Another game is officially on the books in the Miami Heat‘s corner of the hardwood universe and, unfortunately, it bore a striking resemblance to many other recent contests.
Jimmy Butler was resplendent again, dropping a 38-piece and hitting one of the craziest buzzer-beaters in the South Beach annals to send the Heat’s Saturday night bout with the Orlando Magic to OT. Once they got there, though, Erik Spoelstra‘s squad crashed and burned to the tune of an 18-6 pounding (the Heat lost 126-114).
If one were looking for silver linings in the L — outside of Butler’s performance, that is — they might point to Kyle Lowry as one. After missing 15 straight games, the six-time All-Star finally returned to the court during the contest. He came off the bench, too, which is probably the best spot for him at this late stage in his career.
Despite some inoffensive — maybe even good — counting stats, though, Lowry’s minutes did a better job of spotlighting the Heat’s biggest issues than anything.
Kyle Lowry Had a Negative Impact on the Game Vs. the Magic Overall
The 36-year-old Lowry logged a whopping 36 minutes during his first action in five weeks. In doing so, he scored 12 points on a solid 4-of-8 shooting and 3-of-6 from deep. The 2019 NBA champion also added four assists, two steals and a block.
And yet, the Heat were outscored by 17 points when he was on the floor, which was far and away the worst mark teamwide. And the damage was done on both sides of the ball — Miami’s offensive rating checked in at an anemic 96.1 when he was on the floor, while the defense coughed up 121.6 points per 100 possessions.
Amid Lowry’s return, Spoelstra noted that the vet had “worked very diligently behind the scenes” and that his team “could use another spark right now, during the stretch run.” Those things may both be true, but Lowry hasn’t shown an ability to spark anything consistently during his two seasons with the Heat.
What’s more, he has very little trade value at this point beyond his status as a soon-to-be expiring contract. And given his $29.7 million salary, the number of teams with both the desire and the wherewithal to put something together for him is small — if it exists at all.
That’s a real shame, too, because Butler — who’s no spring chicken himself at 33 — is in desperate need of help. And that help probably isn’t coming while Lowry remains on the roster.
Candace Owens Attacks Heat Legends
On the latest episode of her podcast, conservative pundit Candace Owens took aim at Big 3-era Heat legends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — as well as the latter’s wife, actress Gabrielle Union — for their zip codes, of all things.
“Considering every time a Black person gets any money, they don’t choose to live in Black neighborhoods even though they can certainly afford to,” said Owens. “Looking at you, LeBron James… Looking at you, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade.”
Owens previously attacked Wade and his transgender daughter, Zaya (who’s still a teenager).
“Your child learned this behavior because there was an absence of masculinity in that child’s life and that makes sense for a basketball player,” she said of the elder Wade, as relayed by LGBTQ Nation, in 2021.
The Daily Wire host has also referred to Wade as a “child abuser” via Twitter.