Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry Continues To Shy Away From Late-Game Moments
That demand for Miami’s starting point guard to find ways to place himself in positions to score was no greater than it was in this contest. Unfortunately, it only resulted in another polarizing performance for the 35-year-old.
In the first 24 minutes, Lowry was able to stabilize Miami’s offense in a similar way that he’s done all season. While he did commit two turnovers, for which both came on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter, he allocated four assists in the first half.
One came at the end of an Alley-Oop finish from Bam Adebayo.
Lowry has dictated the Heat’s offense in ways that the organization hasn’t seen in years with high-level passing and timely baskets from anywhere on the floor.
However, later in the second half against the Timberwolves, the Miami Heat struggled to string together quality possessions. This is where the erratic and unassertive side of Lowry seemed to creep out.
Here are two examples of such, per NBA.com.
In the opening possession of the third quarter, the Heat led by as many as 12 points on Minnesota. Duncan Robinson sets a back screen on Karl-Anthony Towns in an attempt to create a possible open cut for Adebayo.
After the screen attempt from Robinson was unsuccessful, Lowry second-guesses himself as he mishandles on the perimeter, which leads to a Timberwolves steal and fastbreak score.
While this was certainly a broken play from the moment Robinson fell over, Adebayo was still in position to receive the pass from Lowry, but the long wingspan of Minnesota sophomore guard, Anthony Edwards, definitely bothered the Heat guard.
This takes us into our second possession, with Miami and Minnesota all knotted up at 100. The Heat have the ball with 15 seconds left on the shot clock as Lowry navigates the key and performs a spin move.
One moment later, Adebayo, one of the NBA’s elite screeners, positions himself and lays a brick wall on Wolves’ guard, D’Angelo Russell. As Towns drops and refuses to close out, an open three above the break was clear for Lowry.
However, you can notice a slight hesitation from the Heat guard just before the open shot attempt, as Lowry appeared to be concerned about where his feet were set, instead of dialing in to convert the potential go-ahead basket.
Following the miss, the Timberwolves would embark on a 13-4 run in the final four minutes, as Miami had zero answers for a team that has embraced their youth. So much so, they seem destined to secure their first playoff berth since the Miami Heat’s current top dog, Jimmy Butler, was leading their roster.
While Tyler Herro recorded 30 points for the third time in seven games, he played the entire fourth quarter and led all Heat players in fourth-quarter shot attempts on Saturday. He, most certainly, needed that second secondary scorer behind himself and Bam Adebayo to alleviate pressure while, quite simply, Lowry just couldn’t keep up.