Last afternoon’s Game One of the Miami Heat versus the Milwaukee Bucks was tough to watch. After a last-second mid-range jumper shot by Middleton, the Heat lost 109-107, giving the Bucks the series 0-1 lead. A lot of players had rough nights on the Heat team, but there were some exciting sparks as well. With that said, there isn’t that much cause for concern after the Heat’s loss.
The Heat lost by two with key players having a rough night
Let’s address the elephant in the room; three of the Heat’s key players didn’t play as expected from fans and analysts alike. Butler will start us off; he had a measly 17 points in 48 minutes, with seven of them coming from the free-throw line. He was 4/22 on FGs for the night, along with being 2/9 from three. He also had six turnovers, which converted into a decent amount of the Bucks’ 17 points off turnovers.
Big Bam Adebayo had an atrocious offensive day as well, shooting 4/15 FGs, which only attributed to nine points in 41 minutes. While he had four offensive rebounds, those barely allocated any second-chance points. Tyler Herro had an off night too, tallying ten points in 19 minutes on 2/10 shooting (2/5 from three-point range).
Even though those three players didn’t contribute much on the scoreboard as many wanted, the Heat was able to keep it close for a majority of the game. Goran Dragic showed that a dragon should always be feared by scoring 25 points off the bench on 10/17 shooting, with 50% shooting from behind the arc (5/10). He also had two rebounds (one offensive, one defensive), an assist, and a steal.
Robinson also had a stellar night (discussed a bit later in the article) and Kendrick Nun had a decent night as well, scoring ten points, six off of three, in 23 minutes with four rebounds and an assist. If Butler, Herro, and Adebayo return to their normal selves, the Heat could easily win Game Two.
While Adebayo had a horrible offensive night, the defensive side of the ball was another story. Adebayo was a monster on the boards, tallying 12 rebounds, with eight of them being defensive rebounds. Adebayo also was a pick-pocket yesterday, adding three steals to his name. His defense in the paint wasn’t the best, but he certainly was one of the best defenders on the court.
Overall, the Heat defense was good, limiting the high-touted Bucks’ offense to 109 points (they average 120 per game). The Heat defense also held the Bucks to a lackluster 5/31 (16.1%) from three. Ariza also had a solid defensive game as well with 11 defensive rebounds, a steal, and a block.
Duncan Robinson; one of the behind the arc kings
To say Duncan Robinson did well today is an understatement. In 36 minutes played, Robinson scored 24 points, with 21 of them coming from the three-point line (7/13 from three). He also tallied two rebounds and two assists to his day and made all three of his free throw attempts. Almost every three-pointer he shot was a nothing-but-net, and he’s one of the few players I can always trust from behind the arc. This game alone proves he deserves a motherlode of three-point attempts each game.
A lot of the issues shown in this game could be fixed within the timespan they have. Bam Adebayo has to be more aggressive on the court, without a doubt; Goran Dragic agrees with this statement. He hesitated a lot with a vast majority of his shots, no matter where it was on the court. He has to trust in his shot more, or else it could lead to the Heat faltering in the post-season.
The Heat must chill with the three-point bombs. The Heat shot 50 threes in the game, with 20 of them sinking into the net. While the aggressiveness of the three is good, Spoelstra and the Heat need to turn down the dial a bit unless it’s to Robinson. Show the paint and mid-range areas on the court some love; they deserve it.
In addition, Erik Spoelstra has to do a better job at defending the paint. 56 of the Bucks’ 109 points came from the paint, which is over 50% of the Bucks’ total points. I believe that he’ll come up with some better schemes to limit the Bucks’ offense and have them shoot elsewhere.
Butler also has to clean up a lot in his game; 4/22 isn’t a good look for anyone, plus he had six turnovers. I’d say that he has to take more quality shots, and he has to chill with the three-point shooting. He was 2/9, 10.5%, from behind the arc. Butler also must hold on to the ball and stop being an easy target for steals. This cost the Heat a lot in this game; if he fixes all this, we could easily see a Game Two win in the future.
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