Heat keep it going with 7 straight W’s, beat Nets at home 122-115

The Miami Heat are surging in the NBA right now, as they currently stand alone with the longest win streak in the entire association. They take down the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 on their home floor and improve to 8-4 on the season.


That 8-4 record has separated themselves from a tie at 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings; now they are the lone team as the 3rd seed.

A win against Brooklyn was also well overdue. The Nets had their number against the Heat as of late; they sported a 5+ game winning streak themselves over the past 2 seasons in matchups against Miami.

The Nets were actually the last team to have handed the Heat a loss over a couple weeks ago, so tonight was an awesome revenge game in that regard.

Jimmy Butler has now recorded two straight 30+ point performances. He followed up his season high 32 points against the Charlotte Hornets the other night with a new season high of 36 points a few hours ago against Brooklyn.


Butler also had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks on 12/19 shooting. He was 2/5 from 3 point range, 10/11 from the free throw line and a +9 when on the court.


It has been real nice to see Miami’s superstar talent come around and string together some elite performances. During the Heat’s slow 1-4 start to this season, Butler himself specifically showed some struggles.

Now, he’s putting up some bigger numbers in the box score and doing it at an effortless pace; just making it look easy out there.

It isn’t just Butler though, his co-star in Bam Adebayo has been just as impressive. Adebayo put together a 20 point, 7 rebound and 4 assist night during this Brooklyn win. He also contributed 2 steals and shot 8/15 from the field.


What makes the Jimmy/Bam duo so dominant is how well they shoot the ball; efficiently and effectively. The current 7 game win streak is the longest of the Jimmy/Bam era in the last 5 seasons.

Here is an Erik Spoelstra stat to go along with that:


It doesn’t just start and end with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo or even Tyler Herro with this year’s Heat squad and their recent success.

The rotation players have been super impressive, as everybody knows and understands their role and what they need to do on a nightly basis to contribute towards a W.

With Herro still sidelined with his ankle sprain, Spoelstra went with the same starting 5 of Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Butler, Haywood Highsmith and Adebayo.

Josh Richardson, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Kevin Love and Caleb Martin rounded out the 2nd unit off the bench to complete the team’s 9 man rotation.

It was Martin’s real season debut, and although only playing 12 limited minutes coming off a lingering knee injury, he played well and was able to knock down a couple 3 pointers.

The real unsung hero in this Heat win streak has truly been Duncan Robinson, who has been lighting it up offensively for a while now.

Robinson was Miami’s second leading scorer for 2 consecutive wins with 26 points on 8/14 shooting and 6/10 from 3 point range as the starting SG in Herro’s absence.

Robinson has been absolutely feeling it offensively this season and has shown clear signs of improvement in his all around game, becoming more effective moving without the basketball and playmaking.

He has stepped up huge in a a starting role at the SG position for the injured Tyler Herro.


He has been able to put the ball on the floor and create offense either for himself or others. It’s been encouraging to also see him taking some strides on the defensive end as well and hold his own.


Jaime Jaquez Jr. is another guy who has consistently been a very effective role player as of late. Tonight he put together 10 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds on 4/9 shooting and 2/5 from 3 point range.


Kevin Love, who began the season as the team’s starting PF, was benched for Haywood Highsmith after the 1-4 start.

Love had some very minor injury issues early on and then even got some DNP’s – coach’s decision as Highsmith would start and then Thomas Bryant would be the back up big man.

Ever since the Atlanta Hawks game nearly a week ago though, Love has served as the team’s main back up big man and Bryant has gotten spotty minutes- around 5 min of action here and there.

At this age and stage of his career, the veteran and former NBA All-Star and Champion in Love, does not need to be a starter or play a boatload of minutes every single night. He is still affective when given opportunities and is a perfect plug and play type of player.

Love recorded 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists on 50% shooting and 1/3 from 3 point range in 16 minutes. He led the team with a +16 on the floor too.

