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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

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.

Erik Spoelstra not happy about Payton Pritchard-Jimmy Butler play

Payton Pritchard trips Jimmy Butler

Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard tripped Jimmy Butler during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on a play that some felt was dirty. While Erik Spoelstra stopped short of placing that label on it, the Miami Heat coach clearly did not approve.

Butler left Game 3 on Saturday night with a knee injury late in the first half and did not return. Prior to his exit, he took an awkward fall after Pritchard grabbed him by the knee area and tripped him. You can see the video here.

Spoelstra was asked about the play ahead of Game 4 on Monday. He said “it was not a basketball play” and that he is unsure why Pritchard was not called for a flagrant foul. Spoelstra also said it is unclear if the trip contributed to Butler’s knee soreness.

Some people have compared the Pritchard grab to the controversial play that resulted in Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant getting hurt earlier in the postseason.

Butler is expected to play in Game 4.

Key Heat player ruled out for Game 4 against Celtics

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 are banged up heading into Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics on Monday night, and at least one of their better players is not going to suit up.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters ahead of Game 4 that Tyler Herro has been ruled out.

Herro has a quad injury and was seen with a wrap on his leg at times during Game 3 on Saturday night. He shot just 4-of-15 from the field in Miami’s 109-103 win.

Jimmy Butler is also still listed on the injury report, as he is dealing with right knee soreness. He may have aggravated the injury on a play where a Celtics player grabbed his leg during Game 3. Spoelstra said Butler will warm up before Monday night’s game with the intention of playing.

Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and PJ Tucker are also listed on the injury report but expected to play in Game 4.

Erik Spoelstra hits back at 1 particular criticism of Heat in Celtics series

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 have received one criticism during the Eastern Conference Finals that head coach Erik Spoelstra thinks should air on Comedy Central instead of on ESPN.

Addressing reporters Sunday, Spoelstra fired back at the media narrative that has tried to paint the Boston Celtics as the better team since they have won ten out of 12 quarters played so far as opposed to just two for the Heat.

“I get confused by all that stuff,” said a chuckling Spoelstra, according to Heat reporter Will Manso. “End of the game when the clock turns zero, did we win or did we lose? That’s what we focus on.”

Spoelstra is spot-on here. Basketball has always been a four-quarter sport, and they don’t hand out championship rings for winning the second quarter. If a team wins just one quarter by 20 or more points (as Miami has already done multiple times this series), they have less work to do for the rest of the game and can afford to lose every quarter from there on out. The final score is all that ultimately matters, and the Heat have had a higher final score than the Celtics in two out of three games thus far.

Miami’s fortunes may or may not swing over the remainder of the series (which is guaranteed to go at least two more games). But holding a 2-1 lead despite a troublesome list of injuries and a national media that seems to give them little to no credit has to feel pretty good for Spoelstra’s Heat right now.

Heat share troubling injury update ahead of Game 4

Jimmy Butler points on the court

Jan 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat took a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with a road win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, but they came away fairly banged up. They now have numerous injury questions heading into Game 4.

On Sunday, the Heat listed six key contributors as questionable for Game 4. Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro are among them, which is not a big surprise.

Butler left Game 3 with knee soreness in the first half. He did not play at all in the second half. He has been dealing with a knee injury throughout the postseason, and he may have aggravated it on a play where a Celtics player grabbed his knee.

Herro shot just 4-of-15 in Miami’s win on Saturday. He has a quad injury and was seen with a wrap on his leg at times during the game.

The injury to Butler does not sound all that serious. Still, it is always a concern when that many players are listed as questionable heading into a big playoff game.