Ahead of the Miami Heat’s scrimmage with the Utah Jazz, three things you should look out for in their second night back on the floor.
The Miami Heat made their long-awaited return to the NBA floor (sort of) on Wednesday evening when they defeated the Sacramento Kings in a scrimmage match, 104-98. Duncan Robinson was the story of the night with five shots connected from deep in just 20 minutes of play.
Elsewhere, Tyler Herro looked a little rusty while Andre Iguodala seems to have benefitted the most from the time off. End of the benchers Gabe Vincent and Chris Silva got some run in the second half and made the most of it with six points apiece.
Overall, it was a solid first bout for the Heat. Miami will play their second scrimmage match on Saturday night, against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz. What should fans be looking out for in the Heat’s second night on the floor?
If, and How, Kendrick and Bam return
The most anticipated piece to Saturday night is how Kendrick Nunn and Bam Adebayo will look now that they’ve joined the Heat in Orlando. Both players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and were required to quarantine for 14 days, but rejoined the team on Thursday.
It’s still unclear as to whether or not either of the key guys will suit up on Saturday. When speaking with the media after practicing on Friday, head coach Erik Spoelstra wouldn’t say either way.
Bam Adebayo has emerged as an All-Star big man this year and is in a neck-to-neck race with Brandon Ingram for the Most Improved Player award. He’s averaging 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals as the second half of Miami’s star duo.
Nunn is a Rookie of the Year candidate, falling second behind Ja Morant in most polls as of recent. He’s averaging 15.6 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds as Miami’s starting point guard. He’s impressed on both ends of the ball and will be key to a deep run in the playoffs.
Their debuts, whenever that is, will determine just how rusty the two are. But knowing this Miami Heat culture, it’s hard to believe any of the team’s personnel will be behind on their conditioning.
Can Tyler Herro come out Strong?
After missing 15 of the last 16 games before the league was suspended, it’s no surprise Tyler Herro came out rusty on Wednesday night. After subbing in for Jimmy Butler halfway through the first quarter, he went on to make just five of his 14 shot attempts.
Herro was dealing with an ankle injury before the break, but still made his presence known off of the glass with rebounds on Wednesday. He finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist in a team-leading 26 minutes of play in the win over Sacramento.
Coach Spoelstra gave Herro a long leash on Wednesday night, hoping he’d catch a rhythm and start knocking down shots. Watch for this trend to continue on Saturday against the Jazz, as the Heat look to continue reincorporating the rookie into their offense.
Can Duncan Robinson Keep Scorching from Deep?
The biggest headline from Wednesday’s scrimmage was Robinson’s flamethrower of a shooting stroke. He opened up the night with a shot from deep in the first minute and never looked back. The sharpshooter finished with 18 points on five-of-eight shots from deep.
The performance earned high praise from Robinson’s teammates, with point guard Goran Dragic calling him the ‘best shooter in the league’ when speaking with reporters on Thursday.
Robinson’s ability to stroke the three ball so efficiently is a large part of what makes the Heat such a dangerous matchup for other teams. Miami’s been a top-10 club in every three-point category this season, and they’ll need the shots to keep falling the rest of the way.
That is if they’re to make a deep run and exceed expectations in the postseason. Robinson was top five in three-point percentage before play was suspended. If he can continue knocking it down in these scrimmages, expect him to finish the year out at the top of the pack.
It’s hard not to look too deep into these pre-season scrimmages, but there’s always narratives and things to watch out for. From players returning, to those already on the floor, keep an eye on your Miami Heat come Saturday night. This is the beginning of their championship run, after all.