With Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry missing out the past few games, the Miami Heat had a comparatively subpar performance these last 8 games.
The Miami Heat started their 2021-2022 campaign looking like the squad they once were in the NBA Bubble in Orlando from over a year back. The team had synergy, energy off the bench, and was absolutely dominant on the defensive end.
However, after starting their season on a strong 6-1 record the first 7 games, Erik Spoelstra’s boys have now had a subpar past 8 games, winning and losing 4 games reach.
With 10 games won and 5 losses, the Heat sits 4th in the East with the 6th best record in the entire association. Missing the likes of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Kyle Lowry for a majority of this 2nd half of the first month – the Miami Heat has done a pretty good job at the damage control department by not falling far down in the standings.
During Miami’s this 8-game stint, we noted down quite a few takeaways. Let’s have a look at them.
Tyler Herro proving to be the team’s second scoring option
Tyler Herro just can’t seem to cool down. The former Kentucky Wildcat had a rather disappointing sophomore year after making himself a household name because of the Bubble run, the previous season. This past offseason, there were quite a few rumors surrounding Herro and him being traded away from the Heat. How did the 3rd-year guard choose to respond to all the noise? By playing absolutely phenomenal basketball.
No one expected Herro to have such an electric start to this new season. In these 15 games, the 6-foot-5 combo-guard has been averaging 21.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on an efficient 45.4/38.9/87.5 shooting split. Not only is Tyler proving to be Miami’s second scoring option, but the 21-year-old is also an early legit contender to grab the Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player honors and could very well get selected to his first-ever All-Star Game too if he keeps up this consistent performance of his.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) November 16, 2021
Kyle Lowry gets out of his slump, finds his groove
Kyle Lowry’s move to South Beach was considered the best offseason signing by many executives and scouts. Surprisingly, the tough guard had a rough first few games. Struggling to get his shots to fall, committing several turnovers, Lowry was averaging merely 10.7 points along with 7.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds in the first 7 games.
Sooner or later, Kyle was expected to find his rhythm. And boy has he finally found his groove. After going pointless in Miami’s loss to Denver, Kyle seemed to have gotten out of his scoring drought. Playing a huge role in the Miami Heat wins over OKC and Utah, the 2019 NBA champ is putting up 18.7 points, 7.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. He’s been doing all this while shooting 47.5% from the field, and 14/15 from the charity stripe.
Kyle Lowry’s last 4 games:
93% FT pic.twitter.com/FIdhY0Bo24
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) November 17, 2021
The 6-time All-Star had his greatest performance as a Heat in an unfortunate loss to the Clippers. Lowry absolutely took over the 4th period, putting up a staggering 22 points in the last quarter alone.
Kyle Lowry cuts it to 1 with 5 seconds to play.
— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) November 12, 2021
While Lowry has clearly improved his performances from the first few weeks, he is only going to get better once he fits better with his new teammates and organization. Expect Lowry to play more like himself from his Raptors days these coming few weeks.
Jimmy Butler continues his sensational performance
Jimmy Butler started the first few weeks playing on an MVP level. Unfortunately, Jimmy Buckets suffered a right ankle sprain after coming in a lock-up with Lakers’ Wayne Ellington on November 10th. Even though he played 4 whole games during these last 8 contests, Butler has been nothing short of spectacular. While leading the team from the front, the 6-foot-7 forward has averaged 27.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists during these 4 games.
Coming back from being sidelined for 3 games, Jimmy Butler had quite the comeback. Putting up a 31-point triple-double in the Heat’s win, it’s definitely a good sign that his ankle is not a cause of concern anymore.
10 AST pic.twitter.com/9Suunwtg4N
— NBA (@NBA) November 18, 2021
Bam Adebayo contagious on both sides of the floor, but injuries get the better of him
Bam Adebayo is one of the biggest reasons why Miami thrives on the defensive end. Despite being slightly undersized for a traditional NBA center, Bam makes up for his size with the grit he plays the game with.
After having a few silent games, scoring-wise, Bam erupted for 28-point and 30-point outings, in back-to-back losses to the Lakers first and then the Clippers. However, Adebayo suffered a knee bruise during the win against the Jazz, missed 3 games because of which and could possibly be missing out on a few more.
Duncan Robinson’s shooting is a cause of concern
Over the past few years, Robinson has developed into one of the league’s most premier shooters. He even proved his worth to the front office, last season, and was rewarded with a 5-year $90 million contract.
Much to the Heat’s surprise, Robinson has been pretty inefficient to start the season. Averaging merely 11.2 points, and 4 rebounds per game, the undrafted guard just can’t seem to knock down shots. The 6-foot-7 sharpshooter has been a career-low 36.5% from the field, and 62.5% from the charity stripe, while draining only 34.1% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Frankly, Robinson is still in the starting line-up only because Spoelstra is loving what he has been getting out of Tyler Herro in his new sixth man role. Hopefully, the 27-year-old manages to drill a few shots to help regain his confidence.
What can we expect from Jimmy Butler and co. in this coming week?
In the first few weeks, Miami has already defeated teams like Utah, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn. And if you haven’t gauged by now, the Miami Heat is not only a deadly team to match up against, but are also a legit title-contending side.
Butler and co. play back-to-back games against the best team in the East – the Wizards, followed by the Pistons, Timberwolves, Bulls, and Nuggets. While it sure looks like a tough few matchups ahead, we can expect quite a few close games. And hope Miami manages to grab a few wins and rise up in the standings.