Game 1: Memphis @ Miami
Score: Miami 120 – 101 Memphis
The Miami Heat kicked their season & home opener off with a visit from the grit & grind Memphis Grizzlies. As the day went on and Heat fans anticipated the beginning of the Jimmy Butler era in South Florida, the news was later dropped that Jimmy Buckets would miss the game due to personal reasons. A very sloppy game, to begin with, many sloppy turnovers and visible rust despite having played 5 preseason games to prepare for the season. Lack of chemistry was present in the game but the love for each other and the hard work spilled in the atmosphere. The crowd continued to cheer the team on and the Miami Heat used their physicality to wear out the Grizzlies and go on a 24-1 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take over the game. The defense was the biggest question in the first game. Miami could not defend inside and kept getting into foul trouble in the first half which led to their continued struggles throughout the game. Big performances from Winslow, Nunn & Silva put us past the Grizzlies.
MVP: Justise Winslow
X-Factor: Goran Dragic
Game 2: Miami @ Milwaukee
Score: Miami 131 – 126 Milwaukee
This was the game I was expecting the Miami Heat to lose this weekend and after the first half, it seemed very evident that this was the case. In every aspect of the game, Milwaukee was dominating Miami. They had 14 3 pointers in the 1st half alone and held a 21 point lead up until the 3rd quarter. Miami began to battle their way back into the game and Milwaukee was looking to slow down the offense but it was the Heat’s defense that won this game. Miami began to play defense and turn it into offense which was turning into fast-break opportunities and some free throw shots. Miami was doing great at switching on the perimeter and doubling Giannis. The concerning aspect of the game was how many no boxout and wide open rebounds for Milwaukee and easy second-chance points. On offense, they attacked the Bucks and played physical on both ends of the floor to gas them out and put Bucks players into foul trouble. A comfortable lead was being held by Miami in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter and after the Bucks rallied back Winslow missed 2 free throws and Giannis made a wide-open putback with no boxout on the reigning MVP. In Overtime Miami fouled out Giannis and took full advantage of no game-planning for Giannis. Big plays from Adebayo and Dragic down the stretch helped the Heat close out this game and secure the comeback win.
MVP: Bam Adebayo
X factor: Goran Dragic
Game 3: Miami @ Minnesota
Score: Miami 109 – 116 Minnesota
Our two biggest flaws seem to be consistent, Miami has a terrible defense and is a turnover machine. Miami had 23 turnovers in this game because of continued miscommunication and sloppy basketball. Minnesota was up by as much as 13 and Miami took over in the closing minutes of the second half. Karl Anthony-Towns was taking over in the first two quarters and then was contained. Miami was up by 10 in the 3rd quarter but along the last stretch of the game, Miami and their defense along with the offense was collapsed by great Minnesota play. Andrew Wiggins went off for 16 points in the 4th quarter and helped his team close out Miami at home in an impressive fashion. They could have given in and Wiggins could have not shot with such confidence.
MVP: Kendrick Nunn
X-Factor: Bam Adebayo
In conclusion starting (2-1) is better than (0-3) and we did this without Jimmy Butler. As a closer, Butler is going to come in and close out games like Milwaukee for no OT and closeout Minnesota last night to keep our perfect record. If we can keep the ball tight and not turn it over Miami would be in a better position. 22 possesions last night were lost because Miami turned the ball over and the minimum amount of points they could have scored was 22. Miami will be fine and I am even more comfortable with saying that Miami can beat any team on any given night because they have tremendous heart & grit.
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