Observations and other interesting notes from Tuesday night’s 97-94 NBA Playoff win over the Atlanta Hawks:
– This is the most unusual of the roles: Victor Oladipo, in the absence of extreme injuries, becomes the Miami Heat Man. Otherwise, just another person.
And it will be interesting to see where it all leads.
Since Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry were absent on Tuesday evening, the offense was on his conscience.
He seized the moment.
“Very similar to Oladipo.
“But when the Heat is intact, and when Tyler Herro is getting close to the top of his game, Oladipo is mostly needed for the complement.
“It’s a tough transition for any former All-Star, let alone someone 29 years old.
Which will make Oladipo’s next move this offseason intriguing.
– Stay and support?
Or move on and reach your highest level again?
“So far, he offered what was needed on Tuesday evening.
“Which has already made this one and a half year engagement worthwhile.
“Even if only with this one meaningful moment in time.
– To be continued?
— Decision for another day.
– After the departure of Butler and Lowry, Heat coach Eric Spoelstra promoted Oladipo to his starting XI.
It was Oladipo’s second start with the Heat, the second on closing night of the regular season when Spoelstra landed his rotation players in Orlando.
– Once again, Gabe Vincent opened up at point guard instead of Lowry.
“Otherwise the usual Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker and Max Strus.
– Until Tuesday, this starting quintet played a total of two minutes together, all in Sunday’s Game 4.
The equation was evened out a bit when, an hour before kickoff, the Hawks announced that Bogdan Bogdanovich was out of the game due to knee pain.
– With Bogdanovich, perhaps the best reserve of the series during the first four games.
The Hawks opened with Clint Capella, John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Trae Young.
“With even more torment for Yang.
— Herro played the sixth man of the Heat.
Then Caleb Martin.
– All as Oladipo remained on the court.
– Adebayo was then thrown back when Tucker was called for a second foul with 5:03 left in the first period.
– With Duncan Robinson ending up playing as a third substitute.
Leave Dewayne Dedmon on the sidelines until the start of the second period.
– Adebayo’s fifth rebound allowed him to pass PJ Brown for seventh on the all-time Heat playoff list.
Robinson’s third three-pointer was the 200th of his playoff career.
– Herro’s second free throw moved him past Brown to 16th on the Heat’s all-time playoff list.
– Adebayo’s third free throw attempt saw him pass Tim Hardaway for ninth place on the Heat’s all-time playoff list.
Spoelstra entered, waiting for a desperate opponent.
“Yes, I mean, it’s to be expected,” he said. “You know, it’s hard to win four games in a playoff series. So we’re going to get an incredible, desperate effort on their part. And we have to surpass that, but also play well.”
– Pacers coach Nate McMillan acknowledged an alternative Heat lineup without Butler.
“You definitely need to shift the focus a bit to their attack,” he said before the game. “Jimmy was a guy who really, on offense, made them work with the first and second unit, his ability to create an attack for both himself and his teammates.”
McMillan added: “If he is not in the lineup, you need to focus on how they are going to attack. Expect their guards Herro and Robinson to actually get a lot more action. Bam, expect him to see more touches. On defense, I think it makes a difference for them.”
He also took a moment to remark, “He does a lot for them, but they still have a very good band.”
Macmillan walked at a strenuous pace.
“We didn’t have any points in the fast break,” he said of Sunday’s Game 4. We must play faster. And it starts with the fact that we get stops. It is very difficult to play all night against standard defense. We average 98 points per game.”
“Back then, the Hawks had two points in the first half.
– Juwan Howard visited the Heat bench shortly before the opening.