Miami Heat: 3 winning takeaways vs. the Memphis Grizzlies

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 28: Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 28: Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are now 21-20 after beating the Memphis Grizzlies 112-108, comfortably winning their second game in a row. There are a few takeaways to be had from this close-win against Memphis.

The Miami Heat and the Memphis Grizzlies are pretty synonymous teams in terms of record, but the Heat came out on top, pushing Memphis to a 19-23 record.

In this 4 point win, we saw the Grizzlies rely on their two stars in Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, but it wasn’t enough for this deep Heat team. Even with JaMychal Green scoring 24 points and adding 11 rebounds off the bench, the Grizzlies couldn’t keep up in the waning minutes.

Here are our 3 takeaways from this win against the Grizzlies.

No. 1 – Justise Winslow is demanding All-Star bids

Justise Winslow finished the game as the hero for Miami, scoring 26 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. When Winslow is shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 100.0 percent from downtown (4 makes), the Heat look unstoppable.

Not to mention the great defense by Conley that didn’t even leave a scratch on Justise, with Josh Richardson being the second primary-ball-handler with 9 assists, finding Winslow open in the corner more than a few times.

If Winslow keeps playing at this high level, you could see him get a few actual All-Star nods fairly soon (just getting votes is a good sign, but he obviously won’t make it).

No. 2 – Bam Adebayo should start over Hassan Whiteside

Bam Adebayo’s minutes seem to produce an electric feeling in American Airlines Arena.

With Hassan Whiteside being out with an illness in this game, the 2nd year center took advantage of his absence and played 36 minutes, holding the All-Star center Marc Gasol to only 15 points and 5 rebounds.

Adebayo finished the game with a double-double and also was a great help defender around the perimeter, something that Whiteside is incapable of doing, with the Heat holding the Grizzlies to 30.1 percent (9-29) from downtown.

Ultimately, Adebayo won’t get the start unless Whiteside is traded, because he makes close to $26 million over the remainder of the season (as well as next season when he opts-in).

No. 3 – The Heat bench finally gels with one another

With 7 players scoring in the double-digits, the Heat pretty much took over this game when their scoring bench entered the game each time out, scoring 51 points off the bench (5 players).

If Miami can truly get this team to gel with one another while Dion Waiters is slowly coming back, there could be a new ceiling for this team as they try and get out of basketball purgatory. Not to mention the fact that Wayne Ellington is still on the bench and he was arguably the Heat’s 2nd best bench option last season.

Hopefully this is a good sign moving forward for Miami.

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Next game

The Miami Heat are traveling to play the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, 8 PM Eastern.