Random NBA Thoughts Playoffs #8

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  1. Tyler Herro‘s injury may have been a blessing for the Heat. The team has played through Jimmy Butler and without Herro, which has helped Caleb Martin and, to a lesser extent, Gabe Vincent emerge. If those two players, Martin and Vincent, continue to play well, it would free up the Heat to trade Herro for a better fit.
  2. Speaking of Caleb Martin, it is unfortunate that his contract has one year plus a player option left on it. The shame of it is that he’ll only make a little over $6 million next year. This is a true bargain by NBA standards.
  3. On paper, the Finals appear to be a mismatch. Denver has a better roster, but the obvious fly in the ointment is the Heat’s role players. Which are they—budding future stars or undrafted free agents.
  4. Jaylen Brown‘s reads on offense are terrible. It seemed the Heat defense was forcing him left into Miami’s help. Brown didn’t read the defense and should have immediately moved the ball. Brown’s dribble going left was weak, as was his left hand, and combine that with dribbling into the help caused him to turn the ball over.
  5. It was widely thought that Joe Mazzulla was outcoached by Erik Spoelstra. It will become interesting now that Spoelstra is coaching against Michael Malone. My guess is that Malone will have his team prepared for Miami’s zone and have a better idea of how to defend the Jimmy Butler-centric offense. The key will be how both coaches adjust and how the other coach handles the adjustments.
  6. The referees have taken some abuse during the playoffs, but all in all, they have done a solid job. The NBA has their best twelve referees working in the Finals and hopefully they continue to be non-factors.
  7. I’m picking Denver in this series. The Heat have seen their role players exceed expectations. Because of this, I don’t think they will continue to play well. In the play in game against the Chicago Bulls, Gabe Vincent didn’t score, and Caleb Martin had six points.

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