Game Breakdown #6: Herro’s Passing, Duncan’s Rim Pressure, Bam’s Defense

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.

Finally. The Miami Heat finally got a win and it came as part of the in-season tournament. This score was closer than what the game was. They were up 25 around mid-way through the fourth. This was a convincing win.

It felt like this was one of their best games so far at that point too. This was also their first game of the season to have an above-average offense in a single game with 119.8 per Cleaning the Glass. One of the wildest stat is they had a 70.2% TS. Everything was clicking for them on that end of the floor. They even went 25-for-28 at the rim! I can’t remember the last time they made that many shots at the rim.

There were a few things to get through in this game — Duncan Robinson’s rim pressure, Tyler Herro’s passing, a whole lot of good from Jaime Jaquez Jr, and Bam Adebayo’s defense.

I’m so, so impressed by Robinson. This isn’t the Robinson that we all know. I’m finding myself clipping his rim pressure clips where it has anything to do with his cutting or driving to the rim more than any 3s that he makes.

In the first clip, he perfectly beats the closeout with that snappy rip-through to get to the rim and finish with the reverse. I’ve noticed that he has a good way of getting past defenders in the paint.

I liked the second clip. He curls around Adebayo’s screen but the defense played that well to deny the pass, but the thing about Robinson is he never stops moving. If you think he’s going to stop or half-ass a movement, you’re wr— oops you just missed him strong-cutting and now he draws the low man and makes an instant pass to the corner to Haywood Highsmith.

I’m starting to think that his driving, cutting, and passing are better skills than his shooting ability.

But I’m most impressed with the last clip. Again, he just doesn’t stop moving. He’s constantly moving this way, then that way, goes around that screen, goes to set a screen, and repeats until he finds something. That’s what he does here with that sudden acceleration once the defense fell asleep. You don’t fall asleep at all because he won’t. He gets the ball and kind of flows into a PnR with Bryant. But there’s no hesitation. There’s no attempt to shoot. He’s looking to drive and get to the rim. It’s that confidence and aggression that’s the key difference this year.

I like this Herro. I really like Herro as a passer when he is one. He’s grown so much in that area, and I hated that during the off-season, there were still people thinking that he hasn’t made strides in this area. Everything about him as a passer has constantly improved. His processing speed, his awareness, and his willingness to make those passes. That wasn’t there two seasons ago at all.

He’s gradually getting better at making better reads off a PnR on a pocket pass where he waits until the defense commits or it’s in a bad position to recover so that Adebayo can get a better look on the roll.

It’s that snappy decision to hit Robinson on the cut. That’s quick processing,

Or it’s the over-the-shoulder pass to Bryant that I don’t think he even knows he had that pass available two seasons ago.

However, two possessions stood out and it has to do with his habit of picking up the dribble too early in the PnR.

In the first clip, he picks up the dribble immediately, but the defense isn’t expecting Adebayo to slip like that, so he’s able to find the roll fairly easily.

The issues come from what happens in the second clip. That same habit. Exactly what happened in the first clip, except the defense was aware of it. Now, he picked up the dribble, there’s no roll, and there’s no advantage with him holding the ball.

It’s a small nitpick initially on his first attempt(although successful), but it’s that nitpick that is a difference between that same action not working only 30 seconds later. It was 30 seconds later and his move is negated. That’s a habit that he has had for ages now.

Finally, we get to some defense from Adebayo. He was locking Jordan Poole up. He wasn’t able to get by him at all. On two of those drives, he just stonewalled him completely forcing him to pass or cause a turnover. At this point, that’s a turnover if a player tries to attempt that.

Don’t go at Adebayo one-on-one! It won’t end well.

The second clip was also impressive with his defense a closeout on Kyle Kuzma and then a great recovery to defend Deni Avdija on the drive.

My favorite was the fourth clip. Great hands on the dig when Herro had a mismatch in the post. That prevented an easy score most likely or help needed because now the ball was tipped. Then he makes an instant recovery on the Poole drive to rotate and get the block. That possession was saved all by Adebayo. Preventing the mismatch from being successful and preventing an open layup.

Adebayo has been ON ONE on defense.