With latest win, has it become Gabe Vincent or bust for the Heat?

Observations and other interesting notes from Saturday night’s 107-103 overtime win over the Orlando Magic:

– The end of the third quarter spoke for the imbalance of the current heat roster.

— With Gabe Vincent benched with his fourth foul and Jamaree Bouyea four games into his NBA career, the Heat went without a point guard.

– Leaving the ball handling to Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

– As if everyone didn’t already have enough on their plate.

– There is also a lot to do in this one, especially at the finish.

– As it stands, there is no definitive return date with Kyle Lowry and his knee problem.

– With the hope that Victor Oladipo can return in the coming week.

– So a point guard in the buyout market?

– Or trust that there will be something from Lowry?

– Or that Oladipo can show a preference for point guards?

– Or that Vincent can always be this good?

– In a perfect world, the Heat score in the buyout market.

– As the results of the last two games have shown.

– And maybe a bit more length, with Orlando’s length on Saturday presenting its own challenges.

– Remember, while Bouyea is on a 10-day contract, a 10-day contract doesn’t have to go to a G-League player.

– It can also go to a veteran.

– Vincent did more than was asked.

– But Gabe Vincent or Bust doesn’t have to be a thing.

– It’s gotten to the point where the Heat has to ask Vincent for help.

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– Who would have thought?

– Vincent started again in place of the retired Lowry.

– Lowry, who excusedly missed the last two home games with a knee injury, did not travel, nor did any of the Heat’s sidelined players.

– Vincent was again flanked in the starting line-up by Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler and Herro.

– Besides Lowry, Oladipo (ankle), Duncan Robinson (finger), Omer Yurtseven (ankle), Nikola Jovic (back) and Udonis Haslem (personal reasons) were absent.

– Vincent (ankle), Herro (back) and Haywood Highsmith (elbow) were on the heat injury report earlier in the day with all erased.

– The Magic opens with Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.

– Max Strus played as first reserve in the heat.

– Followed by Highsmith.

– Bouya and Orlando Highsmith then lined up to make it nine deep for the Heat.

– Butler’s third free-throw attempt put him past Rod Strickland for 96th on the NBA all-time list.

– Butler’s fifth free throw put him past Shareef-Abdur Rahim at No. 77 on the NBA all-time list.

– Butler’s eighth shot attempt put him past Brian Grant for 18th on the heat all-time list.

– Strus’ fifth 3-point attempt was the 1000th of his career.

– Adebayo’s first block was the 350th of his career.

– The game was the first against Heat for Magic forward Jonathan Issac against the Heat in more than two years.

– Issac returned last month from a knee injury he sustained in the Disney quarantine bubble in the summer of 2020.

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– “Probably more than anything,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, “when you see players who have been out for a long time, you just make a commitment that they can get back out there and do what they love to do. I don’t know him personally, but it takes a lot of stamina to get through those kinds of injuries and things that you can’t control. Hopefully he can keep his health and stay out.”

– Spoelstra had pre-game praise for Magic forward Franz Wagner, the 2021 first-round pick from Michigan, where he was coached by former Heat player and assistant coach Juwan Howard.

– “Well, first is just its growth,” said Spoelstra. “I feel like he’s gotten bigger since he was with Juwan in Michigan, bigger, bigger. I don’t know, maybe it’s visual for me. He’s aggressive. He played really well towards the end of last year and I think he just built on that.”

– Spoelstra added: “And I think when we played him in the spring they had injuries and everything, they kind of played him as a point forward, he initiated a lot of attacks. So you can see what skills he has to be able to handle the ball, to get in color, to get to the free throw line. He’s extremely aggressive, which is unique for a young player.”


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