Miami hasn’t just gone 7-0 during this streak, but have also gone 7-0 ever since inserting Highsmith into that starting PF position this season. Highsmith has looked to be a beautiful front court fit next to Adebayo as a serious 3 & D role player.


The Heat held the starting backcourt of Spencer Dinwiddie and Mikal Bridges to a combined 8/24 from the field.

Miami also shot 52% compared to Brooklyn’s 47%, 43% from 3 compared to Brooklyn’s 39% and an extremely impressive and almost perfect 96% from the free throw line compared to Brooklyn’s 78%. The Heat were 23/24 at the charity stripe; nearly perfect.

Miami took great care of the basketball with only 9 turnovers compared to 14 for Brooklyn, but lost the rebounding battle 40-32.

Regardless, it was the Heat who picked up the win.

It has been a great ride for this Heat team as of late and they will see if their streak can continue to 8 wins in a row with a Saturday night matchup against the Chicago Bulls on the road at 8:00 PM ET.

After the lone home game against Brooklyn, Miami now heads right back out for another 5 game road trip, making it 9 road games out of the last 10 games played once this next trip is over.

 

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MaxPain

Ever since Love replaced Bryant on the 2nd unit that unit has gone from the 2nd worst bench unit in the nba to the 3rd best. 
Like Huey Lewis & the News would say “That’s the power of Love.”

ManilaHeat

Ok upon reading the posts, comments here I just want to ask this…If Heat continues this ballistic run and have a very good record, say top 1-3 in east before Feb trade deadline, are we going to consider (to some, clamoring) the need of a traditional pg? Also if we go 15-5 after 20 games I’m calling it 70-12 #1 this season 😂

Reality czech

I wouldn’t say they’d need to trade for a specific position. But you have 2 good players with expiring contracts in Martin and Highsmith. If things are going great, maybe you make no moves. I just hate to lose players and get nothing in return. Trading either of those players should get you a player plus a pick (conditional first or second).
If they keep winning, keep improving, as the season continues, I’m fine with whatever they do.

Alien

Does the Heat need a traditional PG?
There has been much talk and debate about the Heat needing a quality PG. This debate perhaps was accentuated by the Heat missing out on Damian and age not being on the side of Lowry. At the risk of attracting some bombastic attrition from the Hothothoops community, I dare tread into this issue. A good quality PG is defined (my definition)) as one who has excellent court vision to read the opposing defense and in so doing optimize the opportunities available for his team to score. (1) He makes his team mates look better through assists. (2) He can create his own shots when his team is in a conundrum. (3) Additionally, he must not be a liability in defense, that will give up the point his team just made at the other end. An assist only becomes an assist when the teammate who gets the pass scores. The present Heat players with or without Lowry on the court have had good looks which did not end up as scores. The onus is on the player to hone his skills to shoot efficiently. An excellent PG will not make a bad shooter better aka Ben Simmons. The ability to create one own shots required of a PG, have been demonstrated by several Heat players. Herro, Butler, Bam, JJJ and to some extent Duncan have shown that they are capable of creating their shots when push becomes the shove. They have demonstrated excellent knowledge of reading opposing defenses. Will the addition of a PG make them better creators of their own shots, I doubt so.So we can agree, that the Heat have players that can create their own shots. Perhaps, the discussion and hunger for a PG is actually a desire to see a player, who can make all kinds of trick shots in a Heat’s uniform and not necessarily one that will create opportunities for other players to score, as we see that the present players are creating these opportunities through better ball movement and player movement but just need to be better shooters or scorers. Like I said earlier, adding a PG will not make a poor shooter an excellent shooter. Largely forgotten is the ability of the PG to bring the ball forward across court. Several Heat players do these consistently on a nightly basis, that we have taken it for granted on these player. We have forgotten that this is a skill set traditionally reserved for a PG. We need to appreciate this skill from our Heat players. As the clamour for a PG may increase, we have to keep in mind that, a PG without a defensive skill is a minus on the team. A PG that has equal offensive and defensive attributes is rare to find and few are available. Let us look before we go patoranking, I mean leap. In concluding Imao, the Heat does not need a PG but need to be better shooters or scorers, thus maximizing these opportunities that they have been creating without a traditional PG.
Go Heat, Go !

