The Heat have experienced a slight upturn in recent games, winning back-to-back games against the Warriors and Kings. The Heat’s record now sits at 4-5, which is definitely an improvement. Hopefully, the Heat can keep up this winning streak. Let’s get into the Heat season companion part 1 covering both of those games.
Heat Season Companion: The Heat Get Revenge Against the Warriors
The Heat returned to Miami after a lackluster Western Conference road trip and faced off against the Warriors once more. In the first meeting between the Warriors and the Heat, the Warriors beat the Heat 123-110 despite a spirited performance from Miami. However, the Heat bounced back from that defeat and won 116-109.
It was a strong overall performance from Miami, with five Heat players in double figures in scoring. Max Strus led the way with 24 points, Butler had 23 points, and Bam had 19 points. Robinson contributed 17 points and Lowry had 13 points. While no one Heat player had a huge scoring night in this game, it is good to see multiple Heat players play well offensively.
The Heat’s Bench Stepped Up Big-Time Against Golden State
One worrying trend in some earlier games this season was the lack of production from the Miami Heat bench. That was not the case in this game, as the Heat bench contributed a total of 54 points in this game. Strus and Robinson accounted for 41 of those 54 points. Another bench player, Gabe Vincent, actually finished with the highest plus-minus in the game for the Heat with +29.
Vincent had four points, two steals, three assists, and eight rebounds in 31 minutes of action. Overall, the Heat’s bench unit of Dedmon, Robinson, Strus, and Vincent had a combined plus-minus of +60. The Heat certainly would not have won this game without the contributions of their bench players.
The Heat Won a Nail-Biter Against the Kings
The Heat also managed to beat another team they lost to during the road trip, namely the Sacramento Kings. The Heat beat the Kings 110-107 courtesy of a game-winning 3 by Tyler Herro. Herro had an excellent game overall, with 26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a steal. Additionally, Herro stepped up when the Heat needed him to, scoring 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter.
The Heat’s starters played better overall in this game, with Bam, Lowry, and Herro all scoring at least 20 points. Strus also contributed 10 points. Vincent and Dedmon did have good games off the bench, each scoring 10 points. The Heat also won the rebounding battle 46-39. Bam had 11 rebounds, Herro had 12 rebounds, Dedmon had 8 rebounds, and Robinson had 6 rebounds. However, it was a team effort on the glass, as usual.
Heat Season Companion: The Heat’s Defense Seems to be Improving
The Heat’s defense was not very good to start the season. The Heat struggled mightily on defense in the first half in the previous game against the Kings in Sacramento, giving up 71 points in that half. However, the Heat seem to have stabilized on defense now.
There could be a number of reasons for this. I think one factor is that Spoelstra is figuring out the best lineups for the Heat. Another factor is likely simply a greater emphasis on defense from the coaching staff. The Heat have regularly been an elite defensive team and hopefully, they become that once again this season.
The Heat Travel to Indiana Next
The Heat’s next game takes place at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have started off the season 3-5 and are looking to rebuild this season. As a result, the Heat should take advantage of that and get another win. I would bet on the Heat winning that game, especially if Jimmy Butler returns.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.