Winderman’s view: Jaquez, Robinson provide Heat needed support system against Lakers, LeBron
Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 108-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers:
– Perhaps it meant more against his hometown team.
– But Jaime Jaquez Jr. could not have proven any better that he belonged than a pair of early steals when matched up against LeBron James.
– Jaquez continues to inject life into the second unit.
– But the first-round pick also is best when active.
– Not when parked in a corner as a 3-point spacer.
– That’s not who he is.
– The expectation might have been Jaquez as a placeholder for Caleb Martin, when Martin pushes past his knee issue.
– But this is a rookie who deserves minutes.
– Has to get minutes.
– It actually was a productive night for several of the Heat’s supporting players.
– Duncan Robinson continues his revival that began in the playoffs.
– He again was at his best moving without the ball.
– If there had previously been doubt, there is not now.
– He is a rotation player.
– Similarly, Haywood Highsmith again had his moments in the Heat’s smaller lineups.
– The timely 3-pointers also help.
– So, yes, as Erik Spoelstra said, quality depth after all.
– The Heat again opened with Highsmith at power forward, in a lineup rounded out by Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.
– Adebayo was dominant.
– Butler looked closer to himself than any other stage this season.
– Herro extended his streak of games with multiple 3-pointers to seven, one shy of the longest such Heat streak to open a season (eight games by Duncan Robinson in 2021 and by James Jones in 2010).
– Inactive for the Heat were Nikola Jovic (illness), Martin (knee) and two-way players R.J. Hampton, Jamal Cain and Cole Swider.
– The Heat have been prudent with the use of active games for their two-way players, an indication that they plan to remain at 14 on the standard roster for a while. (Teams operating below the 15-player limit on the standard roster have further limitations on the number of games they can have two-way players active).
– Swider, who was with the Lakers last season, interacted with several staffers from their team pregame.
– Robinson played as the Heat’s first reserve.
– Jaquez and Josh Richardson then followed together.
– With former Lakers center Thomas Bryant making it nine deep.
– That again had Kevin Love shuffled out of the mix.
– Robinson continued with a revival that began in last season’s playoffs.
– His first-half contribution kept the Heat afloat.
– The appearance was LeBron James’ 1,425th, moving him past Kevin Garnett for fourth on the all-time regular-season list.
– James was not featured in the Heat’s historical “Culture” pregame video, with the Heat explaining the omission was because LeBron is still active.
– Anthony Davis’ first point gave him 16,000 for his career.
– Davis later was limited by a groin injury, going into the locker room in both the first and second half.
– Both teams wore “Vote” shooting shirts ahead of election day.
– Adebayo then urged fans pregame to vote on Tuesday.
– Among those in the crowd were Flo Rida and DJ Khaled.