Last edited 6 months ago by Alien
ManilaHeat

Nice! Very good points. I guess here on earth we are just used to the usual, traditional positions and let me guess…no pg in ur planet? Pat and Spo never mentioned the urgent need for a pg. I remember Spo mentioning a few times positionless bb. Maybe they’re experimenting now and its paying off.

Alien

Everything is fluid. Fluidity is the word not PG. You gotta be fluid.

vagibugi

Excellent comment, well supported case and strong opinion. But my opinion is a bit different.

A good point guard is like an oil in the engine… everything runs better with a good PG.
And point guard position is the most important position in the game. Practically all stars in the league are running the point, traditional point guards, and others, like Jokic, Luka, Giannis, Bam and Butler.

Heat has a system of multiple ball handlers, some are better then others. The question is, if the team is better with Butler and Bam playing point or doing what suppose to do centers and wings.

In my opinion this team would be better, if somebody else would take the majority of point guard duties.

Our guards lineup is basically Lowry, Herro, Dru … which is really thin. Robinson, JRich, Jaquez, Martin are half or full forwards with some playmaking skills.

We struggled with scoring in finals in past years. My opinion is, that with additional player at that position (like Goran in the bubble) would win it all there.

So, I think we need another player on this position to upgrade this team from good to great. Not now, but till trade deadline.

heat for life

If ty is the 3rd leading scorer im ok with that if hes leading the team in scoring that is not a good thing.every now and then yes but jimmy should be the leading scoreer 25 bam 22 ty 17.jim and bam gonna shoot a higher % so they should take the most shots.tys gotta realize hes 3rd option maybe 4 now with duncs emergence.shoot less ty play a better team game and we will be better off

MaxPain

I love Tyler but I have to agree.
He’s not efficient enough to be leading a championship caliber team in shot atts.

His biggest issue imo is that he doesn’t get to the free throw line enough.
If you take over 20 shots a game you should be getting to the line at least 5 times per game.

Bam and Jimmy are way too efficient for Herro to be taking more shots than them.

The perfect line for Tyler would be 20/5/5 on 15 shot atts per game.
If he averaged more shots than that for the season then he would end up hurting the team imo.

Reality czech

I agree with others that we need to see more and not get too far ahead of ourselves. They’re like the Dolphins right now – playing exciting, fun ball, very good record, but haven’t beat any elite teams yet. It’s not that I’d be upset if the Heat lost to such teams, but I’d want to see them be competitive for all 48 minutes.

Alien

This is one of those rare occasions, I BEG to disagree with you, lol!. It is not too early to see the direction this team is heading. They have beaten a couple of 500 teams. The more they play together, the more cohesive they are becoming. A team with two new players who have not seen much NBA action (Highsmith,JJJ) are already making their imprints in a 9 man rotation,. We have also seen a much improved Bam and Duncan from last NBA finals not counting injured Herro. I am impressed. it usually takes most teams with NBA tested players mid season. to be a cohesive unit. The Heat is already doing that with few games played so far. This team is heading in a right direction and I am thrilled. Is it a finished product, far from it. Nevertheless, there are indicators to be pleased rather than to be alarmed or tepidiously cautious. Have the Bucks, Sixers and Celtics been competitive in all 48 minutes of the games they have played? Nada. Should they be concerned, again, Nada because it is too early too for that too. To be competitive for 48 minutes, is a worthwhile goal for the Heat to go for. Hence, why this is still a work in the making and not yet a finished product. But with the Heat’s performance so far, should we the fans be excited? YES and I see no wrong in that. Should the team let its guard down? NO.
Go Heat,Go!

Reality czech

Disagree with me?? I will do my best to see that you are exiled to *no longer considered a planet* Pluto!
But really, I am very happy with the team and that 13 of the 17 players are under 30. I remain optimistic, but want to see more.

