HEAT Return Home To Host Hawks

Jimmy Butler
Photo Credit: David Alvarez
by Joe Beguiristain

After an encouraging road trip, the HEAT are back home to take on the Hawks in the first of two games in three days against the squad.

In case you missed it on Sunday, Miami showed a lot of grit and resolve in Minnesota on the second night of a back-to-back. And with a lot of key contributors out, it was all hands on deck versus one of the better teams in the league.

Let’s go through the list, shall we?

Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson varied up their offensive approach and kept the Timberwolves guessing more often than not. As a result, both guys recorded career highs in points (25 for Nunn, 21 for Robinson); and Nunn’s mark was good enough for the most points by a rookie through three games in franchise history (67).

Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow, on the other hand, picked up their production late and did all they could down the stretch. Adebayo stifled Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half, while Winslow led the HEAT with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the fourth.

And when you delve deeper into the hustle stats, Adebayo’s night becomes even more impressive. Try this for size: the 22-year-old paced Miami with seven screen assists for 16 points, 10 contested shots (tied with Nunn) and eight deflections. Yes, eight.

All. Heart.

The HEAT will need that kind of determination once again versus a tough Hawks team on Tuesday.

Thanks to Trae Young’s absurd numbers this season (34.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting, 9.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game), Atlanta has gotten off to a red-hot start. After winning their first two games against the Pistons and Magic, the Hawks gave the 76ers all they could handle in a narrow 105-103 loss on Monday night. More importantly, Atlanta has done it on both ends thus far, outscoring the opposition by 5.2 points per 100 possessions.

We’ll see how it all plays out in Jimmy Butler’s official HEAT debut.

INJURY/STATUS REPORT: Kelly Olynyk (Left Quad Contusion) is probable, while Daryl Macon (G League - Two-Way), Derrick Jones Jr. (Left Groin Strain), James Johnson (Conditioning) and Dion Waiters (Not With Team) are all out for Miami. Evan Turner (Left Achilles Pain) is doubtful, while Allen Crabbe (Post Op Rehab - Right Knee), Chandler Parsons (Load Management - Bilateral Knees), Charles Brown Jr. and Brandon Goodwin (G League - Two-Way) are out for Atlanta.

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