Miami Heat Culture isn’t simply coachspeak to the players in South Beach. It’s a way of conducting business, every day in a professional manner — especially on the defensive end of the floor. Unfortunately, Miami Heat Culture has been missing in recent weeks.
All-Star center Bam Adebayo made a passionate plea for his teammates to return to it after Monday night’s 125-118 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He wasn’t calling anybody out. Everyone in the locker room needs to buy back in and start getting stops on defense.
There has been a severe lack of “multiple efforts” and communication as the Heat have yet to put together a full 48 minutes of quality basketball.
“I feel like if we would have played Miami Heat Culture defense, we would have won, 48 minutes,” Adebayo told reporters. “Not enough multiple efforts. Not enough communication. We gotta take pride in defense.”
Teammate Jimmy Butler took it a step further and called the Heat out for “mental lapses.” It’s something that can’t happen at any time, let alone on the road against a Clippers squad that was down four starters.
“I think we just have mental lapses, which isn’t a good thing,” Butler said. “I’m not letting anyone off the hook, but it’s all about playing until the end of the possession.”
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Kendrick Nunn Earns Pay Raise
One thing overlooked in the Heat’s second straight loss was another start for Kendrick Nunn. While his final stats didn’t jump off the page — six points in 21 minutes — the second-year guard earned himself a pay bump.
Nunn has now averaged 32.25 starts over two seasons, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, and that ups his 2021 qualifying offer from nearly $2.1 million to $4.7 million. The 25-year-old is averaging 13.4 points and 27.7 minutes per game this season.
It had been speculated that Miami was purposefully keeping Nunn on the bench so as not to allow the “starter criteria” clause in his contract to kick in. However, a myriad of injuries in the backcourt has forced him into a larger role, especially with Avery Bradley and Goran Dragic out.
Tyler Herro Tries to Sneak in Practice Shot
There was a funny moment late in the first half when Tyler Herro tried to pull one over on the refs. The Heat guard quickly stepped to the foul line for the first of two free throws and fired the ball at the rim while players were staring in disbelief.
Herro tried to sell it but the officials weren’t amused and counted the first shot. He and fellow guard Duncan Robinson kept jawing about it, only to see it fall on deaf ears. He eventually stepped back to the line and missed the second shot. It was just that kind of night for the Heat.
Herro, who has been coming off the bench since Feb. 5, scored 27 points in 41 minutes. He was 4-of-10 from deep while the Heat shot an abysmal 22.2% on three-pointers (8-of-36). Next up, a Wednesday night date with the Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m.