Alien

Please don’t oooo! It’s too cold up here. Lol.
Go Heat, Go!

heat for life

when ty comes back thats less shots for jim bam and even dunc. it looks so good right now we shall see when ty comes back.hope we continue looking very good

Reality czech

I personally think Herro would be a much better fit if he went back to his sixth man role. He’d be the clear leader of the second unit. Martin, Jaquez, and Richardson would provide defensive help, and either Bam or Butler would also share the court with him part of the time. As long as the team continues to succeed with the current starting group, I wouldn’t want any changes to be made.

Alien

Ditto.

Big_guy305

I agree but his ego is too big for him to go back to the bench as 6th man role.

ManilaHeat

You see it that way…we see Ty as an additional threat in offense which is far better than the reasoning of taking shot attempts from others. But we do agree on hoping to continue looking good, meaning piling up Ws…Go Heat!

Last edited 6 months ago by ManilaHeat
Joe Bloe

So what’s the secret sauce of this team?
IMO it’s the defense.
There isn’t a weak spot on the floor for other teams to exploit. All of the players seem to take defense seriously and play it with intensity

Alien

I second that.

ManilaHeat

and improved ball movement. and even Dunc earning the D in his name 😂😆

Reality czech

Oh yeah, btw, great write up by Dan!

SunManFromDogBone

All in all, the team is doing much better than most of us could have anticipated. The guys are playing very well together. There is much to be encouraged about. The energy of the new additions (Jaquez, JRich, Bryant), the development/evolution of Bam, Herro, Duncan and Highsmith), the consistent calming influences of Butler, Love and Lowry, and the untapped potential of Jovic, Smith, Cain, Hampton, ORobinson and Swider.

Despite the great flow and teamwork demonstrated the past seven games, I must refrain from getting too carried away with how good this team currently is/can be. The Heat’s eight wins have been against middle of the pack (Atlanta, Brooklyn, Lakers) and bottom feeding (Washington, Charlotte, Detroit, San Antonio and Grizzlies) teams. The losses have been against top tier teams (Boston, Milwuakee, Minnesota) and to Brooklyn after blowing a 16 point lead. This team has not yet demonstrated they can compete with or consistently beat top tier teams such as Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Denver, Dallas, Minnesota, Sacramento, Golden State, Phoenix, etc.

I personally do not believe the Heat can go all the way with the current point guard rotation. Lowry is no longer a starting caliber point guard (he had three points and three assists in 24 minutes last night). He would be an excellent second unit reserve PG and mentor to younger guards such as Smith and Hampton. Until/unless Riley decides to pull the trigger on a starting caliber PG (such as Alex Caruso) I think it makes sense to start Smith or JRich and have Lowry come off the bench. All three could split the PG time between them (depending on who is available and playing well).

I also think that with the re-emergence of the new and improved Duncan at the starting SG position, it could make sense to bring Herro off the bench in his former 6th man role. He could be free to exploit less skilled second unit defenders and add a scoring punch when the starters are resting. Lowry, Herro, Jaquez, Caleb and Love sounds like a pretty potent and competitive second unit.

Meanwhile, let’s take two in Chicago, followed by one each in Cleveland, New York and Brooklyn, (13-4 has a nice ring to it) before returning home for a showdown with Dame, Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks.

GO HEAT!!!

Bout30man

Very realistic assessment. You can see exactly where we are at from our record. It’s not a bad place to be either. But, we need more, exactly where you pointed to, to compete against the top tier. Lowry still has the occasional good game, but he can’t sustain starter minutes. There is still a place for what he brings this team, but an upgrade there is essential. We have a shot this year. Jimmy has shown he still has enough left. And Bam ascending makes it even more possible. The rest of the table is set, or set enough that we can compete. We are deep enough with every other kind of player that trading one player from everyone else but our superstars, would not hurt us as much as it would help us. We could add a draft pick and get the kind of player who is a real upgrade (notCaruso, IMO). We are in a good position as several of our players are desirable now, maybe more so than the start of the season. I always think, we are close, why not go for it?

