Stat of the Week: Crisp ball movement leads to high assist number in opener

 

 

Dion Waiters passes the ball on a night in which the Heat had 27 assists. (AP Photo)

Dion Waiters passes the ball on a night in which the Heat had 27 assists. (AP Photo)

So many positive stats came out of Miami’s 108-96 victory over the Magic in Wednesday’s season opener.

After a mediocre start in which the Heat trailed by three points at the half, Miami put it in another gear, outscoring Orlando 58-43 in the second half.

Heat players were giddy, jumping off the bench every time one of their teammates raced down the court and set up someone for a fastbreak layup or a dunk. The ball was moving and players were flying up and down the court.

All of which leads us to our stat of the week:

27: As in the number of assists the Heat recorded on their 47 baskets. A year ago, Miami averaged 20.8 assists, which was 23rd  in the league. But just six teams had more assists than Miami in their openers. The Heat had 10 of those in the fourth quarter, on 12 baskets. Miami had nine assists the entire first half. And the assists were pretty much evenly distributed. Four players had at least four with point guard Goran Dragic and backup forward James Johnson leading the team with six each followed by Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters with four each. Tyler Johnson chipped in with three. We all know it’s just one game but the ball movement in that one game was impressive.

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