The Miami Heat are making their long-awaited return to the court on Saturday afternoon. A look at three things to watch for.
We’ve waited months for the Miami Heat to make their return to the floor. Now on Saturday afternoon, they will, against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
The Heat looked solid given the circumstances in their three (preseason) scrimmages against the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, and Memphis Grizzlies. They won just once out of the three games, but given the rest allotted to players and from time off, we won’t read too much into it.
Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra’s quest for a fourth shared championship this decade begins on Saturday. Miami is entering their final eight regular-season game stretch at 41-24 as the Eastern Conference fourth seed and a true dark horse to win it all.
A look at three things to watch in their return to the floor against Denver.
Tyler Herro’s Shooting Struggles
One of the biggest concerns for the Miami Heat is Tyler Herro‘s rust as was seen in their three scrimmage games over the last week. He didn’t look right at all, going 3-for-13 from the field in their final scrimmage loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
There’s a sense of urgency in the air too, given the Heat only have eight regular-season games before playoffs start. Head coach Erik Spoelstra played Herro the most minutes of any player night in and night out hoping he would break his shooting slump.
Keep an eye on the rookie guard in the season restart against Denver. If he comes out hot, it’ll be a huge relief for Miami. If not, Spoelstra may have to start asking some hard questions.
Is Andre Iguodala Ready?
When the Miami Heat’s big blockbuster trade at the deadline was giving up young point forward Justise Winslow for 37-year old Andre Iguodala, fans were caught off guard.
The 2015 Finals MVP hadn’t played a game since the 2019 NBA Finals, having chosen to sit out rather than play with the young, up and coming Grizzlies. Now, he’ll be tasked with a large role in Miami as both a defender and facilitator of the basketball.
Iguodala’s looked spry in their three scrimmages thus far. But as you likely know, the regular season and playoffs are a much different game. Watch the veteran forward on Saturday as he gets put up against top-NBA wings for the first time since last year.
What’s Kelly Olynyk’s Role?
A surprising twist in the Miami Heat’s three scrimmage games was Kelly Olynyk having such a roller-coaster role for the team. After going off for a team-high 27 points in their loss to the Utah Jazz, coach Spoelstra didn’t play him against the Grizzlies until the second quarter.
A spot starter for Miami, Olynyk’s proven crucial to what they hope to accomplish on both ends of the ball this year. Watch to see how Spoelstra utilizes him on Saturday against the Nuggets, in the first of their legitimate competition as they resume the 2019-2020 campaign.
Miami Heat basketball is back. We’re kicking things off with a matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Tip-off is at 1 pm est. Coverage will be provided by ESPN.