The Miami Heat opens its regular season tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Bulls. The game will be played at home and televised on Bally Sports. Click above to hear our new podcast on the team.
Here are five things to watch for.
1. Bam’s Extended Range and Aggressiveness
During the off-season, Bam seems to have worked on his jumper significantly, looking to extend his range beyond the paint. We got a glimpse of this during pre-season as Adebayo took multiple shot attempts from outside the three-point line. We also want to see if he can be more aggressive in the post, which seemed to be lacking last year and throughout the postseason.
2. Can Herro Make That Jump
After a strong 2021-2022 campaign winning Sixth Man of the Year, Tyler Herro looks to take the next step at becoming a respected starter in this league. With a large four-year contract extension, the Heat have high hopes for the young guard out of Kentucky. If he can work to improve his consistency and defense, we can be looking at a possible all-star this year with the ability to be the second option under Butler.
3. How Oladipo Will Bounce Back
Oladipo, who is out for tonight’s game because of a knee injury, is coming off his first full training camp and is looking to make an impression. He signed a one-year deal to return to the Heat to everyone’s surprise, so it’s clear that he is looking to prove himself and earn a big contract. If Oladipo can play as he did on the Pacers, he can be one of the top two-way players in the league for the 2022-2023 season.
4. Nikola Jovic
This 19-year-old rookie is turning heads for all the right reasons. While still having a lot to improve, the rookie impressed many with his talent as he immediately made his presence felt with multiple solid outings in the pre-season and summer league. The young prospect has a great shot from beyond the arc and looks comfortable with the ball in his hands. The future looks bright and he could be the next big European player to enter the league if he continues to go upward. The Heat might have a gem in this one.
5. Duncan Robinson’s Decreased Role
With the rise of Max Strus, we have seen a significant fall in minutes and performance for Duncan Robinson. Going into this season, the seat is hot and there are a lot of questions surrounding whether he will still be here come playoff time. We’ve seen what he can be, now the question remains: Will his defense improve or will he remain one-dimensional? Only time will tell.