Game Breakdown #4: Butler Hunting Lillard, Herro’s Long Mid-Range, A lot of Good Jaquez Basketball!

Insight4 weeks ago6 min readJohn Jablonka

Side note before these breakdowns. I am catching up on them a week later, some of these may be shorter than usual or may not have a particular focus. A lot of this will be picking things out that caught my eye.

Sigh. Another Miami Heat game where they are undermanned. This time, it was Bam Adebayo missing time. This year, they have a minus 12.4 net rating with a 114.7 defensive rating in 146 minutes. Last year, in seven games that he missed, it actually wasn’t that bad — minus 0.3 with a 113.6 defense in 341 minutes.

This game wasn’t that close to what the final score said. After that first quarter of being in the game, that soon went away, as the Milwaukee Bucks went ahead and took over in the second half.

Here are their stats by quarter:

  • 1st: 103.7 offensive rating vs 103.7 defensive rating
  • 2nd: 92.3 Off vs 130.8 Def
  • 3rd: 80.8 Off vs 134.6 Def
  • 4th: 157.7 Off vs 96.2 Def

The Heat’s offense slowly died and died until it was dead to end the third. And whilst this was happening, the Bucks’ offense was coming alive. Through three quarters, the Heat had a 92.4 Off and a 122.8 Def. That wasn’t a game.

Their fourth-quarter comeback came as a result of making seven 3s:

  • Orlando Robinson in the corner off a Jaime Jaquez post-split kick
  • A late Jaquez in the corner after Giannis Antetokounmpo helped off
  • Another Jaquez triple after Antetokounmpo helped off one pass away
  • A Robinson-Orlando DHO vs drop
  • A Robinson triple after Orlando made a short roll read after Tyler Herro drew 2
  • A Nikola Jovic quick pull up 3 off a PNR
  • A very difficult Robinson DHO 3

It was just one of those games where guys got hot at the perfect moment. It was unfortunate that they couldn’t capitalize on it and bring this win on the road. That would’ve been special to have the bench unit lead that.

Outside of that, there were still plenty of things to get through that caught my eye — Herro PNR, Butler hunting Damian Lillard, and Jaquez Jr highlights

There was going to be a lot of matchup hunting with Butler, especially when there’s someone like Lillard to hunt. They went to it quite a lot, but I wasn’t impressed with their execution

In the first clip, they easily get the switch. Then Butler flows into a PnR with Bryant. He snaked his way to force another switch to get Brook Lopez on him. And now Bryant has a bigger mismatch against Lillard. But Butler should’ve recognized that Jae Crowder is also there. And Crowder made one hell of a play to kick the mismatch out. That was elite awareness. That’s also on Butler to recognize that Crowder is still floating around there.

Similar to the second clip. They get the switch easily, but Crowder doesn’t leave him. He’s there early ready to help, double, and blitz. That’s again on Butler to recognize quicker. Instead, it looks like it caught him off guard, he picked up the dribble and had to quickly pass it off. Now, the advantage is over. Also, watch everyone else when he’s doubled, they’re almost all standing around!

In the last two clips, Butler did manage to get a shot off, but they aren’t the best looks that you want against a mismatch — a step-back long 2 and a pull-up over multiple defenders.

This was a concern last year too where the Heat are able to get a lot of these advantages through Butler, but aren’t able to capitalize as much.

There were a lot of Herro PnRs too in this game. And the trends with him are clear as day. This is the same stuff that I talked about in the Minnesota game. It’s always looking to shoot it. It’s poor decision-making. It’s the shot selection from bad spots when there are spaces that he can attack.

You can see that mentality to score in the second clip. He’s looking to get to his spot and that’s it. Completely misses the open pass to Jaquez Jr.

The fourth clip annoyed me. I have no idea what the thought process was there. A quick PnR to take a step-back long 2 with 18 seconds on the clock. As soon as he brought the ball over the half, it felt like he was just going to attack.

The last clip also annoys me(this exact thing happened against the Wolves). Here’s a double PnR. He’s again only looking to score from his spots but when the defense recovers, he just makes a bailout pass.

There were also a couple of back-to-back possessions with him getting blitzed early near the half-court. And it didn’t end well with both times losing his handle on the retreat dribble.

I loved Jaquez in this game though!

On one of those turnovers from Herro, he manages to get a LeBron James-type chase down block. That was a great hustle play.

In the second clip, he’s involved in the post-split action(same as in the Wolves game, expect that to be a thing). When he notices Bobby Portis camping in the paint off of Robinson, he whips that pass right to the corner for the 3.

In the third clip, he’s on the receiving end of that pass. This has been one of the main things that I liked on offense from him. He hits Antetokounmpo with a fake and quickly puts the ball down, beats the closeout, gets to the rim, and finishes through contact vs Portis.

In the end, it’s still unfortunate that they weren’t able to close this game after falling behind 25 points.