Alien

The losses I will surmise occurred during what I called then ” the Heat’s extended preseason “. Games in which we had 2nd tier players,( Dru, Cain, Bryant, Jovic) play more minutes. Also we had JJJ play as a spot 3 shooter in all but 1 game that he played. Since not fielding those players with more minutes and having JJJ play more freely, we have seen a more competitive and cohesive Heat team.

Reality czech

We all see that this team is deep. I wanted to explore that a bit. First, I want to look at the ‘starting six’, not five, because when Herro returns, he may go back to starting or revert to sixth man. So:
Bam, Highsmith, Butler, Lowry, and Herro or Duncan.
Duncan has been outstanding with the starters, so using my theory of don’t mess with success, maybe he stays there. However, usually a good player like Herro doesn’t lose his starting position due to injury. As for Lowry, he’s the only true and experienced pg on the team and that’s why he continues to start unless an injury or trade happens.
The next players off the bench in no particular order are Martin, Jaquez, Love, and Richardson. I’m not basing this on my or your preferences, but, rather, how Spo is actually rotating the players. Now you have a 10 player rotation, which is not common on a regular basis in the league. But imo, every one of those 10 is playing well and deserves minutes.
This leaves Bryant, Dru, Jovic, and O Robinson on the outside looking in.
Will there be a trade? If yes, who goes?
At 6 years younger than Rozier, and with better overall offensive stats as I documented on the previous thread, I wouldn’t trade Herro straight up for Rozier. I’d like Rozier at the right price.
Highsmith and Martin play the same position and both are on expiring contracts. Each will want considerably more money and the Heat can’t pay them both due to the cap. A tough choice has to be made – trade one of them in a package that possibly includes Jovic, Bryant, O Robinson. If you don’t trade one, you may lose both for nothing. It makes sense to me to try to send out 2-3 players for one solid pg, and fill the open spot(s) with Cain and ? But which one? This streak began when Highsmith moved to starting pf. Martin was co-mvp of the ECF. Very tough choice.
It’s been a fun run and we currently have a team with only 4 players 30 or older! I like the youth movement.

SunManFromDogBone

Great minds think alike. See my post above.

With Lowry on an expiring contract, maybe Miami can get a very good two-way all-star caliber PG in trade (like Malcolm Brogdon)? I had thought a while back about trading for Dozier. Maybe Duncan and Jovic or a pick. Dozier’s defense is not very good and I don’t think it would make sense to put him together with Herro, unless they are both scoring 20 ppg.

I’m thinking Miami is better off trading Martin (who is due a bigger payday than Highsmith) and Jovic or a pick to Chicago for Alex Caruso (whose contract is partially guaranteed in 2024-2025). Caruso, who was selected to 2022-2023 All-NBA First Defensive Team, is currently averaging 8.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 steals, 60.8 fg%, 44.8 3-pt%, in 23.6 minutes per game. As a starter, his scoring, rebounding and assist averages would likely improve a bit (maybe 12+ppg, 6+rpg and 4-5+ apg. He would fit like a glove in the Miami system.

Since our next two games are in Chicago, it may be a good chance for Riley to have a chat with Chicago management about a possible trade.

GO HEAT!!!

Reality czech

I really like the Caruso proposal. Chicago is looking to rebuild with youth and picks. Martin, Jovic, and O Robinson is just about an exact salary match. It would give them a 20 year old with lots of upside and a 23 year old who could be a decent, hard working backup. Maybe include a second or top 15 protected first.

SunManFromDogBone

Makes sense. Martin, Jovic, Robinson and 2nd seems about right. That would open up spots for Cain and Hampton.

What doesn’t make sense to me is all the speculation lately about Miami going after Zach Lavine (who has an almost identical defensive rating as Herro’s) at $40M+ more over the next 4 years, without addressing the PG issue.

