Heat Notes: Closers, Butler-Dragic, Benched Players, Injuries

The Heat have found playoff success thus far with a closing lineup comprising Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala and Bam Adebayo, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. This closing lineup resolved the last 7:57 of the team’s Game 1 victory in Miami’s quarterfinals series against the Pacers (posting a +10 plus-minus), plus the final 7:45 of the Heat’s hard-fought Game 2 win (where the group finished with a +1).

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra praised the groups effectiveness on both sides of the ball. “Defensively, they’ve been good,” Spoelstra said. “Offensively, we’ve been able to keep it simple and get it to either Goran or Jimmy to make the plays and you trust that they’re going to get you something good, a clean look.”

There’s more from South Beach:

  • A key duo within the Heat’s closing lineup, guards Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler, have benefited from their playing minutes together being expanded from 14 MPG to 22.5 MPG in the postseason, according to Manny Navarro of The Athletic. Butler and Dragic have become a very effective dynamic duo for Miami. “One of my all-time favorite teammates,” Butler said. “We just connect.”
  • Heat power forward Meyers Leonard and rookie point guard Kendrick Nunn both have yet to crack Miami’s postseason rotation, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel details. Nunn started for the Heat all season. Though frustrated about the benching, Leonard voiced optimism that both he and Nunn would see action soon. “[S]taying ready is important, so when I get my opportunity I’ll be prepared,” Leonard said. “There’s going to be a moment that we need Kendrick Nunn, make no mistake.”
  • Heat forwards Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr. have both been listed as questionable to play in Game 3 of their series against the Pacers on Saturday due to ankle injuries, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).
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19 thoughts on “Heat Notes: Closers, Butler-Dragic, Benched Players, Injuries

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Yeah, right. Beating up on the Pacers is one thing, but they won’t have that kind of success against the Bucks. No chance.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Even if Miami somehow beats the Bucks, they won’t beat Toronto.

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    What has happened to Dunn. Seems like there is more to this story. Heat are best scouting team in NBA. No one does it better. Amazing to me how other teams don’t get this.

    • x%sure

      Nunn. He’s not that great yet he made ROY finalist instead of Brandon Clark, because the whole Miami team got off to a great start, mostly because Bam could hold the middle and Duncan Robinson hit a lot of 3s. Predict when Miami gets a new PG he will not surprise anyone by not starting.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Dude Nunn played and started 67 gms. He was third highest team in mins played. He led the Heat in shots taken. He was third in steals. And third on team in total points. And now they are not playing him.
        This needs an explanation, from team. Not a rant from you.

        • Spo knows what he’s doing. Nunn is a kid, can’t count on him when the money’s down.

        • x%sure

          link to stathead.com:
          Advanced:
          Brandn Clarke 21PER, 1.7VORP, +3.1BPM, 5.0WS
          Kendrick Nunn 13PER, -.1VORP, -2.3BPM, 2.0WS

          per 100 possessions:
          Brandn Clarke 62%fg, 36%3s, more blocks, +18ortg-drtg
          Kendrick Nunn 44%fg, 35%3s, more assists, -9otg-drtg

          Huge statistical disparity. Nunn got to much credit from early success and faded. His biggest feature was resting Goran Dragic more, and reducing his relaxed influence for Jimmy Butler to take over. That’s probably the story of his benching.
          29 minutes average to 22MP for Clarke, playing behind JJJ & Valencunas. Memphis got better too.

        • wagner13

          If you’ve been paying attention, Nunn has been dreadful since the restart. 31% from the field and a 10:13 assist to turnover ratio. Even during the regular season, he posted a PER and VORP of 12.9 and -0.1 respectively. I’d much rather have the offensive upside and dependability of Dragic

      • El Don

        Agree x%sure! K-Nunn ain’t that good! In my book he just makes it into the 2nd All-Rookie Team, so it beggars believe how he made it into the top 3 rookies!
        1st ART
        Zion, Clarke, Morant, Hachimura & Paschall
        2nd ART
        Washington, Herro, K-Nunn, RJ & MPJ

  2. stevep-4

    That is one tough defensive lineup they are running out there, I would not bet against it in the bubble. The Bucks have won with defensive prowess all year, and they could be upset by a lineup that includes Butler, Iguodala, and Adebayo. Iggy can still shoot, too, so it will be hard to double team that lineup going the other way. However, not sure if they are deep enough and may tire as time goes on.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Iggy can still shoot? Maybe from two, but definitely not from three.

      The last three season he has shot 29.8%, 33.3%, and 28.2% from three.

      • stevep-4

        I will take an easy 2 over a tough 3 any day, but I guess the guy who is open taking the shot is out of fashion.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    I doubt you understand what those stats mean. What does it have to do with the Heat.
    The regular season is about building your team. He was a major part of that. A real Heat or basketball fan would need an explanation. Not rookie stats or rants. The Heat won 44 gms are a top team in East. Had great draft in finding talent. You bring up a guy who plays for a team that’s not even in the playoffs. Who started 4 gms. This is about the Heat. Learn some ball. Then you will be able to have a discussion or argument. Please name me another player. Who started all season games. Played 30 mins a gm. Then didn’t play in playoffs. Not because of injury (could be). There none geniuses. Hilarious

    • x%sure

      Nunn could be easily replaced by anyone who can drive to the basket, and he has been replaced.
      I assume those stats went over your head, but they mean Clarke is better. What do they say about the Heat?— very little. They’re not about the Heat. Nunn may get better but he’s not now in serious time.
      Memphis has the youngest NBA team and got better. Miami’s vets are moving forward Nunntheless!

      What is it about Indiana that would encourage Spoelstra to play Dragic not Nunn? What will be the difference vs MIL or ORL? You say there’s a story there, tell the story. You think Spoelstra wrong?
      Everyone knows the story of how the Heat started hot. But they cooled, and win now with superior conditioning, Dragic, & Iguodala.

      I messed up and said the Pacers will beat the Heat— because their PG Nunn will be in over his head, and Olidipo is at least oncourt. But Dipo cannot handle Dragic. Too bad for my pick that Spoelstra is avoiding Nunn… won’t even risk a possible Pacer comeback even when they’re beat.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Dragic is healthy and rested. Playing well. Good to have vets who have been there. Still doesn’t explain 0 mins. Hope he’s not hurt. If they have any chance of beating Bucks. They will need Nunn and all their players.

  5. Nunn is a very good rookie.he showed good game.but this is playof.heat need dragic experience.thats why spo started him over nunn.but with 3-0 leading,spo should start nunn to give him more experience

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