The Miami Heat opened their season with a 137-95 win over the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat controlled every conceivable aspect of the game. In this article, we will take a look at Miami Heat opening night takeaways.
Miami Heat Opening Night Takeaways
4. Heat’s Defense is Legit
The one thing that was not a question entering the 2021-2022 NBA season was the Heat’s defense. Many felt with the additions of Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker that Miami’s defense would be outstanding and it was last night. In the first quarter, the Heat went ahead of the Bucks 22-3 sparked entirely by their defense. The Heat forced the Bucks into fourteen consecutive missed shots while also forcing four turnovers in that stretch of time.
Last season the Heat were forced to switch consistently on every screen due to their bad defensive personal. This season, however, with the additions of Lowry and Tucker the Heat defenders can fight through screens allowing them to run a basic man-to-man scheme. In this scheme the NBA leader in steals per game last season, Jimmy Butler can roam around the court and essentially play a free safety role. This concept will likely cause multiple turnovers per game leading to easy scores in transition by the Heat.
3. Aggressive and Assertive Adebayo
In last season’s NBA playoffs the Miami Heat faced the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Many were disappointed with Bam Adebayo because he turned down multiple great looks against the Bucks drop coverage. One of the main questions entering the 2021-2022 season would be if Adebayo could become more assertive in looking for his shot as he is such a tremendous player. Last night he did that and more going right at the two-time defensive player of the year, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Adebayo hit Antetokounmpo with a multitude of moves including drop stepping, facing up, and attacking right at him. Bam Adebayo finished last night’s game with 20 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 69.2% percent from the field. If Adebayo continues to be aggressive he can be the Heat’s best player.
2. Tyler Herro is a Bucket
Tyler Herro was terrific in the NBA preseason but many wondered if it would translate over to the regular season. It definitely did as Herro lead the Miami Heat in scoring last night off the bench with 27 points in 24 minutes. Last season, the role for Tyler Herro became confusing as he was inserted into the starting lineup and then pulled out. However, it is clear this season that Herro is coming off the bench to fill it up and get buckets for the Heat. Herro also did more than just score the ball last night as he dished out five assists and pulled down six rebounds. If Tyler Herro can provide this production off the bench all season he may win the sixth man of the year award.
1. Kyle Lowry’s Impact
Kyle Lowry finished last night with a measly stat line of five points, six assists, and one rebound. However, his impact on the court was felt. Lowry was terrific on the defensive end fighting through many tough screens while also setting up his teammates for good looks on the other end. Lowry also pushed the pace really well by using his hit-ahead passes throughout the game.
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