The first round of the 2019-2020 NBA Playoffs has been a great one for Miami Heat, who has been explosive and dominant so far in their series against Indiana Pacers. In three games in the first round against the Pacers, Miami Heat leads 3-0 and could wrap up the series and book a place in the next round of the playoffs with a win in Game 4. The Heat won the first game and second game 113-101 and 109-100 respectively before surviving Indiana Pacers’ second-half comeback to win the third game 124-115. A win in Game 4 will also see Miami Heat get a clean sweep. Coach Erik Spoelstra’s Heat team are in their best form at the moment, and their performances in the first round so far is a warning to the other teams in the race for the title that they won’t be pushovers.
We take a look at some of the talking points from Miami Heat’s performances so far ahead of their 4th encounter with Indiana Pacers in what could be their final game of the first round.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s excellent partnership paying dividends on the big stage
In recent seasons, most of the Heat’s key players have struggled to perform for the team when it matters most. However, it has been a different scenario this year as the partnership between the team’s All-Star duo Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo has been a significant factor in the Heat’s excellent form in the first round. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been excellent up front for the team on the court. Both players were instrumental in the Heat’s recent win against the Pacers in Game 3. Jimmy Butler finished Game 3 with an impressive 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He also completed the game with a 5-of-16 shooting performance.
Butler also shot 17 of 20 of his free-throw attempts from the foul line. Bam Adebayo also finished the game with an impressive 22 points on an encouraging 7-of-11 shooting from the field and a decent 8-of-9 shooting from the foul line.
Both Butler and Adebayo combined to score 20 of Miami Heat’s 30 points in the fourth quarter to increase the team’s lead and withstand the Pacers’ offensive pressure after the Pacers reduced the Heat’s 20-point lead to four before the fourth quarter.
In all three games against the Pacers, Small Forward Jimmy Butler is averaging 24.3 points per game with an additional 6.0 assists per game and 4.7 assists per game. He is also averaging an impressive 3.0 steals per game and 1.0 blocks per game. Butler also has a 40.9 Field Goal percentage, 57.1 % for 3-Point Field Goal percentages, and 82.5% for Free Throw Percentages.
Power Forward Bam Adebayo is also averaging 15.3 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, and an additional 5.0 assists per game in the last three games. He also has an average of 1.0 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game. Adebayo has also recorded 53.1% for Field Goal Percentages and 80.0% for Free Throw Percentages.
With both Butler and Adebayo in great form at the moment, the prospect of facing the Heat will be a scary one for any team moving forward in the playoffs.
Goran Dragic in the best form of his career
The playoffs have brought the best out of Point Guard Goran Dragic, who is in an excellent form at the moment. The 34-year old Point Guard has seen significant improvement in his performances since his move to the starting lineup after being the Heat’s sixth man for most of the regular season. It has been a significant rise for Dragic, who featured in a career-low 36 games in the regular season due to fitness issues.
In the three games against the Pacers, Dragic has averaged 22.7 points on 48.1 percent shooting from the field. Dragic also has a 47.8 percentage for shooting on threes. Also, he has averaged 3.7 rebounds per game, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Dragic has also shot 13 of 23 from inside the 3-point range and 11 of 23 from deep.
In Game 3 against the Pacers, Dragic recorded an impressive 24 points and six assists in 36 minutes. He made significant contributions in the first half especially, entering the break with 18 points on a 7-of-10 shooting from the field and an impressive 4-of-6 shooting on threes.
Dragic will enter free agency very soon and could secure a new contract with the Heat if he continues his excellent form.
Rookie Tyler Herro’s stock continues to rise
This season has been an incredible rookie season for 20-year old Tyler Herro, who continues to prove how talented he is. Herro has carried his regular-season form into the playoffs and has been instrumental in the Heat’s successes in all three games against the Pacers.
Herro has averaged 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his first three playoff games. He is also on 42.9 percent for shooting. In the recent win over the Pacers, Herro finished the game with 20 points on an encouraging 6-of-12 shooting from the field and another 3-of-6 shooting on threes in a 29 minutes cameo off the bench. He is currently on an upward trajectory in his career at the moment and could go on to become a star of the future.