How ‘vintage’ Kyle Lowry helped the Heat beat the Pelicans by running the same play over and over


Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat have both been inconsistent this season, but when they have it rolling they can still be extremely difficult to deal with, as was the case on Sunday afternoon when Lowry led the Heat to a 100-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. With the win, the Heat are now 26-22 on the season and sit all alone in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. 

Lowry played one of his best games in weeks, finishing with 17 points, two assists and four steals on 6-of-9 from the field. During one “vintage” stretch late in the fourth quarter, he completely took over the game, scoring or assisting on 11 straight points for the Heat. He did so by running the same play — a high pick-and-roll in the middle of the floor with Bam Adebayo — over and over and over again. No matter how the Pelicans tried to defend it, Lowry had an answer.

Let’s take a closer look at how Lowry helped swing the game in the Heat’s favor.

We’ll start with just under four minutes remaining. Lowry calls for the screen and the Pelicans decide to switch, which leaves CJ McCollum on Adebayo. This is a rather simple read for the veteran, who lobs the ball up to his big man in the paint for an easy finish over a smaller defender.

Next time down, there was either a bit of confusion on the Pelicans’ part, or McCollum just lost his balance trying to fight around the screen. Either way, McCollum cannot get back in front in time. Lowry reads that and knows he has enough space for an open 3-pointer, which he buries.

By the third time in a row the Heat were running this set, the Pelicans had switched Dyson Daniels onto Lowry to show him a bit more length and size. Here, the Pelicans have Larry Nance Jr. drop to contain Lowry until Daniels can get over the screen. But by then, Lowry has worked his way into the mid-range, which gives him a bunch of options. He chooses to use guile against the rookie and baits… Source

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