New week, new Heat in 5, the weekly space where I go over what I liked and disliked from the last few days of Miami Heat basketball. Despite a bad ending, there was a lot to like about the Heat's past seven days. Jaquez's growth, how the Heat are creating their 3s, how they're guarding the pick-and-roll, plus the good and awful from the Knicks game -- and how that can impact future games.
1️⃣ Jaquez, pick and roll maestro
It was not an easy week for the Heat in terms of availability. Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson missed two games, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love missed one apiece and Dru Smith saw his season come to a premature end. This, on top of Tyler Herro still being sidelined with a sprained ankle.
But despite the bad luck, there were some positives to take away from the absences. None bigger than the bigger role of the rookie, Jaime Jaquez Jr.
Jaquez was put in a lot more actions as a handler in the pick-and-roll and his efficiency went up as well, with the Heat scoring 1.00 points per those possessions.
The first play shows us a great read from Jaquez, noticing LaVine looking at the incoming screener and going the other way, where the Bulls had opened a lane for him.
In the second one, the Cavs switch on the pick-and-roll because they know Jaquez wants to go to the rim, but the rookie still made them pay. He's patient with the ball, attacks the left, turns when Jarrett Allen has too much momentum going the other way and finishes before he can recover.
The third one pins Jaquez against Allen again, now in a drop and a two-on-one situation. Again, Allen is forcing Jaquez to be aggressive, with constant defensive fakes. Jaquez keeps his composure, gives a little pass fake to assess what Allen is going to do, and finishes before he can react.
The final play has Bam setting the pick, Andre Drummond defending in drop. But the backline defender, Jevon Carter, can't help too deep since Duncan Robinson is right there. Jaquez is patient once again, draws Drummond to him and finds Bam on the lob. Reading the floor and finding the roller is a process that will take time as defenses learn more about Jaquez, but the quickness of execution is definitely intriguing.