The Miami Heat concluded their 2023 Summer League in Las Vegas with an impressive 104-78 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The stakes were pretty low for this game, but the Heat can look at the benefits in the long run. There are many positives Miami can take away from this game based on what they saw against Portland, as well as what they have been able to witness all Summer League.
Effort is Contagious
After being embarrassed by the Denver Nuggets two nights before facing Portland, Miami needed to show their mental toughness to bounce back. They did exactly that. The Heat broke the game open in the third quarter, out-scoring the Trail Blazers 28-7 in the quarter.
Miami turned up the effort defensively in the second half. They played with more energy and effort than the other team.
The Heat are known for being one of the most hardworking teams in the league. The Summer League team showed that this diligent effort exists in all levels in the organization.
This is good news for the Heat. As they continue to build a championship roster, they will know that they will always have players ready to contribute to the team with their effort each night.
Orlando Robinson is Ready for a Bigger Role
Orlando Robinson finished an incredible Summer League with 27 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Overall, Robinson averaged 25.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
The Miami Heat have been searching for a consistent backup for Bam Adebayo at the center position. Based on how he performed this Summer League, Robinson could be the answer.
Robinson displayed significant improvements compared to last season. His outside shooting looked sharper, his defensive movement looked quicker, and he was more of a presence in the paint.
Orlando Robinson struggled to find consistent minutes in Miami’s rotation last season. As he continues to develop, opportunities will open up for him. He might be ready to fill the much-needed backup center spot for the Heat.
Front Office Dialogue
Miami’s championship window might now depend on whether or not they are able to acquire Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard. The Heat are Lillard’s preferred destination, but Portland is willing to wait for better offers to surface before jumping into a deal.
There had been reports that Miami’s front office had yet to meet with Portland’s, but Sunday night’s game quite literally forced both organizations into a room together. Was there any dialogue between executives, any middle-ground broached?
Any discussions that took place at the Summer League game probably did not set a deal in place, especially because a third team is likely needed for a trade. However, any face-to-face dialogue could help both sides have a better understanding of where the other is coming from. This could help advance trade discussions before ultimately coming to a trade agreement later on.
The Heat desperately want Lillard to join Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. The Summer League win over the Trail Blazers could be an important step to building the relationship with Portland’s front office to make the deal happen.