Heat star Jimmy Butler is appreciative of his teammates’ “disciplined gambles” on defense, Khobi Price details for The Sun Sentinel. Miami most recently defeated Cleveland for its fourth straight victory, winning the contest 115-101 and forcing 15 turnovers.
“I love that we got some guys who’ll gamble,” Butler said, “so I won’t be the only one getting in trouble when I miss an assignment.”
In addition to Butler, the Heat also have defensive-minded players Victor Oladipo, Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala on their roster. All three are known for getting in the passing lanes or stripping ball-handlers, which often leads to easy points in transition.
Since Oladipo debuted with Miami, head coach Erik Spoelstra has rolled with a starting lineup of Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, Butler, Ariza, and Bam Adebayo to turn the heat up (no pun intended) defensively.
Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:
- Keith Langlois of Pistons.com shared 24 thoughts on the present and future of the Pistons, who currently own the third-worst record in the league at 14-35. Detroit most recently suffered a 125-81 defeat to the Knicks and will visit the Thunder (20-29) on Monday.
- Chris Kirschner of The Athletic recently published a Q&A with Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, who discussed his role with the team, changes under Nate McMillan, and more. Bogdanovic has poured in 76 points over his last three games, shooting 29-for-52 (56%) from the floor. “I’m just being more aggressive and I feel like we’ve started to build chemistry between us,” Bogdanovic said. “When you really look into it, we’ve only played a couple of games together. It hasn’t been many. Since I got hurt, having the restriction minutes off and now that I’ve been off of it, it’s been fun.”
- Heat guard Victor Oladipo admitted that the major leg injury he suffered in 2019 isn’t fully behind him, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets. “One leg is stronger than the other,” he explained. “So I have some hypertrophy in one leg than the other. So working my way back and finding my balance is something I’m continuing to work at.” Oladipo underwent surgery just over two years ago on a ruptured quad tendon.