Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 110-105 victory over the Orlando Magic:
– The contributions were subtle.
– But when there are contributions from Caleb Martin, the Heat are a better team.
– Those contributions came when needed Friday night.
– While there still appears to be hesitation with the 3-point launches, Martin was scrappy, energetic, disruptive.
– His activity helped spark the fourth-quarter revival.
– And allowed the Heat to buy extra rest for Jimmy Butler.
– For weeks, even after his return, the quad injury has been a factor.
– Martin has acknowledged as much.
– But also has played through.
– Then came early foul trouble Friday.
– But perhaps that also allowed him to reload late.
– From the triple-clutch driving layup.
– To the diving rebound.
– While Butler and Bam Adebayo had the numbers, this was built on supporting efforts such as Martin’s.
– And Gabe Vincent’s.
– And Max Strus’.
– So the Heat found a way, completing a 3-0 homestand.
– Meanwhile, not sure how egregious Dewayne Dedmon’s blowup with Erik Spoelstra was on the Heat bench two weeks ago, but it might be time for a second chance.
– It’s almost as if Orlando Robinson has reached an expiration date with his growth.
– Yes, Robinson screens and doesn’t make mistakes.
– But sometimes you need more on nights such as Friday, when Adebayo picked up three first-half fouls.
– Perhaps it will be Omer Yurtseven to the rescue.
– But right now, there is a decided void behind Adebayo in the middle.
– And it’s not as if this roster has a power forward who can move into the middle.
– With Butler back from his one-game absence, the Heat got back to their preferred starting lineup of Adebayo, Martin, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro and Butler.
– With the start, Lowry tied Marvin Williams and Luol Deng for 92nd on the NBA all-time list, moving past Chris Webber for 94th.
– With Butler back, Jamal Cain was inactive to save the Heat an NBA day on his two-way contract.
– The only sidelined Heat players were Nikola Jovic, Omer Yurtseven and Duncan Robinson.
– Two early fouls on Martin had Victor Oladipo entering as the Heat’s first sub, midway through the opening period.
– That had Butler at power forward, with a three-guard mix of Herro, Lowry and Oladipo.
– Orlando Robinson followed, again playing as backup center ahead of Dewayne Dedmon.
– Vincent was third off the Heat bench.
–Vincent then converted his first 3-point attempt, after the Heat’s 0-for-5 start.
– Herro’s second assist moved him past Udonis Haslem for 19th on the Heat all-time list.
– Lowry’s third 3-point attempt was the 5,600th of his career.
– Butler’s first steal moved him past Ray Williams for 97th on the NBA all-time list and tied Grant Long for 96th.
– Adebayo’s fifth basket moved him past Eddie Jones for 10th on the Heat all-time list.
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