Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Philly
Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Philly
Jul 18, 2024 1:19 PM

The Miami Heat fell short to the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back to back. Duncan Robinson and Max Strus shot the ball poorly, Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler couldn’t get it going, and offense just wasn’t being generated enough.

So, here are some takeaways from this one…

#1: Omer Yurtseven comes out dominating.

The match-up between Omer Yurtseven and Joel Embiid went in a total different direction to begin this one. While it seemed like Dewayne Dedmon is the more physical body to slow down Embiid, they stayed with Yurtseven, and man did it pay off. Not only did he semi-handle Embiid defensively, but he was the primary offensive threat to kick off this game. Hitting pockets when they blitzed Jimmy Butler, planting himself in the dead spots of the drop, and continuing to develop his chemistry with Kyle Lowry in the pick and roll. It felt like this was the final showcase for Yurtseven before Bam Adebayo returned Monday, but he’s only making the new rotation decisions harder. It’s a good problem, but still a problem.

#2: Caleb Martin is constantly everywhere. Emphasis on everywhere.

Caleb Martin is a continued conversation piece in these articles, but tonight just tied a bow on all of it. Simply, he’s everywhere. Always. On both ends. One play where he was the sole trailer for Jimmy Butler on the break led to an easy bucket for Martin, and that is the definition of his play. Reliable, energetic, and always in the right spots. We always talk about him plugging the role of Butler, but it needs to be said that he has plugged the role of everybody at one point or another. PJ Tucker, Max Strus, etc. His versatility speaks volume, and this isn’t just a two-way player overplaying his value. This is a rotation player on a contending team. And I think he will be here for a while longer after this season.

#3: A different halftime position. A better halftime position. But still couldn’t close it out.

The Atlanata Hawks were up 70-64 at the half on Friday night, while Miami led 50-43 on Saturday. Obviously the fact that they were leading in this one puts them in a better spot, but take a look at the numbers from both games through 24 minutes. Yeah, tonight was definitely much more of a Miami Heat game, but ultimately, it still came around and hurt them. Erik Spoelstra and company were not pleased with their defensive showing in the first half on Friday, but tonight was much better. Forcing Joel Embiid to make that kick-out as they helped down majorly, but the key with that is they were banking on strong rotations. And after that was problematic against Atlanta, it was clearly a focus heading into this one. But like I said, the other end was the problem now.

#4: Rotations are changing. Scheme could be changing.

To take a slight step away from the true specifics from this one, there are some things that must be noted as we pick on some trends. For one, after Miami seemed to struggle with the 10 man rotation last night, they shrunk it down to a 9 man rotation tonight, as expected. That meant Gabe Vincent got squeezed, and as good as Yurtseven has played, he feels to be next. As Bam Adebayo returns, not only will the rotation shift, but the offensive game-plan will shift. Spoelstra won’t just totally flip things back to pre-injury, but it’ll clearly be mixed in. Butler’s mid-post possessions will be split 50/50 with Adebayo, Lowry’s passing demeanor will be much more lob/pocket mode, and most of all, they will be looking for takeover Adebayo. We’ve seen Yurtseven do it at times, and Adebayo will need to pick that up and expand.



#5: Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry lag behind in scoring column.

For most of this game, you would look over to the stat sheet and see that Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry were 6th and 7th on the team in scoring, which is pretty odd in a close game against a very hot Philly team to say the least. To be honest, that sentiment says a lot about the guys I’ve already discussed in this piece. Guys like Martin, Yurtseven, and Tucker just really kept them afloat in times of need, as both the shooters in Robinson and Strus had very rough shooting nights from deep. This wasn’t like the usual Butler performance, which is why it’s more eyes on him aside from the Robinson talk, but I feel like he got the shots that he usually gets but couldn’t knock them down. It happens, but that’s kind of the difference in a game like this.

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