an eye contusion.

– Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo remained in the starting lineup, after being listed earlier with a bruised right knee.

– Rounding out the starting lineup were Herro, Lowry and Caleb Martin.

– Gabe Vincent entered as the Heat first substitute.

– Dewayne Dedmon, who had been on the injury report earlier, then followed in a dual substitution along with Duncan Robinson.

– Then, with the Heat struggling and Martin called for his third foul, Haywood Highsmith was inserted midway through the second quarter.

– Herro’s second 3-pointer moved him past Josh Richardson for 10th on the Heat all-time list.

– Herro’s sixth basket moved him past Richardson for 21st on the Heat all-time list.

– With his fifth defensive rebound, Herro moved past James Johnson for 25th on the Heat all-time list.

– With his first blocked shot, Martin made it 50 for his career.

– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, going in, on the Pacers’ style, “They play fast. It seems like our last few games we’ve been playing only teams that play super fast. I think we need to conquer that.”

– He added of the Pacers, “They are young, and they play with that kind of exuberance and confidence and joy.”

– Of already emerging rookie Mathurin, Spoelstra noted, “just how confident he is as a young player. You see him on the edit and he comes into the game as if he had been in a flow already.”

– Having spent the week in camp with the Heat’s G League affiliate before meeting the team in Indiana, forward Jamal Cain said the time in Sioux Falls allowed him to reunite with Heat-camp teammates such as Orlando Robinson, Jamaree Bouyea and Mychal Mulder.

– “It felt good, just to see some of my guys,” he said. “I kind of built a relationship with them over the summer time and we were kind of in the same boat, so it was good to see ‘em, just to talk about the whole Sioux Falls process.”

– The Heat have stressed the common systems in Miami and Sioux Falls, and Cain said he found that to be the case.

– “It’s definitely similar just in terms of the intensity, the way they want to practice and some of the stuff to be run,” Cain said. “Some of the plays and play styles will basically be the same. But the weather is a little different.”

– Pacers coach Rick Carlisle spoke pregame of the Heat defense.

– “You have to have a mindset of that you’re in a game where it involves playmaking, not play calling,” Carlisle said. “You’ve just got to play basketball. And all of the different looks that they throw teams, it gets teams to kind of back up and kind of look, and when you do that, now you’re hesitating.”

– Carlisle also spoke pregame of Lowry.

– “The guys that are real comfortable in making those running shots, and making it look effortless, those are the guys you really worry about. Because those are the guys that can flat-out score.”

– Of playing the Heat without Butler, Carlisle said, “When they’re down guys, they become even more dangerous in many ways.”



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