This Miami Heat roster is full of wildly versatile players, something that will make them hard for the Milwaukee Bucks to contain in the NBA playoffs.
He became only the third-ever member of the Heat to drop 40 in a playoff game, putting him in excellent company amidst former Heatles LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and made headlines after disclosing he didn’t invite any family to the NBA bubble, calling it strictly a “business trip.”
(Virgos will Virgo.)
But despite Butler’s dominating offense and strong work ethic both being a thing of beauty, they aren’t the sole reason that Miami came out on top.
New best friend Goran Dragic scored 27 flashy points of his own, shooting a whopping 60 percent from the field (including 40 percent from downtown) and knocking down all seven of his free throws. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists, hitting everyone with a friendly reminder of what it truly means to be a well-rounded point guard.
Bam Adebayo also carried his weight (all 250-plus lbs of it and then some), collecting an impressive 17 rebounds, alongside 12 points, six assists and two steals. And perhaps even more importantly, he held Giannis Antetokounmpo to 18 points and 10 rebounds – a modest statline for the former MVP.
Versatility is key for the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs
It’s not just the fact that Miami is packed with talent though; it’s the versatility of the roster that makes the team so lethal.
And that’s exactly what the Heat have to focus on if they want to move past the Bucks and into the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs.
Take Duncan Robinson, for example – while he may have been Miami’s best-kept secret earlier this season, it appears that Milwaukee very much has his number. Robinson recorded just four points in 26 minutes, going a lonely 1-of-4 from beyond the arc. Yet, the Heat still managed to shoot 38.7 percent from three, with Jae Crowder and Tyler Herro picking up some of the slack.
Because although Robinson may be the squad’s designated 3-point threat, there are other guys who have the ability to sit pretty from downtown too.
It isn’t just nailing triples that this squad has down, either. If there’s another thing you can always count on from this group, it’s elite ball movement and playmaking.
While any scouting report will showcase both Butler and Dragic as the two main men for the job, you’d be hard-pressed to find a member of this team for whom facilitating doesn’t come as second-nature. From big men like Adebayo, Crowder and Kelly Olynyk, to sharp-shooters like Herro, you can expect every guy to morph into a point guard, at the drop of a dime.
(Even now Memphis Grizzly Justise Winslow can attest to that, who prior to being traded, was appropriately donned Point Winslow by all of Heat Twitter.)
Miami’s depth going beyond just strength in numbers is the key they need to unlock continued success in the second round. If they can keep playing true team ball, the Heat should find themselves more than capable of knocking out Milwaukee (even if that takes seven games).
The Miami Heat play again Wednesday, September 2 at 6:30 PM ET.
Buckle up, Heat Nation.