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Heat vs. Pacers score, takeaways: Jimmy Butler’s grit, Duncan Robinson’s shooting help Miami capture 2-0 lead

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Heat vs. Pacers score, takeaways: Jimmy Butler's grit, Duncan Robinson's shooting help Miami capture 2-0 lead

The Miami Heat find themselves in a good spot as they now lead the Indiana Pacers 2-0 in this first-round playoff series after a 109-100 win Thursday afternoon. The Heat started the game strong, behind Duncan Robinson’s three straight 3-pointers, and aside from a tightly contested first quarter where both teams went back and forth with the lead, Miami controlled the majority of this game. Robinson’s seven made 3s tied the franchise record for most 3-pointers (7) in a playoff game, heightening his profile as one of the premier 3-point shooters in the league. Robinson also made NBA history by draining seven or more 3s without taking a single 2-pointer in a playoff game.

In addition to Robinson’s scoring, the Heat found contribution in other places as All-Star forward Bam Adebayo had an unusually quiet game, mainly due to early foul trouble that kept him out of much of the first half. The Heat got big performances from Goran Dragic — who started again in place of the rookie Kendrick Nunn. The Slovenian guard finished with 20 points and six assists, on top of Jimmy Butler’s 18-point, six-assist, five-rebound, two-steal performance. The Pacers tried to keep pace with the Heat’s hot shooting, but simply did not have the personnel to pull it off. Victor Oladipo led Indiana in scoring with 22 points, but again it wasn’t his typical All-Star, dominant performance that we’ve seen him produce.

The Heat now lead the series 2-0, with Game 3 set to take place on Saturday. Here are three takeaways from Miami’s win over Indiana. 

1. Robinson may never miss another shot again

Here are some numbers from Game 2 on Robinson: 24 points, 7 for 8 from 3-point range and a plus-9 to finish the game. Robinson tied the Heat record for most 3s made in a playoff game, and started out Game 2 on absolute fire. It’s strange as you would think Indiana would’ve studied some game tape on Robinson, considering he is fourth in the league in 3-point percentage, and against the Pacers this season he’s shooting 41.2 percent from deep. But no, Indiana went with the same game plan it had in Game 1, which was basically leave him open on the wing and force him to make shots. What a terrible idea. Yes, Robinson shot just 25 percent from long range on Tuesday, which resulted in just six points in Game 1, but relying on him having a horrible shooting night like that again is just playing with fire (pun intended).

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Instead of Robinson air-balling 3s and clanking them off the rim like in Game 1, he went 3 for 3 from deep — Miami’s first three shots of the game — and continued to hit shot-after-shot when they needed it. Since arriving in Orlando, Robinson’s been shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc, and this performance Thursday showed that Game 1 was just an abnormal performance from him. He’s not going to be as hot as he was this afternoon, but he’s definitely shown Indiana that it can’t just not rotate a defender on him, otherwise he will put up 20 points if given the space.

2. Miami able to overcome Adebayo’s foul trouble

Due to two early fouls in the first quarter, Miami’s do-it-all point-forward was limited significantly in the first half. In fact, Adebayo finished the first half with zero points and just one shot attempt. Compared to the 17-point, 10-rebound, six-assist performance from Game 1 for Adebayo — and his play all season long — Thursday was an atypical outing for him. However, Miami’s depth made it so Adebayo’s lack of contribution on offense didn’t matter much. 

In addition to Robinson’s great game, the Heat got a vintage Goran Dragic performance in the form of 20 points, six assists and three rebounds. It looked the the Dragic of old: the crafty, sly guard who knew how to manipulate the defense to get a foul call, or slither through defenders toward the rim. It’s his craftiness, mixed with his postseason experience, that made head coach Erik Spoelstra opt to go with him over rookie guard Kendrick Nunn, Miami’s starting point guard all season. So far, it’s paid off as Dragic is averaging 22 points and five assists in the Heat’s two postseason games. 

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While Dragic’s contribution has been a pleasant surprise for Miami, what hasn’t been surprising at all is Jimmy Butler’s play to start the postseason. In Game 1 it was his performance down the stretch, where he put up 10 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win for the Heat. In Thursday’s contest, Butler accomplished something that took him quite a while to do in the regular season. Over the first two postseason games, Jimmy Buckets has made four 3s; he had as many made 3-pointers in the final 23 games of the regular season. Butler’s low shooting averages have been a storyline all season long, but he’s been far more efficient in the postseason thus far, which should be an encouraging sight for the Heat, especially in Game 2 when when they couldn’t bank on Adebayo to put up his typical share of the offensive load.

3. Pacers tried getting in 3-point shootout with the wrong team

The Indiana Pacers rank 30th in the league in 3-point attempts (28), and yet decided that it was a good idea to get into a 3-point shootout with a team that ranks second in the league in 3-point percentage (37.9). It did not go well. The Heat shot 51.4 percent from 3-point range on 35 attempts in Game 2, while the Pacers attempted 34 3s and shot 35 percent from the field. That wouldn’t be a terrible performance against an average shooting team, but Miami established itself this season as a team that will drive and kick on almost every play, and have a variety of shooters on the wing to knock down shots. Indiana can’t get in a shootout with Miami going forward in this series, because that’s not their game. Victor Oladipo shot 11 3-pointers Thursday, and while he shot 36 percent from deep, it better serves the Pacers for him to drive to the basket and get points that way. 

