Heat Complete Sweep of Victor Oladipo, Pacers as Bam Adebayo Shines in Game 4

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) drives into Indiana Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Miami Heat punched their ticket to the second round of the 2020 NBA playoffs with a first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers. Miami put Indiana away for good with a 99-87 win Monday.

T.J. Warren connected on a three-pointer while getting fouled with 3:36 remaining. He converted the free throw to bring the Pacers to within six points, 91-85.

Indiana Pacers @Pacers


Tyler Herro made it an eight-point game on a layup with 2:44 left to blunt Indiana's momentum a bit. The Pacers were unable to close the gap to fewer than six the rest of the way.

This is the fifth straight year in which Indiana failed to get out of the first round.


Notable Performers

Goran Dragic, PG, Heat: 10-21 FG, 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal

Bam Adebayo, PF, Heat: 6-16 FG, 14 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block

Jimmy Butler, SF, Heat: 2-5 FG, six points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block

Victor Oladipo, SG, Pacers: 9-19 FG, 5-11 FG, 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, five steals

T.J. Warren, SF, Pacers: 8-17 FG, 3-6 3P, 21 points, five rebounds, four assists

Myles Turner, C, Pacers: 9-16 FG, 22 points, 14 rebounds, one steal, five blocks


Butler Injury Looms Large for Heat

Jimmy Butler was limited to a little more than six minutes in the first half because of a left shoulder strain. The Heat originally listed him as questionable, and he returned for the second half with his shoulder taped.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

If this dose of #HEATCulture doesn't make you wanna run through the nearest wall... THAT'S OUR LEADER 😤 https://t.co/bVgrkxcYbL

The five-time All-Star didn't look to be 100 percent, either, and his final numbers speak for themselves.

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

I don't think I've seen Jimmy Butler lift his left arm yet. He's playing through the pain for now.

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

Jimmy Butler is actively not using his left arm after hurting it in the first half. He hasn’t attempted to do anything with his left hand, including dribbling. He just posted up on the left block and spun and shot with his right hand.

The Heat can put away the Pacers when their best player isn't his usual self. An injury to Butler becomes a far bigger issue in the later rounds, when the quality of opposition improves.

By closing out Indiana now, Miami will at least allow Butler to have a few days to let his shoulder heal.

Three-point shooting was a problem for the Heat as they went 8-of-30 from beyond the arc. It didn't matter too much thanks to the 50-30 advantage they enjoyed on points in the paint.

The absence of Domantas Sabonis has been evident throughout the series, and the trend continued into Game 4 as Bam Adebayo posted his third double-double of the postseason.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

MORE POSTERS! 💥 @Bam1of1 https://t.co/JNnLIWK5Uq

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

💀 BAM AGAINNN 💀 *we promise this isn't the same highlight we posted in the 2ndQ* https://t.co/dRImzxvwmS

Kendrick Nunn made his playoff debut, coming off the bench to finish with seven points and two assists in 14 minutes. Depending on the severity of Butler's injury, Nunn is one of the obvious candidates to step up for Miami in the next round.


Oladipo Ends Season on High Note

Spinning a first-round sweep in a positive direction is difficult. Because of the injuries to Sabonis and Jeremy Lamb, the Pacers were underdogs, but their inability to take a single game against the Heat is a bit of a surprise.

The performance of Victor Oladipo at least gives the team a source of encouragement for 2020-21.

Oladipo struggled upon returning from his ruptured quad tendon in January, and the NBA's lengthy hiatus was a setback in the continued maintenance of his right knee.

After shooting 35.1 percent from the field through the first three games, the two-time All-Star was more efficient Monday night and showed flashes of his old self.

Jared Wade @Jared_Wade

Victor Oladipo looking the most like Victor Oladipo in quite some time. He's taken it to the rack aggressively and explosively twice and kicked off the game with a quick-fire pull-up 3.

Scott Agness @ScottAgness

Victor Oladipo is making his presence felt early and often. He’s got a good bounce in his step. Already a pair of drives + a 3.

Indiana Pacers @Pacers

VO on the attack 👀 #IndianaStyle x @VicOladipo https://t.co/V59wZzDc5B

Indiana Pacers @Pacers

VO got the stepback workin' 😤 #IndianaStyle x #BeatTheHeat https://t.co/NkoZ2dCnWk

Indiana has assembled a solid squad, with the acquisition of Warren a particularly shrewd piece of business last offseason. But the Pacers will likely go as far as Oladipo can take them. If the 28-year-old's Game 4 showing is emblematic of what's to come next season, the team should be just fine.


What's Next?

The Heat await the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic's first-round clash. Milwaukee took a 3-1 lead on Orlando with a 121-106 victory Monday.