In our Heat Season Companion Part 19, we cover the Heat’s progress in their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the Knicks. While the Heat won the first game, the Knicks won the second in Jimmy Butler’s absence. Without further ado, here’s our analysis of the series so far.
Heat Season Companion Part 19: The Heat Won Game 1 (108-101)
The Heat took Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series in a hard-fought 108-101 victory. The Heat’s third quarter performance was key to this victory. In the third quarter, the Heat outscored the Knicks by 11 points. This was refreshing to see, as the Heat have struggled in the third quarter throughout the season. Jimmy was good (if not spectacular), with 25 points and 11 rebounds. However, he sprained his ankle. Gabe Vincent also played well, recording 20 points and 5 assists. Finally, Kyle Lowry contributed off the bench with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Of course, Julius Randle’s absence with a sprained left ankle also contributed to the Heat’s victory.
The Heat Lost Game 2 (105-111)
In another close game, the Heat lost Game 2 by a score of 105-111. Perhaps the single biggest factor was Jimmy Butler’s absence with a sprained ankle. As Julius Randle returned from his own ankle injury, winning this game was always going to be a tough ask for the Heat. Both Randle and Brunson played well, putting up a combined 55 points. The Heat were subpar defensively, and they sorely missed Butler’s tenacity on this end of the floor. It’s also worth noting that the Knicks outrebounded the Heat. Bam Adebayo could have been more aggressive on the boards.
Game 3 is Saturday in Miami
The Heat look to take the lead in the series on Saturday. Game 3 is at home in Miami, which always gives the Heat a boost. Jimmy Butler’s status is still up in the air. Regardless, we would still bet on the Heat winning Game 3. After all, the Heat just knocked out the first-seeded Bucks.