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Indiana’s in an uphill battle now that Miami is up 2-0, but the NBA bubble has proven that anything can happen in the postseason, and a change in game plan could turn the tides for the Pacers to get back in this series.

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″The six of FC Porto do not concede at the World Cup, like our injured players″

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″The six of FC Porto do not concede at the World Cup, like our injured players″

Statements by coach Ricardo Sousa after the League Cup match against Porto Mafra (2:2)

About the game: “As I said before the game, we did not come here to put the bus in front of the goal and expect miracles. We tried to be a team with principles. We have them only because my team has the quality so that we have them. We tried to share the game with Porto on an equal footing. We managed to go into the break with a two-goal lead, a comfortable lead.”

The second part: “Unfortunately Porto managed to get 2-1 in the first three minutes and we knew we were going to suffer a bit from now on. Porto have a lot of solutions and a lot of quality. They created a lot of difficulties for us.”

Draw: “They managed to make it 2-2 and we defended as best we could. As a result, I remove the attitude towards this game, it praises what they showed and what they wanted. There are boys here who deserve a lot, and today they showed that they have the quality for so much more.”

surprise: “In the end, we were surprised, and a sign of this was the score 0-2 at half-time. There were two of them, and we had one more situation to score. In the first half, Porto only seemed to get one shot on goal. “We had a good first half, but we played at home against the national champions. We are a second league team and I think Porto have six players in the World Cup. We have six injuries. Maybe the six we have.” Porto “is not as necessary at the World Cup as those that we have injuries.”

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″Ricardo Souza did not keep the surname. Neither father nor son

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″Ricardo Souza did not keep the surname.  Neither father nor son

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Statements by Sergio Conceição, coach of FC Porto, after a 2-2 draw with Mafra in the first round of the League Cup group stage.

Criticism of Ricardo Souza, Mafra’s coach, and arbitration: “This is Portuguese football. I get sent off in Mafra for knocking the ball out of bounds. Today, the opponent’s coach did not honor his last name. He did not honor father and son. He ran into Wendell and nothing happened. The loss of time is constant, from the very beginning of the game. Only give the yellow card to the goalkeeper in the second half. I prefer not to give the yellow card … But that’s not why we lost. We can’t give the opponent 45 minutes. The referee must give 12, 14, 16 minutes. We had the conditions to change the result, but this did not happen.

Game analysis: “I told the players that we can’t give the opponent 45 minutes. We lacked aggression, aggression with the ball. We were not very aggressive. two goals. In the second half, you don’t know, I don’t know if Mafra ever reached our goal. We scored two goals and could have scored more. In the second half we were the same team as always. By applying pressure, they scored two goals. We have drawn, we need to fix two games. Playing at home, we get the support of the public. I take this opportunity to thank the fans who came here at this inhospitable time.”

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What did he take away from the game? “I take some positive situations. Others are the same or even more negative. Some players lacked the competitive pace. But that doesn’t excuse them, they have to be ready to play. Be perfect. We must have other characteristics for the game. .

On Ricardo Sousa’s statements in the flash interview: “We can come here ‘bitaitar’ and say a reality that doesn’t exist, trying to convey an image of something that didn’t exist.”

World Cup players and injuries: “We can imagine all possible and imaginary contexts. We have no reason to do what we have done. We depend on ourselves. We didn’t do much today, especially in the first half. .”

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Roger Schmidt: “At the moment Lucas Verissimo cannot be the same player” – Benfica

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Roger Schmidt: "At the moment Lucas Verissimo cannot be the same player" - Benfica



Benfica manager says Brazilian not fit to play Penafiel in Alliance Cup

This Friday, Roger Schmidt announced the game of the second round of the Allianz Cup against Penafiel (tomorrow, at 20:45, Luz) and spoke about the situation with Lucas Verissimo. “Now he is not the same player, this cannot be, because he was injured a year ago, he was in great shape, he was going to the Brazilian national team. Now he is in shape, working well on recovery. , when he played for the B team, he showed that he is a reciprocal who has no complaints. But to get back in shape, you need to play. He was sick last week, didn’t play, won’t play tomorrow, but after that we hope he gets back in shape, he’s a great player,” he said.

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Schmidt and Penafiel's recipe:



Asked if the players who stayed at Benfica during this league stoppage could steal a place in the eleven, the coach replied: “We have good players, but unfortunately they can only play in the eleven at the same time. At the World Cup, and now others have the opportunity to play minutes. Players need minutes to make big progress and it is important to play, especially for those who are injured. Morato, Lucas Verissimo have been away for some time and must return to form. They need competition. Unfortunately Lucas fell ill last week and will be gone tomorrow, but I hope he will be back by Christmas and get a few minutes. We have players who are doing well and it’s good that there is competition for the starting eleven.”

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