The Miami Heat knew this game wasn’t going to be a cakewalk as the Indiana Pacers are known for being gritty and tough. Despite playing the night before, the Pacers came to play. It was a defensive grind-it-out type of game. Not a lot of scoring just tough defense being played on both ends. In the end, the Pacers took over the game in overtime to seal the deal. Miami was outscored 16-5 in the overtime period. With the loss, Miami is now 1-1 for the season. Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s loss in Indiana.
Kyle Lowry missed Saturday’s game due to a twisted ankle. As expected, the Heat went with Gabe Vincent as the starting point guard. They normally do this to keep their rotations mostly the same. Without Lowry, the Heat’s offense was vastly different. There were lots of isolation plays, lack of movement, and too many turnovers. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler did most of the playmaking duties. At times, especially late, they depended too heavily on Tyler Herro to provide the scoring. And it ended up hurting them in the end. This is where Miami needed scoring-bent Butler instead of passive Butler.
One of the questions coming into this season was about the backup point guard role. Miami could use someone to ease the playmaking duties. Especially whenever Lowry is out. Maybe Jeff Teague could help relieve some of the burdens or John Wall, if he’s bought out at some point. But yet, Miami cannot sign a 15th player without avoiding the luxury tax right now. They’ll have to wait until later in the season unless they clear a roster spot through trade.
Herro Continues to Grow
Maybe Herro should be in the same conversation as Luka Doncic after all. Just kidding. But anyway, Herro was once again a bright spot for the Heat. He had a strong first half with 16 points. The Heat’s young guard scored the ball in a variety of ways. He did it off of movement, midrange pull-ups, and attacking the basket. He also attacked the boards. The improvement is there. Most importantly, so is confidence. He continued to impact the game in the fourth quarter by hitting clutch shot after clutch shot. The leap is here. Herro ended the night with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Bam Aggressive Early, Fades Late
The Heat got aggressive Bam early on. In the first eight minutes of the game, Bam had six of the Heat’s first seven shot attempts. He was pulling up from midrange with no hesitation, attacking Myles Turner at the basket, and getting to the line. This is what Miami needs from him consistently. Unfortunately, he faded late. As the offense got more stagnant late in the game, it was more double teams thrown at Herro and forced jumpers from Butler. Unlike the first half, there were no set-up plays for Bam. This was especially needed throughout the game. Bam ended the night with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Next up: The Orlando Magic on Monday. The game tips off at 7:30 pm eastern time.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
Main Image designed by Jeremy Guerin @jeremycguerin