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Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Hawks
Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Hawks
Jul 18, 2024 2:30 PM

The Miami Heat took down the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in intense fashion.

So, here are some takeaways from this one…

#1: Could that have been Tyler Herro’s most impressive stint of his career?

Sixteen points, eight assists, eighteen minutes. That was Tyler Herro’s first half stat-line, and that doesn’t even almost tell the full story. For starters, the Heat were just playing some bad basketball to kick this game off, and that continued until, well, Herro trotted to the scorer’s table. His scoring popped out immediately, and you can always tell the way it’s trending with the manner he plays at. A quick split off of a double for a pull-up bank shot just put that on display in film form. His passing is another aspect that has taken a jump that can’t be described. Part of it is pure vision, but most if it is now being able to physically makes the passes. Lastly, that was the best half of defense I’ve seen him play. Not just because of a monstrous chase-down block, but the way he moved his feet on the ball. He got the switch on Trae Young and scored on one end, as Young tried to retaliate in similar fashion on the other end. Key word tried. Herro cut him off 3 times in a row, as he kicked it out for a three that bricked off the rim. Just an insane burst from Herro tonight.

#2: Duncan Robinson silently forming a bench tandem.

As I continue to talk about some of the bench notes, it must be noted that the reserves tonight were basically a second starting lineup. Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Dewayne Dedmon, and Herro all entered off the bench, just further showcasing the depth of this team. But when looking at Robinson specifically, this feels like it’s trending more toward long-term than a current rotational shift. The reason: it’s working…really well. For starters, Robinson’s looks aren’t shifting in any way. Defenses are still drenched on top of him, and a hand-off guy like PJ Tucker is usually on the floor. But what has changed my thoughts on this working all of a sudden? Well, once again, look at Tyler Herro. It was always about their ability to play together, and with Herro’s recent passing surge, it has looked flawless with a constant safety net sitting next to him. And most of all, it’s an immediate stagger for Erik Spoelstra even when starters return.

#3: Adjustment time strikes again for Erik Spoelstra.

As I talked about last game, Erik Spoelstra made a major shift in the offense. Instead of working everything through Tucker per usual, he handed the keys to Omer Yurtseven. And it worked to perfection. But as he tried a similar thing to start tonight, it was quite the opposite of the game against Phoenix. Not only were shots not falling, but actions weren’t being triggered with the jumbled up bodies in the half-court. So, as many teams in this league do already, Spo looked in a total different direction again: strictly perimeter play. It’s not the worst idea when you’re without Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, and it’s definitely not a bad idea when you can stick defenders like Trae Young in every action. And as I keep stating, he leaned on Herro just playing off his own rhythm, and that’s how shots were generated. Less structure, more production. Sometimes rough nights call for that formula.

#4: The Caleb Martin-Max Strus experiment.

Max Strus and Caleb Martin always seem to be grouped together on this team. Both are next up on the starter filler list when guys go down. Both have elevated their play this season in ways that it’s hard to imagine eliminating them from the rotation. But as much as similarities strike in that sense, their overall play hits me as so drastically different, in a good way. And not just one is a shooter and the other is an explosive attacker. As the second half opens up, Strus goes on a run to really put the score out of reach right out the gate. In the blink of an eye, he hits you with a couple threes before you can react. But Martin on the other hand is the marathon guy. He slowly chips away in the scoring column, with feisty tip-ins when shots don’t drop, an occasional three when offense isn’t flowing, and can take you in isolation in a broken possession. And both are equally important. They need both that instinctive spark and that long distance runner who will chip away, and they’ve gotten each of those things at an extremely high level this season.

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#5: Dewayne Dedmon is back, and he’s not leaving.

Omer Yurtseven has been incredible for this Heat team in this recent stretch, but I think some of it needs to end there. The record rebound nights are fantastic, but when talking rotation roles with a healthy roster, he has some spots to jump. Seeing Dewayne Dedmon return tonight just felt like a healthy reminder of what it’s like to have a big of pure solidity and consistency. He gets you enough boards, provides some of the most picture perfect “role” type offensive play with the surrounding pieces, and has generally been extremely available. Plus, as the Herro conversation continues in this piece, the pick and roll combo with Dedmon seems as crisp as any two man game on the roster. Like I said, Yurtseven has been great, and can continue to be plugged in when needed, but right now, he’s a developmental piece of this team while Dedmon is the big man lock.

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