1. The last game of the season is always fun. Either you have something to play for and the stakes are high, or like Miami tonight you have nothing to gain in the standing having locked up the No. 1 seed and we get to see lineups we would otherwise never get to see. Victor Oladipo may have been the story of the evening with 40 points on 22 shots, his second consecutive game of 20 points, but these are important nights for guys like Omer Yurtseven, Haywood Highsmith and Javonte Smart as a chance to take what they’ve been working on behind the scenes and apply it to rotation minutes while most everyone else gets a breather before the playoffs. Orlando, the No. 28 three-point shooting team in the league by percentage, couldn’t miss on their way to a franchise-high 23 threes as Miami fell, 125-111, but this is the rare one that’s less about the results and more about the developmental work. Now it’s time for the real thing.
2. Coming off his 21-point, 6-of-9 from three – the six makes tying his career high – performance against Toronto last Sunday, Victor Oladipo had another nice showing. Well, nice might be putting it lightly. This may not have been the highest-leverage evening, nor was the defense particularly inspired on either end, but you score 25 points in a half, as Oladipo did in the first on 13 shots, then you get your credit for that. It’s not like everyone is scoring 25 in a half, or 40 in a game, at any point in the season. In fact, Oladipo is just the 11th player in franchise history to score 25 in a half, with only Dwayne Wade and LeBron James doing so more than twice. Along with the points, Oladipo was clearly running the offense throughout and his seven assists fall well short of the number of opportunities he created.
Oladipo might be on the outside of the rotation right now, at least based on what we’ve seen of Erik Spoelstra’s rotations lately, but he’s certainly used the last two opportunities to remind everyone of how he can play. Toronto was mostly about the shooting for someone who hasn’t always been known as a shooter first, and while tonight he hit plenty of threes tonight – 5-of-11, including a couple of deep stepbacks – he was also much more aggressive attacking his defender and getting to the paint. There’s no denying the talent.