With a final score of 118-94, the Heat got back up to .500 with a win against the Cavaliers. Despite being outscored 30-29 in the first quarter, the Heat came out strong and outscored the Cavs the rest of the way (obviously). Let’s take a closer look:
Point Justise– Justise Winslow is coming into his own, and everyone is excited about it. He’s finally looking like the prospect that the Heat went all-in on. He had a great night, 24/11/7 in 34 minutes on 11/21 shooting. He didn’t make a three, but that didn’t really matter. Justice Winslow is hot right now, and if he keeps it up, he could be a star very soon.
Turnovers– The Heat had seven turnovers. Single digits, seven. The Cavs had 15. That’s fantastic. The Heat have been playing much more carefully of late, and I’m very glad I get to put turnovers in the good category for once.
Hot Shooting Night– The Heat went 48-91 from the field, good for 52.7%. They went 10-31 from three, for 32.3%, which isn’t great, but also not bad. This is how a good team plays against a bad team. Part of the trouble with Miami early on was that they were playing to the strength and talent of their opponent. Now, they’re winning decisively when they should be.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2018
Before we move on, I’m gonna plug this article from Dave (@sportswavedave) really quick-he does a great job of breaking down how Miami has gotten back to their winning ways, and I’m a big fan of Dave’s writing. Read it.
Foul Trouble– Fouls were the only stat the Cavs got an edge in, only amassing 15 fouls to Miami’s 21. The Heat are right in the middle of the pack in fouls per game, which isn’t bad, but something you’d like to see go down.
Illness– Everybody is sick, apparently. James Johnson left with an illness, Udonis Haslem was ruled out (though I’m not sure he would have played anyway), Ellington didn’t play either. Those three, as well as Derrick Jones Jr., are questionable for Sunday’s game because of it. Get well soon, guys!
Cruise Control– The next four games for Miami are as follows: Timberwolves, Cavs again, the Wall-less Wizards, and the Hawks. Those are very easy games. The next four games after that: West-leading Nuggets, Celtics, Grizzlies, and Bucks. If the Heat start to let off the gas pedal, those teams are going to crush them. The Heat have to keep up good habits, or their schedule is going to come back to bite them.
As I mentioned, the Heat take on Minnesota in Miami tomorrow at 6 PM EST. Look out for a preview from yours truly. Follow @miamisportswave on Twitter/Instagram and @vaughanjasu on Twitter for more Heat content.