Our Heat season companion part 15 finds the Heat still battling to avoid the play-in tournament after two consecutive important wins to improve to 42-37 overall. The Heat beat the Mavericks 129-122 at home before traveling to Detroit and beating the Pistons 118-105. Let’s discuss these two wins and what they mean for the Heat’s season.
Heat Season Companion Part 15: The Heat’s Offense Was Excellent Against the Mavericks
While the Heat’s defense against the Mavericks wasn’t great, the Heat’s offense was very good. The Heat only committed 11 turnovers against Dallas and shot 52% from the field overall in that game. This, along with the Mavericks’ defense shortcomings, allowed the Heat to score 129 points including 44 points in the first quarter alone.
Jimmy Butler was the leading scorer against the Mavericks, putting up 35 points on 12/16 shooting to lead the Heat to victory. Herro, Strus, and Cody Zeller all scored 15 points or more in this game, as well. Kevin Love stepped up for Miami off the bench with 18 points, too.
The Heat Dominated the Fourth Quarter Against the Pistons
Given the fact that the Pistons were one of the worst teams in the league heading into this game with a record of 16-62, the Heat were significant favorites in that matchup. Even so, the win proved a bit more difficult than anticipated. The Heat were only up by one point, 80-79, at the end of the third quarter against the Pistons.
However, the Heat dominated the fourth quarter of that game, outscoring the Pistons 38-26. Butler once again led the way, with many of his 27 points coming in the fourth quarter. Gabe Vincent scored 22 points and Herro had 18 points, as well. Bam Adebayo added an efficient 18 points to help the Heat win in Detroit. While this may have been an expected win, it was a crucial one for the Heat’s season nonetheless.
Heat Season Companion Part 15: The Heat Have to Go 3-0 To Avoid the Play-in Tournament
It is still possible for the Heat to avoid the play-in tournament. The Heat will have to go 3-0 against the Sixers, Magic, and Wizards to close out the season to do so, though. Given that two of those three games are on the road, it will be difficult for the Heat to accomplish this. Even if the Heat do go 3-0, the Nets will have to go 1-2 to end the season for Miami to avoid the play-in tournament.
There is still a chance of doing so, though, thanks to these two wins.
The Heat Travel to Philadelphia for a Huge Road Game
Another road game is next for the Heat, this time in Philadelphia against the 76ers. The Heat have struggled on the road this season, but they need to win in Philadelphia to avoid the play-in tournament. I would bet on Jimmy Butler scoring at least 20 points in this game, regardless of the outcome.
Check back in next week for more Miami Heat content.