Jacari McRae| October 24th, 2019
Here are my four takeaways from Wednesday night’s 120-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The surprising news of the night came when the Miami Heat announced that Jimmy Butler would miss Wednesday’s home opener. Butler participated in the team’s morning shootaround and was set to make his Heat season debut. However, the Heat later ruled Butler out due to “Personal Reasons”.
James Johnson was also out because of the conditioning issue that sidelined him throughout the preseason and Dion Waiters served his one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. Waiters is expected to return to the team on Thursday. Given Waiters’ recent Instagram outbursts, it’ll be interesting to see how the Heat plans to move forward with Waiters.
Not one but two rookies starting
With Butler sidelined, the Heat started both Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. The two rookies became the fourth rookie pair to start for the team in franchise history. The previous rookie pair to start together was Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley back in 2008. And the two rookies last night didn’t disappoint. Both guards combined to score 38 points in their season debut.
Nunn, who has displayed good playmaking abilities in the preseason, scored 24 points, 11 of which came in the fourth period. Herro, who scored the game’s first points, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Silva provides an unexpected spark
The third rookie making his NBA debut tonight was Chris Silva. When the Heat needed a spark off the bench, Erik Spoelstra inserted Silva into the game. Silva was a force, hustling for rebounds, blocking shots, and finishing plays on the offensive end. Silva’s block on Ja Morant was one of the biggest highlights of the night.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 24, 2019
Silva ended the night with eight points, six rebounds, and three blocks in 11 minutes of action.
Justise takes the lead
Missing their best player, Justise Winslow decided to take over the reins for the Heat on Wednesday night. The Heat’s starting point guard made a point of bullying smaller guards in the post. Winslow struggled with his initial attempts, but as the game progressed, his shots went in.
Winslow ended the game with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
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