Jacari McRae | January 3rd, 2020
The Miami Heat‘s goal for the new year was to play better defense. After a poor defensive month in December, Miami put up their best defensive effort of the season with a win over the Toronto Raptors. The Heat held the depleted Raptors to a season-low 76 points on 31.5 percent shooting from the field. The win moves Miami to 25-9 for the season.
Here are my takeaways from the team’s victory over the Raptors.
Back in the Zone
New Year. Same old zone. Miami first utilized the 2-3 zone in the first period and used it the rest of the game. Although Toronto found some easy baskets in the middle of the zone, the zone worked. Toronto shot just 6-for-42 from beyond the arc.
After the game, Erik Spoelstra stated the Heat never worked on their zone defense during their two-day practice. But with Toronto struggling from the field, the Heat stuck with it and it paid off.
Dragic Provides Early Scoring Relief
It was a rough offensive quarter for the Heat, as they scored 18 points on 7-of-22 shooting. In the second period, Goran Dragic helped lift the team’s offense by attacking the paint and scoring from beyond the arc. With the Heat starters struggling, Goran scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 shooting on threes in the period. With Dragic leading the way, the Heat scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting in the second period.
Dragic ended the night with 13 points after going scoreless in the second half.
The fourth quarter appears to be Tyler Herro‘s time. Just as he did against the Philadelphia 76ers last weekend, Herro showed up in the fourth quarter. This time, after scoring just five points through three quarters, Herro scored eight points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, increasing the Heat’s three-point lead to nine.
Herro finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Next up: The Heat will travel to Orlando to take on the Magic. Game tips off at 7pm ET.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images