Observations and other notes of interest from Wednesday night’s 118-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors:
— While the back spasms well could have been a factor, Victor Oladipo continues to have the look of a player yet to get fully back up to speed to the NBA game.
— Then again, we are talking about a player with just four appearances this season prior to Wednesday night.
— At this point, expectations likely will need to be tempered.
— To perhaps more of a situational talent.
— Perhaps putting Heat expectations with Oladipo closer to where the Nets’ expectations might be with Ben Simmons.
— Good players try to get back.
— The canvas clearly was there, with Tyler Herro sitting this one out with knee pain.
— And Oladipo certainly attempted to push things in his limited minutes.
— Good, including an early reverse layup and then a late 3-pointer.
— But also a bad late foul on Warriors 3-point attempt.
— Timing still not quite there.
— As the clock further ticks down on the regular season.
— Depending on Herro’s status, there might not be many more of these opportunities.
— As it was, casting Oladipo at point guard at times in this one hardly played to his prime skill set.
— A move necessitated with Gabe Vincent out for a second consecutive game with a toe issue.
— Jimmy Butler again went from questionable with his ankle sprain to the starting lineup.
— Opening alongside Bam Adebayo, P.J. Tucker, Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry.
— And of course Jimmy Butler opened the scoring with a three, showing you can get a triple-shot at Big Face coffee.
— It was Butler’s 18th made three of the season. His 19th followed shortly thereafter.
— Shorthanded, the Warriors opened with a lineup of Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Kevon Looney.
— Markieff Morris played as Heat sixth man.
— Morris entered at center, in place of Adebayo.
— Max Strus followed for the Heat.
— And then Oladipo.
— With Caleb Martin rounding out the first nine.
— Martin listed as questionable with his knee issue.
— This time, Dewayne Dedmon also got minutes, making it 10 deep by the midpoint of the second period.
— Dedmon’s first action in three games.
— Dedmon converted a 3-pointer shortly after entering.
— Lowry’s fourth 3-point attempt was the 5,300th of his career.
— Tucker’s second made shot was the 2,000th of his career.
— With his first steal, Butler moved past Josh Richardson for 17th on the Heat all-time list.
— Spoelstra said the Warriors’ approach this season has been unique to today’s NBA game.
— “They’re a really unselfish ball-movement, body-movement team,” he said. “They play differently than most of the teams in the league. And even without some of their guys, they still have that style.”
— He added, “So it’s really become a pick-and-roll dominant league. And they do so much more stuff off of movement, catch-and-shoots, misdirection actions. You have to be very disciplined to your system and what they do, and do it consistently the entire game.”
— Spoelstra also was asked about the rise of the Warriors’ Poole.
— “It’s been exponential,” he said. “I enjoy seeing those kind of stories, players that weren’t necessarily blue-chippers or lottery picks. It just shows you that really good players take a lot of different paths to get to this point.”
— Warriors coach Steve Kerr said holding out Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Otto Porter, among other, was just a matter of practicing prudence.
— “Just talking to the training staff and continuing the process of making sure our players, who have been injured or who are recovering from injuries, are getting the care they need and the rest they need and not subjecting them to risk,” Kerr said.
— He added, “These decisions are based on process, not on the results of the previous night’s game. We are just following the process and it’s important that we keep these guys healthy with the playoffs coming up. So just making the wise decision.”
— He further explained, “In general, Otto and Klay are not going to play back-to-backs. I always reserve the right to play them. And Draymond just coming back from his own injury, they are more vulnerable playing a back-to-back then they would be otherwise.”
— Kerr also spoke pregame on Adebayo, who he helped coach to last summer’s Olympic gold.
— “I think just the versatility that he brings now, that’s what separates, to me, the best defenders in the league,” Kerr said. “It is the versatility to guard multiple positions, multiple actions, to roam and protect teammates. He does all of that. He can guard one through five on switches.”
— Kerr added, “He is absolutely elite and it was really fun coaching him in the Olympics. Just a great guy, great teammate. The tandem of Draymond and Bam was really something to watch. Not just defensively. They are pretty special in terms of their ability to push the ball in transition, kind of that play at point-center role. Very unique players.”
Source: Berkshire mont