The third-placed in the Eastern Conference, Miami Heat, are really fun to watch with Erik Spoelstra’s team being one of the surprises of the season.
After the end of the “farewell tour” of Dwayne Wade, Miami needed to find some new ways, especially in the offensive end, and re-purpose their style of play. Let’s see some interesting points from their 18-7 season so far.
The Heat became more active and more “brave” in passing the ball, while their plan is not based on a conventional playmaker.
Jimmy Butler is taking last season’s DeMar DeRozan “treatment”, with a career high 7.0 assists per game and 2.67 AST/TO ratio.
Goran Dragic has benefited from that, having a career-best 5.3 attempts from the three-point line on a 40.6% clip.
The Slovenian guard is the second best passer in the team with 5 assists per game followed from Bam Adebayo with 4.4. Lastly, Miami is the eighth best team in assists per game in the league.
Happy go-lucky shooters
Four players of the South Florida team are attempting more than five three pointers per contest, while hitting about 9 three pointers per game.
Rookie Duncan Robinson is shooting an incredible 44.9% from the arc on 7 attempts per game. Moreover, another rookie sharpshooter, Tyler Herro, is making them on a 37.9% clip from the three-point line on 5.3 attempts per contest.
The Heat are the third best shooting team in the league, hitting threes on 38.2% clip so far.
The rookie of the year candidate
Kendrick Nunn is having quite a season, being the second best scoring guard among his teammates, with 16.4 points, in a squad that is stocked with double-figure scorers having seven of them.
The ex-Oakland prospect was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in November and scored a career-high 36 points in a 135–121 overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks a couple of days ago.
Enter Bam Adebayo
The departure of Hassan Whiteside benefited Bam Adebayo in order to unleash his full potential on the floor.
Until now, he has been averaging a career-high almost in every category. Namely, in points (15.3), minutes (33.5), in FG% (59.1), rebounds (10.4), assists (4.4), steals (1.4) and blocks (1.2).
His ability to create from the high post in conjunction with his improved ball-handling, which helps him create scoring chances for himself, makes Heat’s offense quite unpredictable.
At the same time, he is impacting the offensive plays of his opponents with his strong presence on the paint.
The Heat are conceding 102 points per 100 possessions, when Adebayo is on the floor having +7.5 net rating. Adebayo is clearly a Most Improved Player Award candidate this season and if he continues this type of play, he will also be on the mix to win it.
Miami is getting the recognition it deserves the last couple of weeks, being a fun to watch team for NBA fans.
Erik Spoelstra is a great coach that is constantly recreating the defensive and offensive style of his team based on the personnel he has at his disposal, making the Miami Heat a powerhouse in the East.
*The stats are referring prior to the game of Miami Heat against LA Lakers