Tyler Herro set to return for Heat Saturday against the Jazz

Miami’s third leading scorer is set to return tomorrow. Via the Sun Sentinel:

Tyler Herro is back with the Miami Heat after another pit stop in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Held out of Thursday night’s 101-94 victory over the Houston Rockets at the start of the Heat’s seven-game trip, Herro was on the team flight to Salt Lake City, where the Heat will face the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

While it was the first game Herro missed this season due to pandemic protocols, he previously was held out of a practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, after a housemate tested positive, with that ultimately proving to be a false positive.

The Heat are 11-14 this season. Their leading scorers are Bam Adebayo at 19.7 points per game, Jimmy Butler at 19.5 ppg, and Herro at 17.0 ppg.

Heat keep losing, fall to Wizards

The Heat aren’t off to a good start this season. Via the Miami Herald:

It has been less than four months since the Miami Heat was playing in the 2020 NBA Finals. Barely more than 100 days have passed since Jimmy Butler was going toe to toe with LeBron James — and often besting the superstar — with a championship on the line.

A new season is now more than a quarter of the way done and the Heat is a shell of the team that tore through the 2020 NBA Bubble in Lake Buenva Vista. Miami hit a new low point Wednesday with a 103-100 loss to the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena.

For the second straight game, the Heat (7-14) had control deep into the second half only to let it slip away. For the second game, Miami jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first half and led for the vast majority of the second half, and still managed to lose at home to one of the worst teams in the NBA…

The Heat has now lost 10 of its last 13, including 2 of 3 since All-Star forward Jimmy Butler returned after missing nearly three weeks because of the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Now, to be fair of course, lots of key Heat players have missed plenty of games. The squad proved during their run to the Finals that they have great chemistry, but that’s not much help when guys are in and out of the lineup. But at some point, it would be nice to see the Heat looking like what is expected of them.

Tonight, Miami had Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo in the starting lineup, with Goran Dragic, and Andre Iguodala each playing over 20 minutes off the bench. But still fell, 103-100.

In the win for the Wizards, Bradley Beal scored 32, but no other DC players scored above 13. But threes-pointers hit, and the Wizards claimed victory.

Jimmy Butler set to return for Heat

As has been the case all season, the Heat injury/inactive list is a crowded place these days. Via the Miami Herald:

The Heat, which has played without several key players during a disastrous three-week January stretch, could get Jimmy Butler back on Saturday while awaiting the return of a few other rotation players.

The Heat listed Butler as questionable for Saturday’s 8 p.m. home game against Sacramento, but there is optimism he will play. If he surprisingly doesn’t, a return appears likely by Monday at the latest. The five-time All-Star, who missed time while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, has not played since the Heat’s Jan. 9 road win over the Washington Wizards.

The Heat, which had only 10 players available in Thursday’s loss to the Clippers, listed nine others on the injury report for the Kings game

The Heat are on a five-game losing streak and are just 6-12 this season. But to judge them by that right now would be ridiculous. Duncan Robinson has played in all 18 games, and Bam Adebayo 16, but Goran Dragic 14, Kendrick Nunn 13, Tyler Herro 11, Avery Bradley eight, and Butler just six.

On a very positive note, Adebayo has having a special season, averaging 20.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

The January 10, 2021 Heat vs. Celtics NBA game in Boston postponed for coronavirus safety reasons

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Because of ongoing contact tracing with the Heat, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Celtics.

Heat should have Jimmy Butler back in action soon

The Heat have had a wild ride lately, losing by 47 to the Bucks two days ago, then beating them yesterday. This without Jimmy Butler, who should return to action any day now. Possibly tomorrow. Via the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Jimmy Butler took flight with the Miami Heat on Thursday, listed as probable for Friday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, after missing the past two games due to a sprained right ankle.

Butler was injured in the Dec. 23 season-opening loss in Orlando. He played through that game against the Magic and then in the first half of the Heat’s Christmas Day home-opening victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 2-2 Heat have been led in scoring by Bam Adebayo at 19.0 points per game, Tyler Herro at 17.0 PPG, Goran Dragic off the bench at 16.5 PPG, and new addition Avery Bradley at 14.0 PPG.

