After losing 116-108 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the 76ers, the Miami Heat now find themselves in a best of three series with home court advantage.
While the Heat showed improvement from game 3 to game 4, the team struggled mightily from the 3 point line which caused fans to have many questions for Head Coach Eric Spoelstra.
While it’s not time to hit the panic button just yet, a game 5 loss could be a huge blow to Miami’s championship dreams.
Here are the keys to victory for the Heat in game 5:
1.) Duncan Robinson
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
The Miami Heat fans were puzzled after Head Coach Eric Spoelstra decided to sit guard Duncan Robinson in games 3 and 4.
The guy that went 8 of 9 from 3 point land in game 1 vs the Hawks has yet to register a single minute in the last 2 games.
Miami shot an abysmal 7 of 35 from the arc, an uncharacteristic night for the team that’s 1st seed in the Eastern Conference.
Some credit can be given to the Sixers’ defense, but more than half of the shots taken were wide open looks.
Max Strus, who is largely responsible for cutting into Robinson’s minutes, finished 2-5 from the floor but fouled out of the game.
Despite their poor shooting from deep, the Heat kept the game within striking distance. A lineup change and a larger role should be coming for the man that has shot 40% from deep in his career.
When asked about his lack of minutes, Robinson said he is just trying to support his team.
“I’m on the court, my job is to play basketball to the best of my abilities and help us win,” Robinson said to reporters. “If I’m not on the court, help us win. If that’s being a supportive teammate, that’s what I do.”
2.) If not Duncan, how about Caleb Martin/ Omer Yurtseven?
Martin has consistently showed that he can provide a spark on both sides of the ball with his athletic ability and timely shooting. He is also one of the best man to man defenders currently on the Heat roster.
Spo could ask the 6’5 Martin could be asked to guard sharpshooter Danny Green and/or switch off on James Harden who scorched the Heat for 31 points in game 4.
Should we even bring up Omer Yurtseven?
The Turkish 7 footer has shown that he is a skilled offensive rebounder and can help create second chance points. Dewayne Dedmon had to miss game 4 with a non-covid related illness. Maybe it’s time to bring in some reinforcements.
3. Let Jimmy be Jimmy and don’t be afraid to attack the big man
Jimmy Butler is playing at a hall of fame level right now and it’s keeping the Heat in games. His 40 point game was nothing short of a masterpiece and channeled his outstanding play in the bubble of 2020.
But like any star, he can’t do it alone.
The Heat did a great job of feeding Bam but they know their outside shooting and guard play will have to improve.
Fun Fact: Take a wild guess how many points C Joel Embiid had in the 4th quarter of last night’s game?
Sure, Embiid played a majority of the third but the architect of #trusttheprocess was held without a single score in the 4th. Give credit to James Harden and company.
One thing we’ve always known about the 76ers is that they’re a lot more well rounded with Embiid on the floor. Maxie has torched the Heat from deep and with his speed on fast breaks. Tobias Harris has also had his way with the defense throughout the series.
Miami will have to throw different looks at the 6ers to try to slow them down on both sides.
It’s time to pull out that bag of tricks, Spo.