Heat’s Victory Against Hawks Marks Promising Progress for Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson

While it’s been a worrisome trend all season, the Heat played exceptionally well in the final period.

Heat's win over Hawks is 'step in right direction' for Tyler Herro, Duncan  Robinson

The Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks Friday night in what makes it their second straight win and also five victories in their last seven contests as they try to end 2023 on a good note. Stars Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo, and head coach Erik Spoelstra spoke after the game to talk about the win and how some worrisome trends were put on notice in a positive way.

Herro was dynamite Friday scoring 30 points while collecting seven rebounds. He started off with a bang as he had 14 points in the first period. While Herro has been out for a significant amount of time, he’s seen first-hand how the team has had the negative aspect of the team building up leads, but their play slips in the fourth quarter.

Takeaways from Heat's home win over Hawks without Jimmy Butler | Miami  Herald

In the contest, the Heat built up a lead in the first quarter and while it fluctuated throughout the game, Miami entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead and sustained it until the end. Herro said to ClutchPoints that the win over Atlanta was a “step in the right direction.”

“Definitely, it’s a long season season. Throughout the season, I feel like there’s different obstacles you gotta overcome as a team,” Herro said. “And early on, obviously our fourth quarter struggles have been our biggest obstacle, our biggest challenge that we need to overcome and I think that was a good step in the right direction. So we got to keep continuing to work on that fourth quarter sets and stuff like that. But you know, we won this game on the defensive

end.”

Duncan Robinson was phenomenal in the fourth quarter

Miami Heat star Duncan Robinson in front of the city landscape.

Another significant factor in the Heat’s win over the Hawks was Duncan Robinson who scored 27 points off the bench. However, 21 of those came in the fourth quarter where he was electric. Even at one point, he scored 11 straight points for the team as it was a main reason that Miami built up the two-point lead going into the final period.

He said that each game is going to look different, but acknowledged that the fourth quarter play is not where they want it to be at. Robinson would go on to say to ClutchPoints that while Friday was a good sign of things to come, the past slip-ups “don’t tell the whole story.”

“Yeah, I mean, we’re just trying to win games, put together wins, and it’s gonna look different on different nights obviously, like you said, the fourth quarter definitely has not been what we wanted it to be all year,” Robinson said. “But we know that doesn’t tell the whole story of what this group is and now we’re more than capable of finishing games. It’s just about finding the right disposition and combination of guys down the stretch to get it done.”

Bam Adebayo has been critical of fourth quarter struggles since the start

While one could argue it was a “down” day scoring wise for big-man Bam Adebayo with 18 points, he was active in every other department with 11 rebounds, six assists, and was exceptional on the defensive end. He said to ClutchPoints after the opener where the Heat squeaked by the Detroit Pistons (who are currently 2-26), that they can’t let it be a habit of blowing leads.

Fast forward to late December, it’s still happening, but he expressed to ClutchPoints that the win against Atlanta is “a start.”

“It’s a start. From here we take it game by game. Keep building on what we did today,” Adebayo said. “We didn’t let the lead go. Now you just keep building and from there, we’ll figure out how to sustain for 48 minutes.”

Spoelstra talks about what connects the team

Spoelstra was asked by the media after the game what has been the connective tissue with the most recent success as the year is coming to a close. The long-time Heat head coach would credit that the team is doing actions that have them “committed” to winning, especially with all the injuries the team has had.

“I think it’s just committing to doing things that win. As you figure this all out and we get our rotations together again and gets guys healthy, we can develop a talent of learning how to win. And we have enough continuity, we’re used to having guys missing a game or two, here or there,” Spoelstra said. “We’re not making any excuses for that, but you can learn how to win. But if you’re just focused on learning how to win and get all the other clutter, get out all the other normal stuff that happens in this association. You actually can do it. Now you just need to be consistent with it.”

The Heat will have to take that imaginary connective tissue and amplify it as their next game is a tough one as they play the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day. Miami is now 17-12 which puts them at sixth in the Eastern Conference.

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