The Miami Heat got off to a hot start up until halftime. Then, it was all DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls as they dominated the second half securing a 116-108 win in the FTX Arena. While some moments stood out for Miami and this new starting lineup, many concerns arose in their season opener.
Here’s what we learned from the first outing of the 2022-23 season.
1.) Tyler Herro looks extremely confident in the Miami Heat starting lineup.
It wasn’t a total gamble that Heat fans would see Tyler Herro become a starter after his breakout Sixth Man of the Year role last year. He came out proving that he belonged all along. Breaking out for quick back-to-back threes to start the game, Herro established himself early on leading the way as a floor general and finding great chemistry with Jimmy Butler on offense.
It was a long time coming and with a newly inserted confidence that Herro hopes to continue riding this newly asserted role. He finished the night with 23 points, six rebounds, and one assist but couldn’t find any rhythm late in the game as they attempted a comeback down 10 points with two minutes left. They couldn’t chip away and came up short.
The bright side to all this is that Miami now has a true shooting guard that can diversify his game to various spots, whether on or off the ball. This will be key for the Heat in the playoffs if they are able to make a deep run once again.
2.) Miami Heat chose wisely when inserting Caleb Martin as the starting four.
This is by far the most enticing news for the season if you’re a diehard Heat fan. Caleb Martin had proven to be a solid role player last year and now as a starter has the versatility and hustle to man up against the league’s big forwards. His 3-point shooting is also key for this slot. The only issue is can he hold up the responsibility to hold down the post alongside Bam Adebayo?
While his stat line didn’t immediately spark an impact on the game, it was his footwork, spacing, and rotations that gave fans hope that this Miami Heat team finally found their 4. Martin finished the night with seven points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals before sitting out the final minutes in Miami’s sleek attempt at a comeback.
His energy and focus will be something to watch for as the season unfolds.
3.) Miami Heat turnovers and foul trouble killed all of the team’s momentum.
Miami’s turnovers destroyed the Heat in this loss. They always felt a tad bit slow defensively on rotations and slumped hard, especially in the third quarter. Miami finished with 19 turnovers to Chicago’s 14 allowing the Bulls 17 points off those mistakes. They also had two costly mistakes in the last two minutes of the game at the hands of an aggressive defender in Alex Caruso.
Chicago quickly shifted around in the second half going on a 34-19 run efficiently breaking open a tied score. Once the lead amounted to 93-78, it all went downhill for Miami as they simply couldn’t stop Chicago’s energy and, of course, DeMar DeRozan’s killer instinct. The 33-year-old All-Star finished the night with 37 points, six rebounds, and nine assists.
Foul trouble also plagued the Heat early on with Adebayo taking an early exit in the third after picking up his fourth foul. As a unit, Miami was outrebounded 57 to 51 and Nikola Vucevic was an absolute monster crashing the boards outmuscling Miami’s post attempts. Dewayne Dedmon didn’t provide much support backing up Bam as he also endured foul trouble in the 4th. A recurring theme for Miami’s bigs. Omer Yurtseven was out with ankle soreness.
Hopefully, the Miami Heat can adjust defensively and take care of foul issues as they take on their Conference Finals opponent Boston Celtics Friday Night.