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#pounditTuesday, August 9, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

ESPN’s Mike Breen not on the call for Celtics-Heat Game 7

Mike Breen calls a game

Nov 13, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ESPN play-by-play commentator Mike Breen looks on during a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The Lakers won 120-94. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will play on Sunday night with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, but there will be a different play-by-play announcer on the TV broadcast.

ESPN has announced that play-by-play commentator Mike Breen will miss Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after he tested positive for COVID-19. A network spokesperson said Breen is feeling “fine” and expects to return for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Mark Jones will replace Breen alongside analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.

Breen and his “bang!” calls will be missed in Miami. It will be tough to replace his energy for such a big game.

Coco Gauff had message about Celtics-Heat after her big win

Coco Gauff writes on a camera lens

Coco Gauff is once again in the French Open quarterfinals after she defeated Elise Mertens on Sunday, but tennis is not the only thing on her mind. Gauff is apparently thinking about the NBA playoffs, too.

Following her win over Mertens, Gauff decided to give a prediction for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. She took a marker and wrote “Heat in 7” on one of the TV camera lenses.

Gauff grew up in Delray Beach, Fla., which is not far from Miami. Her father owns a sports bar in Delray Beach. The business gained a lot of attention during Gauff’s run at Wimbledon three years ago.

The Heat certainly have momentum heading into Game 7 after they defeated the Celtics on the road in Game 6. Gauff is not the only one who thinks they will advance to the NBA Finals, though her opinion is obviously a bit biased.

Erik Spoelstra offers extremely high praise for Kyle Lowry

Erik Spoelstra looks on

Feb 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat avoided elimination on Friday with a 111-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Jimmy Butler was the undisputed star of the game with a 47-point performance, but Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra thought Kyle Lowry played just as big of a role in the win.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday after the game, Spoelstra raved about Lowry’s play on the court, and what he has meant to the Heat as a leader in clutch situations.

“I can’t say enough about Kyle and his veteran leadership,” Spoelstra said. “It means so much to us and you can’t put an analytic [to] what it means to your team of the feeling of calm and confidence that he can give everybody.

“He’s one of the all-time clutch players in this league.”

Spoelstra also said that Lowry excels at running the offense in important moments of a game. He even compared having Lowry on the floor in those key moments to having a “Hall of Fame quarterback.”

Lowry certainly rose to the occasion in a must-win Game 6.

After scoring a combined three points and shooting 1-of-12 from the field in Games 4 and 5, Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes. He also made four 3-pointers.

Lowry had a reputation for struggling in the postseason throughout much of his career. But he has turned around that perception in recent years. In his postseason career, he’s averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 assists and 5.7 three-pointers per game.

The Heat will face even greater pressure in Game 7 on Sunday. They will need Lowry to provide a calming presence again if they are to advance to the NBA Finals.

Heat become latest team to receive NBA bench fine

Erik Spoelstra looks on

Feb 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat won a pivotal Game 6 in Boston, but they will be a bit lighter in the pocket as a result.

The Heat became the latest victims of the increasingly-common bench decorum fine, the league announced Saturday. Miami was fined $25,000, signaling a first offense.

As with other penalties, the league stated Heat players had been guilty of standing away from the team bench and encroaching on the playing area. While the NBA isn’t going to offer specific examples of these offenses, the Dallas Mavericks have been kind enough to give us repeated examples during the playoffs.

The Heat have been fined for other reasons this season without caring too much. They probably won’t be too bothered by this one either.

Heat players respond to Draymond Green prediction

Draymond Green smiling

Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) stands on the court before the game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat avoided elimination with their 111-103 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Friday. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green may have provided some extra motivation for the Heat to do so.

After the Warriors clinched a spot in the NBA Finals Thursday, Green predicted they would face the Boston Celtics.

The Heat apparently took notice.

Durning a postgame interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt,” Heat forward P.J. Tucker had a simple message for Green.

“Tell Draymond I said I appreciate it,” Tucker said.

Fellow Heat forward Udonis Haslem echoed similar sentiments. ESPN game analyst Mark Jackson revealed what Haslem had to say about Green postgame.

“[Haslem] wants a message to be relayed,” Jackson said. “He said, ‘Tell Draymond Green thank you.'”

The Heat looked dead in the water during Games 4 and 5, but played with a sense of urgency in Game 6. Much of that could be credited to Jimmy Butler, who scored 47 points. But Green’s slight probably added fuel to the fire. If the Heat advance, it would set up an intriguing matchup from that standpoint.

Game 7 between the Heat and Celtics is scheduled for Sunday, with the winner playing on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

ESPN host thinks Heat should trade for 1 player this offseason

Pat Riley smiling

Sep 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley address reporters during a press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat had poor offensive showings in Games 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, scoring just 82 and 80 points. The Heat’s guards in particular have gone cold, with Kyle Lowry and Max Strus a combined 1-for-28 from the field and 1-for-19 on 3-pointers in those games. One ESPN personality thinks the team needs to acquire an All-Star guard in light of their struggles at the position.

Alan Hahn, co-host of ESPN radio’s “Bart & Hahn Show” with former NFL linebacker Bart Scott, suggested during Thursday’s edition of “Get Up” on ESPN that Heat president Pat Riley should strongly consider trading for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

“You talk about a guy that fits in the Heat culture, it’d be Donovan Mitchell,” Hahn said. “You talk about a guy that could fit with a Jimmy Butler, it’d be Donovan Mitchell. That’s the kind of player they’ve got to find. Someone that can get to the same level that Jimmy Butler gets to when he’s healthy.”

A trade for Mitchell may not be feasible for the Heat. Mitchell is a foundational piece whom the Jazz would not want to lose. Miami has some interesting pieces like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, in addition to Lowry and Strus. Would that be enough to entice Utah? It’s also doubtful that the Jazz would be interested unless multiple picks were attached as well.

