You can’t read too much into the Miami Heat’s first two scrimmage games. For one, their best two players have only played 11 minutes total. Jimmy Butler only appeared in the first game and Bam Adebayo has yet to play since returning to the team. And it’s been four months since the NBA players last played in a competitive game.
With that being said, here are my three takeaways from the Heat’s scrimmages so far.
Tyler Herro’s expanded game
The ankle injury that sidelined Tyler Herro for 15 games this season seems to be a thing of the past. Since the scrimmages started, Herro has been very aggressive offensively. Known as a shooter, the Heat rookie has been making more plays on the ball. He’s been attacking the basket at will and looking for his shot more.
It’s likely those responsibilities will go back down when the full team is back. But it’s still nice to see the rookie trying to add more to his game.
KO’s strong start
Another positive the Heat can take away from the first two games is the performance of Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk scored 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. At 7 feet, the center can handle the ball, stretch the floor, and is very crafty around the basket. Once Bam returns, Olynyk’s minutes could be limited. But if he continues to play like this during the real games, it’ll help the Heat out a lot.
On ball defense
One area the Heat needs to address is their on-ball defense. Without Adebayo’s rim protection, the Heat’s guards kept getting beat off the dribble. In the previous game against the Utah Jazz, Mike Conley scored on several easy floaters in the lane. While Butler and Adebayo could help some with the issue, the issue was already a season-long problem.
For the Heat to make a serious run in the Eastern Conference, they’ll need to improve their on-ball defense as soon as possible.
Miami will play their final scrimmage game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
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