Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 105-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves:
– The Heat way might be to say you stop opposing runs by getting defensive stops.
– But that only pauses the opposition.
– What you need are relief baskets, or at least free throws.
– That’s what Jimmy Butler can give you.
– Or Tyler Herro.
– Or heck, maybe even Gabe Vincent or Duncan Robinson.
– None were available Monday night.
– Few have been available this past week.
– So whether it was the Raptors rolling back from 11 down or the Wizards from 15 down, there was no relief.
– Lament the losses.
– But what the Heat need is health.
– Because they’re simply not winning without Butler.
– Or Herro.
– Now they might have had there been Victor Oladipo.
– But he has yet to play this season.
– Even as he traveled on this trip,
– And it has to be more than Max Strus or bust.
– That is not why he is here.
– As for Kyle Lowry, exactly how much should be expected at 36?
– So now back to FTX Arena or whatever it is called these days.
– It was Round 2 of Nikola Jovic-Bam Adebayo as the Heat’s starting power rotation, after they started together for the first time in Sunday night’s loss in Cleveland.
– Caleb Martin, Strus and Lowry rounded out the starting lineup.
– Lowry’s first steal tied Ben Wallace and Mugsy Bogues for 65th on the NBA all-time list.
– Strus’ third 3-pointer moved him past James Jones for 17th on the Heat all-time list.
– The Heat again were without Butler, Herro, Vincent, Udonis Haslem, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven.
– With Robinson also out after turning his left ankle late in the loss to the Cavaliers.
– It is only the second career game Robinson has missed due to injury, with Friday’s hand injury that kept him out in Washington the first.
– That left the Heat with four available reserves: Dewayne Dedmon, Haywood Highsmith, Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson.
– Vincent said his injury is mostly a matter of bumps and bruises.
– He said nothing invasive is involved in the treatment.
– The Timberwolves opened with a lineup of Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell.
– Highsmith played as the Heat’s first reserve.
– With Cain next in.
– And then Dedmon.
– For the second consecutive night leaving Orlando Robinson as the lone available Heat player not to see action in the first quarter.
– Spoelstra said with Vincent and Herro out, Adebayo’s ballhandling becomes even more essential as the de facto backup point guard to Lowry.
– “He’s been our point center now for a couple of years,” Spoelstra said. “So we can function and run our offense with him handling.”
– The absences also opened the possibility with Jovic.
– “And then game out of hand [Sunday],” Spoelstra said, “we were able to look at Niko handling the ball as well in a similar fashion as Bam.”
– The absences have forced the Heat to somewhat dial back the playbook.
– “Of course a little bit, …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports