In what could be a potential playoff matchup, the Miami Heat came out victorious. After a close first half, the Heat took over the game in the second half. And they never looked back. With the win, Miami is now a game ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the fourth seed in the East. They’ll face the Pacers again on Friday and possibly more times after that.
Here are my four takeaways from Monday’s win over the Pacers.
Butler vs Warren
The last time these two teams faced each other, there were fireworks between Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren. Warren was ejected for throwing up a middle finger and Jimmy blew a kiss in his direction. Butler also had words for the forward after the game. However, there were no fireworks this time around.
In case anyone needed a reminder what the G stands for… Gets. Jimmy. Gets. Buckets. pic.twitter.com/PaMPR2hYvs
— x – Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 11, 2020
In what was a personal matchup, Butler closed with 19 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Warren finished with 12 points and five rebounds. He also shot 5 of 14 from the field. The Pacers forward was guarded by Butler on many possessions.
Derrick Jones Jr’s activity
Derrick Jones Jr‘s energy was a key part in the Heat’s victory tonight. Jones had ten points at the half, including three alley-oops passes from Goran Dragic. His activity on both ends of the floor was very high. Jones cleaned the glass, read the passing lanes, and slowed down the Pacers guards with stifling defense.
Jones finished the night with 18 points and five rebounds.
Third Quarter takeover
The third quarter has always been a thorn on the Heat’s side for the past few seasons. But this time was different. After the score was tied at 48 at the half, Miami outscored the Pacers 37-24 in the period to take a 14-point lead into the fourth period. Miami shot 63 percent from the field in the period.
Duncan Robinson led the third-quarter charge with 11 points. Butler also played a role, scoring nine points on 4 of 6 shooting to go along with three assists.
It’s no secret that Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is on the Heat’s radar. And there’s been reports that the interest is mutual. Oladipo is set to hit the free agent market in 2021 when Miami plans to spend big for a third star. After the game, Oladipo was greeted by many Heat players. It could be nothing. But it won’t stop the speculation that’s been going around.
Not hiding it. Not even trying to hide it. 😂😂😂😂🐋🚨🐋🚨🐋🚨🐋🚨🐋👀👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/G25vCQkMwB
— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) August 11, 2020
Next up: Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Game tips off at 8pm eastern.
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images