Observations and other notes of interest from Wednesday night’s 110-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings:
– Perhaps at 36 there no longer can be this Kyle Lowry every game.
– Perhaps if Jimmy Butler was available, there couldn’t have been this Kyle Lowry.
– Perhaps this reconfigured Erik Spoelstra lineup, when whole, does not allow for this Kyle Lowry.
– But what this game did is offer a taste of what it could look like for the Heat when there also is the best of Kyle Lowry.
– Deferential this season to the point of practically not being there for the first half of games, Lowry took the challenge of helping compensate for Butler’s night off.
– At this price point, the Heat deserve more of this Lowry.
– In attack mode.
– Looking at the rim.
– More of this would make the Heat more of a team.
– With Butler listed with tightness in his left hip but ostensibly given the second night of the back-to-back set off for load management, Max Strus moved into the starting lineup.
– That opening group was rounded out by Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro and Lowry.
– With De’Aaron Fox sidelined, the Kings opened with Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray and Domantas Sabonis.
– Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon entered together as the first three and only three Heat substitutes of the first quarter.
– And that was it, Spoelstra keeping the rotation tight.
– Nikola Jovic again asked to wait.
– Haywood Highsmith again out of view.
– Lowry’s fourth shot was the 11,500th of his career.
– Lowry’s second defensive rebound was the 3,700th of his career.
– Herro in the fourth quarter reached 800 career defensive rebounds.
– Dedmon reached 2,100 career defensive rebounds in the second period.
– So Malik Monk again solidified his place on the Heat all-opponent team?
– Having coached Vincent with the Nigerian national team at the Tokyo Olympics, Kings coach Mike Brown was effusive about how Vincent has evolved into a quality NBA point guard.
– “I put him at the two guard. I should have put him at the point guard position and I didn’t realize it until it was too late,” Brown said pregame. “First of all, he’s a phenomenal, phenomenal, phenomenal person. I don’t know if you get any better than Gabe. But on top of that, his skillset is at a level that most people don’t give him credit for. He’s working his tail off to get where he is.”
– Brown also had plenty of pregame praise for the Heat.
– “Any game they go into, they’re going in with a lot of confidence, because they know their game plan inside and out, because they’ve been there together,” he said. “And their aggressiveness that they play with is almost unmatched around the league.”
– This was one of 17 Wednesday games for the Heat this season, their most on any day of the week. Only eight times do the Heat not play on a Wednesday night this week.