Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro With Strong Closes – South Florida Sun-Sentinel – South Florida Sun Sentinel

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MIAMI — Perhaps the Miami Heat won’t spread the wealth.

Perhaps it will be as simple as Jimmy Butler carries the first unit, Tyler Herro triggers the reserves.

That’s how it played out Friday night, as the Heat closed out their preseason with a 121-100 victory over the Boston Celtics at FTX Arena.

Butler led the starters with 25 points in his 25 minutes, before being pulled for good midway through the third period.

“It felt great just to get out there and hoop as a whole, just to get out with my guys,” Butler said. “Everybody’s starting to realize how real it gets now.”

Herro then came off the bench to score 29 in his 23 minutes, converting his first five 3-point attempts. He closed the preseason with a 22.4 scoring average.

“A lot of hard work this offseason,” Herro said, “and we got a great group of guys feeding life into me.”

The Heat also got 17 points and seven rebounds (along with six turnovers) from center Bam Adebayo, closing the preseason at 5-1.

Following the dress rehearsal, with coach Erik Spoelstra going with his primary rotation players for the first 40 minutes, the Heat now have five days off before Thursday’s season opener against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

Five Degrees of Heat from Friday night’s exhibition:

1. No rules blues: With the NBA attempting to crack down on unnatural shooting motions there had been concern about the impact on Butler with the revised interpretations.

Instead, he closed Friday’s opening two periods 9 of 10 from the line, as part of his 18-point first half.

The Heat have downplayed the rule’s impact on Butler, noting he plays into contact rather than initiating.

Butler closed 7 of 14 from the field, 10 of 11 from the line and made his lone 3-point attempt for the Heat’s first points, also with four rebounds and four assists.

2. No pretenses: There has been little pretense when it has come to the Heat’s projected opening-night starting lineup, and that again was the case Friday night, with the Heat opening with Butler, Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker and Duncan Robinson.

That opening five fell behind by 11 before the first round of substitutions, even with the Celtics lacking Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford.

From there, Spoelstra followed with Herro, Markieff Morris and Dewayne Dedmon as his first three off the bench, also as largely forecast as the remaining components of the Heat’s first eight.

Max Strus, emerging as a rotation player, played as the Heat’s ninth man.

3. Either/or: Rather than going with Gabe Vincent as the backup point guard Spoelstra staggered the minutes of Butler and Lowry, with the two splitting the ballhandling duties.

Herro also advanced the ball while playing alongside Butler and orchestrated some of the Heat’s pick-and-roll offense.

“We all know how talented T is. Half his battle is in his own head,” Butler said.

It likely means the Heat will go without traditional backup point guard as a means of maximizing the minutes of their core rotation.

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Vincent did not enter until Spoelstra pulled most of his regulars with 7:36 to play.

4. The real deal: Friday marked only the second time in the Heat’s six exhibitions the team had the entire primary core together, with it only Butler’s second appearance.

“It takes some time,” Spoelstra said. “It’s not like we’re all going to be on the same page right now. It will take time. But we have guys that have the right intent. Everybody is aiming for the same goal. Everybody wants the same thing.

“Ultimately, you want to be around likeminded people, people who approach competition and how you do it and how you go about trying to win in this league. You want to be around people who think alike, for better or worse.”

5. Deadline time: Spoelstra was philosophical about the team’s roster moves, after undrafted players such as Micah Potter, Javonte Smart, D.J. Stewart and Dru Smith have been with the team since early August. None of those four played Friday, all released after the game.

“It’s less difficult than it was 10 years ago. I don’t look at it like we’re cutting people. This is a transition,” Spoelstra said, with the four expected to move on to the team’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. “This is what always was the plan. We’re going to continue to develop them. And, as we all know, our Sioux Falls program is really a direct pipeline for our player development.”