After 47-point loss to Bucks, Heat bounce back with win

The Miami Heat got destroyed by the Milwaukee Bucks a few days ago, but quickly got a chance at revenge and were able to capitalize. Via the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Back in the same building against the same opponent one night after losing by 47 to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Heat this time limited their largest deficit to 14 — instead of the 51 a night earlier — and then drew a line on the AmericanAirlines Arena hardwood.

So from Tuesday night’s 144-97 torment, the Heat made a quick turnaround to Wednesday night’s 119-108 resounding resurgence…

A night after the Bucks shot a record-setting 29 of 51 on 3-pointers, there was a more mundane 16 of 41 from Milwaukee.

Without Jimmy Butler for a second consecutive night, as the All-Star forward deals with a balky right ankle, Spoelstra shuffled his starting lineup and rotation and dealt a winning hand to leave his team with a 2-2 start to the season.

The Heat often do things differently. In this case, their leading scorer was a reserve: Goran Dragic, with 26 points. Their leading rebounder was a guard: Tyler Herro, with 15 rebounds. And their assists leader was their center: Bam Adebayo, with 10 assists.

Miami Heat waive BJ Johnson

The Miami Heat have waived guard/forward BJ Johnson.

Johnson, who was signed by the HEAT on December 4, appeared in two games with Miami this preseason totaling three points, two assists and a rebound while shooting 1-of-5 from the field and 1-of-1 from three-point range.

With NBA preseason ending today and the regular season starting Tuesday, teams around the league are trimming their rosters down over the next few days.

Heat convert Max Strus’ contract to a two-way contract

The Miami Heat have converted the contract of guard/forward Max Strus to a two-way contract.

Strus appeared in two preseason games with Miami this season averaging a team-leading 16.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field and 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from three-point range. He posted 22 points, all off the bench, last night against Toronto while connecting on 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, helping the HEAT to a, 117-105, win.

Strus split last season between the Chicago Bulls and their G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. He appeared in two games with Chicago totaling five points and one rebound in 6:14 minutes of action while shooting 2-of-3 from the field and connecting on his only free throw. He also appeared in 13 games (12 starts) for Windy City, before suffering a season-ending injury, and averaged 18.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 34.9 minutes while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 96.3 percent from the foul line.

Strus played two seasons at DePaul University after transferring from Lewis University. As a senior at DePaul in 2018-19, he appeared in 35 games (all starts) and averaged 20.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 37.4 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent from the foul line. Among DePaul’s all-time leaders, he finished third in three-point field goals made (194), fourth in career scoring average (18.6) and fifth in career free throw percentage (.825). He scored 705 points as a senior, joining Mark Aguirre as the only players in school history to score at least 700 points in a single season. Additionally, Strus recorded eight career 30-point games, joining Aguirre (17), George Mikan (13) and Tom Kleinschmidt (8) as the only players in program history with at least five 30-point games.

Heat waive Breein Tyree and Paul Eboua

The Miami Heat waived guard Breein Tyree and forward Paul Eboua today.

Both players were signed on November 25.

Tyree played a few minutes in one preseason game. Eboua didn’t get any preseason minutes.

There are just a few days left to preseason, then the regular season tips off on Tuesday. Teams around the league will steadily be releasing players and trimming their rosters down in the coming days.

Avery Bradley’s defense should help Heat this season

Defensive-minded guard Avery Bradley left the Lakers this offseason and joined the Heat. Here’s the Miami Herald quoting Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s analysis of the squad’s new addition:

“You see him as a 6-2, 6-3 guard, but he’s able to literally defend one through four,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And offensively, he’s a player that can fit in any system, because he can play off the ball, you can put the ball in his hands. He can play as a point guard. You can play him running off of dribble hand offs. Or he can just play off of your great players or your great offensive threats. And he’ll find a way to be effective. And that’s what we’ve already seen in a couple of days.

“I know he’s going to make Tyler [Herro] and [Kendrick Nunn] better just from practices. His level of intensity and his on-ball defense is incredible. It’s an area we felt we could improve, not only in player development, but with a personnel addition. He has checked that box, just with what we’ve seen in a short period of time.”

Point-of-attack perimeter defense was a Heat weakness opponents tried to take advantage of last season, with teams repeatedly running isolation sets against players such as Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson in the playoffs.

Bradley (6-3, 180), who turned 30 on Nov. 26, will certainly help in that area this season.