Heat vs. Raptors Takeaways: Miami Cruised To Win Thanks To Jaime Jaquez, Nikola Jovic

Apr 12, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA;  Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) drives to the basket; Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) drives to the basket; Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (45-36) took down the Toronto Raptors (25-56) in comfortable fashion on Friday, 125-103.

Here's a look at five major takeaways:

1. Jaime Jaquez Jr. broke out of an offensive slump.

The former UCLA Bruin was in Rookie of the Year conversations over the first half of the season but took a step back following the All-Star break. However, something clicked for Jaquez against the Raptors, as he recorded 20 points, nine assists, and four rebounds on 7 of 15 shooting. These performances will not occur on a regular basis but could lead to some critical postseason victories.

2. Nikola Jovic continued to prove his worth as a significant piece of the lineup.

From being a healthy scratch to a full-time starter, Jovic's development has been a sight to see this season. He concluded the night with 22 points, five rebounds, and two assists on 50 percent shooting. His connection with teammates is a major reason for the increase in playing time, along with his progression on the defensive end.

3. RJ Barrett shined in a lackluster night for the Raptors.

A change of scenery is turning out to be the perfect remedy for Barrett, who is thriving in Toronto. He tallied 35 points and 11 rebounds on 13 of 18 shooting in 32 minutes of action. Outside of the Canadian forward, no one in the lineup scored more than 15 points.

4. Bam Adebayo found shooting success after a rough stretch.

Disappointing performances against the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks scared fans, but Adebayo bounced back to an extent. He scored 19 points along with six rebounds and three assists on 80 percent shooting and 1 of 2 shooting from the arc. Although 20 points is an ideal minimum for the All-Star big man, he's now headed in the right direction.

5. Coach Erik Spoelstra must determine the rotation for the postseason.

One of the Heat's greatest advantages in recent years is their sheer amount of depth in the postseason. But now it's time for Spoelstra to determine the playoff rotation. Players such as Haywood Highsmith, Delon Wright, Patty Mills, and Thomas Bryant will battle it out for the end of the rotation. In a defensive-minded matchup, Highsmith will likely get the nod while in an offensive game, Mills and Bryant could recieve the minutes.

Anthony Pasciolla is a contributing writer to Inside The Heat. He can be reached at ampasciolla@gmail.com or followed on Instagram @anthony.pasciolla

Anthony Pasciolla