Jacari McRae | October 18th, 2019
As Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra stated in pregame, this was a “dress rehearsal” for the team. The Heat starters played more minutes, and the team played with a ten-man rotation for most of the game. And it was largely successful, with the team defeating the Orlando Magic 107-98 on Thursday.
Here are my four takeaways from Thursday’s game vs the Magic.
Jimmy Butler in attack mode
Jimmy Butler had his best scoring performance of the preseason so far. After a quiet first quarter, the Heat star was more aggressive the rest of the night. The Heat star scored 10 points in the first half on 5-6 shooting. Butler also recorded four rebounds and four assists in the first two periods. Butler then scored 13 points in the third period.
Butler finished the night with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, six rebounds, and six assists. Most of Butler’s points came from nice passes by Justise Winslow, who recorded a career-high 12 assists. Expect to see more of this Butler once the regular season starts.
After missing training camp and most of the preseason due to a bone bruise in his knee, Kelly Olynyk made his preseason debut on Thursday. As expected, Olynyk played limited minutes in his return. In 15 minutes of action, the Heat big man ended the night with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and one rebound.
Until Olynyk is ready for a bigger load, Meyers Leonard will likely remain as a starter alongside Bam Adebayo.
One of the Heat’s biggest issues last season was protecting the ball. So far this preseason, the Heat have done a great job of protecting the ball. However, Thursday night was a different story, with the team recording 15 first-half turnovers. The team was very sloppy with their passes and players were mishandling the ball.
The team did a great job of limiting their turnovers in the second half, only recording seven turnovers.
Herro the trash talker
It wasn’t Tyler Herro‘s best performance of the preseason, but it was a memorable one. Late in the third period, Herro made a three-point shot over Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams and had some words for the guard. Both players received technical fouls for the trash talk. On the next play, the words continued between the two players. The two players were originally called for a second technical and ejected, but Herro’s technical was rescinded upon further review. Carter Williams’ second technical remained and he was ejected.
Tyler Herro knocks down a 3 and then jaws at MCW 👀 pic.twitter.com/jcEUYkv99U
— DailySportsDosage (@OfficalDSD) October 18, 2019
The Heat seemed pleased with Herro’s competitiveness, with teammates sharing a laugh with the guard. Herro ended the night with eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from behind the arc.
Miami will wrap up preseason play Friday night against the Houston Rockets at 8pm eastern time.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images