Here’s an outside-the-box trade proposal for you. Lowry (expiring contract), Martin (player option contract), Jovic, Robinson and a draft pick for Caruso, DeRozen (expiring contract) and a second round pick. DeRozen is 21.0 point career scorer and a better defender than Herro, Duncan or Lavine. Herro, DeRozen and Robinson would sure provide a ton of artillery on the scoring front.

Think about it.
Caruso, DeRozen, Butler, Highsmith, Bam
Richardson, Herro, Robinson, Jaquez, Love
Hampton, Smith, Bryant, Cain, Swider

(Drops mic)

GO HEAT!!!

Reality czech

Haha, yes.
On the LaVine thing, that is classic the grass always looks greener on the other side syndrome. I keep seeing trade Herro proposals where the other player isn’t any better, or marginally so, and they want to throw in sweeteners on top of it. SMH. I’m not against trading anyone as long as we get equal value that helps the team.

Brian

Given the choice of gutting this team of players & picks to get Dame & having this team, plus all of our draft picks for the future.

Riley & the front office made the right choice.
This is a very good & very deep basketball team.

Let’s Go Heat!

Bout30man

It has been a great run. And so impressive, the play of our superstars, and the role players. Duncan has stepped up so much and it doesn’t seem like anyone is taking advantage of him on defense. And JJJ has really been a big help, much farther along than anyone expected.
My one concern is I am not as enamored with Love replacing Bryant in the rotation as the coaches. They obviously know so much better than me, but I do think given time, Bryant will give us more than Love, particularly in the area of rebounding and offense. On defense, where Bryant is thought to be weak, I think Kevin is also. So, in the interest of having our best possible team out there, their roles should be reversed, IMHO.

Sundayafternoons

Bryant seems to be going through what Jrich was earlier in the season. He has talent but seems lost when Miami is toggling through their offensive options.

Love simplifies things on that end, being able to go 4-out or 5-out when Bam is on the bench. I think that’s an offense more likely to find success in the playoffs. With Bryant bringing energy and offensive rebounding whenever that scheme is struggling.

I see the comparison not as Love v. Bryant, but of how they impact the play of the 4 other guys on the floor with them.

Bout30man

Good point. The spacing is better with Kevin. But, after watching Kevin for awhile, he doesn’t really shoot the three that well. I’d rather have Bryant battling for boards or muscling up a shot inside.

vagibugi

There is some kind of advantage to play without a pure center, which Bryant is. Thats why Love played.

Alien

Beautiful write up. As you noted above the rotation players were super impressive. To me that was the beauty of the game last night. The flow of the offense and defense was the same for most part of the game , that I did not not quite notice when the starters or rotation players were on the floor. I will take that back. Only once, when Jimmy had an extended rest in the 4th quarter and the offense seemed to struggle did I notice. This rarity, was unlike previous games, when you will be scratching your head wondering why a particular player was not subbed, not last night. However, for me the win was less fulfilling with the absence of Ben Simmons from the Nets tonight. We know what an excellent defender and facilitator he is for the Nets offense. Nevertheless, I am happy with the win. This team seems to be jelling together smoothly.I am sure the Celtics, Bucks, Sixers and perhaps Portland are watching.In the East, I am also keeping my eyes on the Pacers, they seem to be doing well under the radar. I will say it for Xth number of times the Heat are not OK, but are fine.
Go Heat, Go!

ManilaHeat

really, really encouraging. actually im not used to this “new” Heat we’re seeing but definitely dont mind if they continue on of course. this is a great example of continuity having the core intact with now appearing to be great additions and not to mention newfound “vigor” after that 1-4 start. season is still young a lot of games to go but things are looking great after 12 games. last season Heat were 5-7 and 9-11 after 20. Heat FO might be second guessing that “emergency” pg need now but imo i guess they still need one. a good one.

vagibugi

Exactly, the core of the team is really good, but there is a bit too much depth and the hole at point. The good thing is, that the Heat is doing well enough then there is no hurry. A trade for a good point guard at trade deadline would be just fine.

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