Jacari McRae | November 1st, 2019
The Miami Heat continued their hot start by defeating the Atlanta Hawks 106-97. Even though Trae Young was out, the Hawks kept pushing back before Miami clinched the game in the last few minutes of regulation. With Thursday’s win over the Hawks, the Heat moved to 4-1 this season, their best five-game start since 2012-13.
Here are my four takeaways from Thursday’s game against the Hawks:
Kendrick Nunn continues his record-setting start
Kendrick Nunn is having the best career start of any undrafted player in NBA History. And the Miami Heat are enjoying every minute of it. Once again, the Heat rookie guard exploded for a career-high 28 points to help lead the team past the Hawks.
The rookie Kendrick Nunn (28 PTS) delivered a stellar performance in the ATL! 👏 pic.twitter.com/b46LBEb9xI— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 1, 2019
Nunn now has the most points by an undrafted rookie in NBA history. Nunn’s 112 points surpassed Connie Hawkins‘ previous record of 105 which was set during the 1969-70 season.
Jimmy impacting the game in other areas
It was a cold shooting night for Heat star Jimmy Butler, who finished with five points on 2-10 shooting. Despite Butler’s low scoring night, he was able to make an impact in other areas of the game. The only starter who failed to reach double digits, Butler led the team in steals(6), rebounds(9), and assists(11).
Even though Jimmy had a rough shooting night, his style of play allows him to contribute in other ways.
Turnovers not an issue on Thursday
Turnovers have been an issue for the Heat to start the season. Miami entered Thursday night’s game averaging a league-high 22.5 turnovers per game. The team found a way to limit those turnovers on Thursday.
After a turnover-free first quarter, the Heat committed its first turnover of the game with ten minutes left in the second period. They finished the game with a season-low 14 turnovers. Despite their turnover issues, the team has still found a way to win ball games. However, they need to keep those turnovers low as the competition gets tougher.
James Johnson as a spectator
For the first time this season, James Johnson was active. However, Johnson didn’t play in Thursday’s game against the Hawks. Johnson met the Heat’s conditioning requirements on Wednesday and was in Heat uniform.
With so many players contributing for the Heat so far, the team is not rushing Johnson back into the rotation. I do see Johnson playing in the rotation at some point this season depending on the matchups.
Next up: Rockets vs Heat on Sunday at 6pm Eastern.
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