Newly minted Heat captain, Bam Adebayo made his return in this one but the Nets bodied Miami in transition to start. The Heat were really sloppy to start turning the ball over often. Thankfully they managed to regain their composure with Tyler, Jimmy, and Bam both finding a way on offense. The Heat really showed some desperation in its play early having dropped multiple games back to back, getting out to a 6-point lead. On the other end, Mikal Bridges and Ben Simmons caused issues. After not being much of a transition team last season, Lowry and Bam both tried to put on their best Kevin Love impressions with outlet passes that just didn’t meet the mark resulting in cheap turnovers. Jimmy looked good early showing no signs of his knee bothering him with over nine points in the first quarter.
Despite Miami’s early success Brooks and the Nets continued to take advantage of Miami’s errant passes to keep things uncomfortably close, trimming the lead to just one. I really liked seeing Herro stay on with the second unit early as his offense kept the Heat from falling off the rails too badly. Miami also managed to get Ben Simmons into foul trouble with 3 fouls headed into the second quarter.
With the Nets flustered, Miami attacked increasing its lead to eleven off fearless offensive play by Tyler Herro. Herro’s improvement must be noted because he’s absolutely balling this season. Suddenly down 10, the Nets tried to claw back, but Herro’s 13 first half points kept Miami ahead. Though healthy again JRich struggled to score, leaving others like Thomas Bryant to make their mark.
With Bam nearly flawless from the field (he always kills against the Nets), Herro continuing to light things up from deep and Duncan also getting on the board the Heat managed to take a 10-point lead into halftime.
Lowry was successful in his role as a floor general, hitting his open shots. He’s no longer Raptor’s Lowry, but he’s doing a great job carving out his role in this new-look heat squad. Herro continued to feast building the lead up to 15, still, Brooklyn wouldn’t go quietly staying within striking distance but never quite getting there. Jimmy got back on the board halfway through the third with the Heat comfortably ahead, but with the Nets on a 9-2 run the Heat suddenly looked vulnerable. The Nets managed to cut the lead to five and didn’t slow down whatsoever. J-Rich hit a huge shot to end the third to keep Miami ahead by eight, but things looked shaky headed into the fourth and final quarter.
Armani Brooks off the Brooklyn bench was fantastic absolutely lighting up the Heat and tying up the game. Miami’s offense was suddenly stagnant and with Jimmy on the bench, Miami looked anemic. The Heat and Nets started to trade punches around the 7-minute mark, but even with Bam doing his best Atlas impression he couldn’t stop Brooklyn from getting ahead. The Heat fought well to try and re-take the lead with Jimmy and Tyler making some excellent plays, but despite pulling it back within two questionable shots, an unlucky miss and poor defense made winning this an impossibility.
This was an unacceptable loss for the Heat. This team needs to pick up the pieces quickly.