Mitchell would certainly be an upgrade over Strus and an aging Lowry.

A three-time All-Star, Mitchell averaged 25.9 points in 67 games in 2021, the ninth-highest total in the NBA. He also had 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds. For comparison, Lowry averaged 13.4 points in 63 games.

While the Jazz had a disappointingly early playoff exit, they’re reportedly not interested in a rebuild. In that case, the Heat would likely have to look elsewhere for a backcourt upgrade. But if Mitchell ever tries to force his way out, the Heat might be a team in which he would have interest.

Erik Spoelstra has funny reaction to Heat’s ugly 3-point percentage

Erik Spoelstra looks on

Feb 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat struggled to make any 3-pointers Wednesday in their lopsided 93-80 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t too shocked by his team’s final numbers.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Spoelstra got a chance to look at his team’s actual stats from behind the arc for perhaps the first time. He had a funny response.

“Ok yeah, that’s not a great 3-point percentage,” Spoelstra said with a laugh. “We all felt it and we all saw it.

“What I’m looking at is are we getting shots in our wheelhouse. If we’re missing some of those shots, you can’t panic and just try to reinvent things.”

The Heat’s shooting performance was no laughing matter and was a main reason why they’re now on the brink of elimination.

The team shot a measly 15.6 percent (7-for-45) from 3-point range, and had a field goal percentage of 31.9. With these numbers, it wasn’t a surprise that the Heat were held to 16 points in the third quarter and 19 in the first.

The Celtics, on the other hand, shot 30.3 percent on their 3-point attempts (10-for-33) and 46.5 percent from the field. They outscored the Heat by a ratio of 2-to-1 in the third quarter to break the game open.

Game 5 wasn’t the first embarrassing performance from the Heat this series.

This was one of those rare shooting nights where nothing fell. The Heat, facing the end of their season, can’t afford to have another one as they head to Boston on Friday for Game 6 down 3-2 in the series.

Joel Embiid has interesting tweet about Heat

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid probably got a few side glances with the message he had about the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

The Heat lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics despite holding a five-point halftime advantage on their home floor at FTX Arena. The wheels came off in the second half for the Heat, and star player Jimmy Butler still appeared to be very hobbled by his knee injury, missing short on several good looks from the field.

The Philadelphia 76ers star big Embiid tweeted a message about the Heat during the second half, saying that they needed another star. Embiid also said that Boston simply had too many weapons to handle.

Butler is Miami’s undisputed leader, but Embiid obviously does not think too much of Bam Adebayo, who looked like the Heat’s best overall player in Game 5. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro also missed his second straight game with a groin injury.

Still, Embiid’s point that the Heat need some new blood is well taken. Even at full health, Miami is relying on 37-year-old PJ Tucker, 36-year-old Kyle Lowry, and undrafted players Gabe Vincent and Max Strus as top-of-the-rotation guys. A slight overhaul might be necessary in the offseason, assuming that the Heat do not come back to win the series.

Of course, some may interpret Embiid’s message as an invitation for Miami to recruit him to be that second star. After all, he still maintains a pretty close relationship with his ex-76ers teammate Butler.

Duncan Robinson’s contract with Heat not as bad as previously thought?

Duncan Robinson in his Heat uniform

Aug 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) reacts before being fouled by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Robinson is getting a lot of dough to rack up DNPs this postseason. But it turns out that his contract may not be as bad as it originally seemed.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday that the Heat sharpshooter Robinson has an interesting wrinkle in his contract. While Robinson’s deal is worth $90 million over five years in total, the final $10 million is only guaranteed if the Heat win a championship at any point over the life of Robinson’s contract.

Robinson also must meet four additional criteria during the title season to cash in on the last $10 million — (1) he has to play at least 70 regular season games, (2) he has to average at least 25 minutes per game during the regular season, (3) he has to play in at least 75 percent of the team’s playoff games, and (4) he has to average at least 25 minutes per game during the playoffs.

With the Heat in position to potentially win it all this season, Robinson actually met the first two of those criteria during the regular season. But he has been a healthy scratch for much of the playoffs and is only playing 11.5 minutes per game when he is on the floor, meaning that Robinson will likely miss on those criteria.

Of course, $16 million per year through 2025-26 is still nothing to sneeze at, especially for a role player. But Robinson’s camp seemed to be upset earlier this postseason over his DNPs. Now we have a better idea of exactly why.

Miami Heat got off to a hideous start in Game 4

Erik Spoelstra looking unhappy

The Miami Heat really could not have played much worse to start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night in Boston.

The Heat entered the game with a 2-1 series lead, but they played like they wanted Boston to tie things up. Miami missed its first 14 shots in the game. Fourteen!

Boston led 8-0, 18-1 and then 26-6 at points during the first quarter. The Heat finally started to play better in the second quarter and went into halftime down 57-33. In the third quarter, Boston extended its lead to as many as 32 points.

Everyone from Bam Adebayo to Jimmy Butler and PJ Tucker missed shots for Miami. At the time that Adebayo, Max Strus and Kyle Lowry were subbed out by the Heat midway through the first quarter, Miami’s starting five hadn’t made one basket!

It wasn’t until Victor Oladipo’s 3-pointer with 3:22 left in the first quarter that the Heat got their first field goal of the game. Oladipo continued to play well in the second quarter and was about the only Heat player capable of scoring.

Butler was playing in the game despite missing half of Game 3 due to knee inflammation, so that could help explain his poor shooting. The bad game was fairly inexplicable otherwise for the rest of Miami’s starters.

This was the kind of game you just flush down the drain if you’re the Heat.