Observations and other notes of interest from:
– If there really is outside business interest in Kyle Lowry, the Heat have to listen, right?
– Because this is becoming a topic of late night conversation.
– The problem is that there is no definitive alternative.
– It’s almost like the Heat have to wait for another Goran Dragic buy.
– Because at least that didn’t put the Heat in deficit.
– This time there were no points, no assists, no rebounds from Lowry in the first half.
– Yes, a slight awakening in the second part.
– But this has not been a case of a point guard improving a team.
– And it’s been over a week since the last heroics against the Pelicans.
— For all the bragging about other teams looking for Lowry before the NBA’s Feb. 9 trade deadline (if there’s anything to that bragging), it’s like the Heat have to be looking at point guards, too .
– Because when Gabe Vincent was called for his fifth foul with 4:19 to play, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra substituted for Victor Oladipo.
– It is not your expensive setter.
– The Heat were back to being mostly healthy and almost complete.
– The only players not available were those who stayed in Miami for the trip: Omer Yurtyseven (ankle), Nikola Jovic (back) and Duncan Robinson (finger), as well as two-way player Jamal Cain, who is in the G League. .
– Jimmy Butler (quadruple concussion) and Vincent (ankle swelling) had been listed as questionable earlier in the day, but were available.
– So again he was the Heat’s favorite starting five of Butler, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro and Lowry.
– Adebayo moved into a Dragic appearance for 10th on the Heat’s all-time list.
– Oladipo and Orlando Robinson re-entered together as the Heat’s first two substitutes.
Vincent followed him.
– With Max Strus doing nine deep.
– That had Haywood Highsmith, Dewayne Dedmon and Udonis Haslem out of the mix.
– Dedmon has yet to play since his one-game suspension Jan. 12 for conduct detrimental to the team.
– Butler’s second 3-point attempt was the 1,800th of his career.
— Butler’s fourth free throw moved him past Buck Williams to 79th on the NBA all-time list, and his fifth moved him past Bernard King to 78th.
– Butler’s third free throw attempt moved him past Billy Cunningham for 99th place on the NBA all-time list.
– Herro’s fourth assist tied Josh Richardson for 18th on the Heat’s all-time list.
— With the Cavaliers entering at No. 5 in the East and the Heat at No. 6, Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff said attention was paid to importance.
– “We talk all the time about having empathy for our opponents and understanding what their mentality can be,” he said before the game. “So anytime a team is in position, where they’re chasing you with an opportunity to get you, there’s a different mentality, especially from a team that’s just as proven as the one across the locker room.”
– Bickerstaff added: “The Heat have that toughness, that determination, that competitiveness that teams strive for. And every time they’re in that position, you know it’s going to mean so much more to them and they’re going to go out there and try to do it.”
– He also warned to be careful not to write off the Heat.
– “These guys,” he said, “have the ability to step up when it’s needed most.”