Observations and other notes of interest from Thursday night’s 106-104 loss to the New York Knicks:
– Yes, this is redundant.
– It also is reality.
– Kyle Lowry played Tuesday night’s first half in Cleveland without a point, rebound or assist.
– He then played Thursday’s first half without a point, rebound or assist.
– This time missing all five of his first-half shots, four of them 3-point attempts.
– As the Knicks also hunted him (when they weren’t hunting Tyler Herro) on defense.
– Lowry was minus 20 at halftime.
– At a stage the Heat trailed by three.
– At halftime, the Knicks’ Jalen Brunson had as many points, rebounds and assists as Lowry.
– And he did not play, sidelined by illness.
– Lowry’s first points, on a 3-pointer, came with 2:44 left in the third period.
– After an 0-for-6 start from the field.
– He exited for good with 1:41 left in the third period.
– It’s a tough spot for Erik Spoelstra.
– With the Heat this season already sitting Ducan Robinson’s money.
– And Dewayne Dedmon’s (more on that later).
– It’s almost as if Lowry is making Gabe Vincent indispensable.
– With Vincent again having his moments.
– The Heat again opened with Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, Herro and Lowry.
– With the appearance, Adebayo tied Goran Dragic for 10th on the Heat’s all-time games list.
– Victor Oladipo was an active scratch, due to an ankle sprain.
– With Orlando Robinson out due to a fractured thumb, Udonis Haslem played as the Heat’s first big man off the bench.
– Ahead of Dedmon
– Which says plenty about where Dedmon stands.
– Or doesn’t.
– Haslem entered in the Heat’s first substitution along with Max Strus.
– Typically, that is when Oladipo would have entered.
– Haywood Highsmith played as the Heat’s third reserve.
– And again had his moments.
– Vincent then made it nine deep.
– Butler’s first steal moved him past Reggie Theus for 93rd on the NBA all-time list.
– Butler tied Shaquille O’Neal for 17 on the Heat all-time list of double-digit games in points.
– Herro’s second assist moved him past Josh Richardson for 17th on the Heat all-time list.
– Vincent’s third 3-pointer attempt moved him past Dion Waiters for 24th on Heat all-time list.
– Adebayo’s fifth free throw was the 1,300th of his career.
– Spoelstra noted the uncommonness of having not faced the Heat this season until Thursday.
– “There’s no doubt about it,” he said, “it’s a little bit unique that we’re this far along in the season, we haven’t even played ‘em yet, and we’ll play them four times in the next five weeks.”
– Still, he said the legacy of Heat-Knicks endures.
– “This history,” Spoelstra said, “it’s not specifically relevant now, but I think you inherit all of the things that we’ve experienced as an organization. Ultimately, it’s just good competition. We’re both right there, basically in a similar spot in the very competitive Eastern Conference.”
– Of the scheduling that did not have the teams meeting this season until Thursday, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said, “It’s a quirk. Those things happen.”
– Of this current rendition of the Knicks, Spoelstra said, “You respect how they play, how physical they are, and how much emotion and passion they play with in this environment, this building.”
– Knicks guard Jalen Brunson on the Heat, “Obviously they have great personnel, a culture that they talk about all the time.”
– Thibodeau said among the prime reasons the Heat entered with 17 wins in their previous 25 was the team’s return to health.
– On meeting up again with Butler, his player in Chicago and Minnesota, Thibodeau said, “Jimmy’s Jimmy. He’s the ultimate competitor, and I think that transcends anything. He’s going to find a way to win.”
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