Erik Spoelstra and the officials, a love story

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had himself quite the weekend.

Miami had back to back games over the weekend against the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves. In both games, Spoelstra received attention for his antics criticizing poor officiating In crucial parts of the game. Saturday night against Milwaukee Heat center, Bam Adebayo was trapped in the corner by George Hill and Brook Lopez. Spoelstra was signaling timeout to the referees but wasn’t awarded one, this led to him running onto the court during the middle of a Giannis Antetokounmpo fast break and receiving a technical foul.  

The following night in Minnesota during the fourth quarter of a closely contested game the officials seemed to have missed a kicked ball violation on Karl Anthony-Towns. This led to an Andrew Wiggins three which ultimately sealed the game for the Timberwolves. Spoelstra was livid and individually pointed at each official during a timeout in which he appears to be yelling at them as well. 

Emotions were extremely high as both games over the weekend came down to key possessions late. Last season Spoelstra also reached a point where he was clearly frustrated with Nba officiating after a loss to the Golden State Warriors In mid-February. This year however It starts early as he has shown his frustration often with crucial calls down the stretch going in favor of the opposition. The Heat split the weekend series and find themselves at 2-1 facing Eastern Conference player of the week, Trae Young, and the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night at the American Airlines Arena. 

Miami Heat have a stud on the rise in Kendrick Nunn

The Miami Heat have certainly benefited from his contributions.

Although the Miami Heat lost by a 112-106 score on Sunday evening, there were many positives to take away from the game. One of them was the continued production from rookie shooting guard Kendrick Nunn.

For the third game in a row, Nunn played well. In 40 minutes of action, he shot nine-of-17 from the field. He managed to go five-of-nine from beyond the arc and made both his free throws. In addition to his shooting success, he also recorded four rebounds and two assists. In total, he scored 25 points on the evening. With both his field-goal percentage and three-point percentage above 50%, it’s safe to say that he was efficient.

It was good to see him play well on Sunday, especially coming off back-to-back games. He had a solid game on Saturday as well, but the efficiency wasn’t there. In particular, he was cold from behind the arc against Milwaukee. He finished two-of-eight in that department. Nevertheless, his overall body of work was impressive. He finished with 18 points on the evening.

It’s good to see Nunn provide this sort of spark for Miami. You can definitely tell the potential is there. As a matter of fact, the potential is not only there, it is a tangible thing. In his last preseason game against Houston, he scored 40 points in 40 minutes of play and shot 55.6% from the field.  In what is a very talented and crowded Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat are going to need as many scoring options as possible. Nunn certainly provides that, and it is an unexpected surprise.

For me, the sample size is still a bit too small to fully judge what he is capable of. However, there is no denying that he has provided a spark for the Miami Heat. I’d expect that to continue as the season goes on. He certainly has the talent and capability to be successful. It will be interesting to see how he does over the next couple of games. He has a skill set that is sustainable, and that will definitely work in his favor moving forward. He is a good basketball player, and success definitely has a chance to be a part of his future.

The Miami Heat ended the Five Reasons curse!

Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat may win another championship together someday.

But they will never accomplish anything quite like this.

Since Five Reasons Sports Network was born in 2018, we had 12 watch parties prior to Saturday evening. One didn’t count for our record — it was FC Barcelona against Real Madrid, and we don’t really have a horse in that fight. But the other 11 were Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins or Miami Hurricanes road games.

And we lost them all.

Every single one.

And some weren’t close. That included a Heat at Milwaukee Bucks game last season, when we gathered at Duffy’s in North Miami Beach.

So we expected the same Saturday at GQ’s Drafthouse a little further north, in Lauderhill in Broward County.

Top team in the East as the opponent.

Road game.

No Jimmy Butler — and a thin bench due to suspensions.

Then, a 21-point deficit.

So did we all just drink too much?

Or did our halftime giveaways — shirts and autographed cards — turn the tide?

Did this really happen?

Did the Heat… win? In overtime, no less?

Yeah, it happened.

It happened even with the Heat shooting free throws at an Andre Drummond clip in the last few minutes.

It happened even after Derrick Jones Jr. got hurt (groin) and Kendrick Nunn (great again) fouled out.

It happened even with me posting premature tweets about them winning.

It happened even with us all dressed horribly.

It happened, because Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow were relentless on defense, and Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk were major contributors on offense.

And now can it happen again?

We have another watch party, Nov. 26 at Duffy’s in North Miami Beach for the game against the Rockets.

Yes, Harden and Westbrook. On the road.

But we’re on a winning streak.

And the Heat are different this season.

We just promise we won’t do this:

 

Twitter Thread: Nekias Duncan breaks down Heat’s opening win

 

The Miami Heat Opened up the much anticipated 2019-2020 season Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.  Nekias Duncan (@NekiasNBA) of @miaheatbeat, Bleacher Report and Five Reasons Sports breaks down and provides commentary for some of the Heat’s best plays and sequences in the 120-101 victory.

 

Follow the thread below:

Follow the Five on the Floor and @5ReasonsSports podcast for South Florida’s the most in-depth Miami Heat coverage all year long.

New father Jimmy Butler likely out for Bucks

Jimmy Butler’s official Miami Heat debut is still on hold.

Butler, who missed the season opener for undisclosed personal reasons — though the team hinted it was the birth of a child — was still in the hospital with the child and mother Friday and Erik Spoelstra said he probably won’t make the Heat’s road trip that starts in Milwaukee on Saturday.

(Butler could join the team in Minnesota to face his former team Sunday.)

Here’s Spoelstra on the happy news:

Also not with the Heat on Friday: Dion Waiters. He won’t make either part of this trip and will rejoin the team Tuesday at home. James Johnson (conditioning) is not traveling either.

So it appears that the Heat will start the same lineup they did in the season opener.

That’s Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard, Justise Winslow and rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro.

Nunn had 24 in his debut, and he sounded Friday as if he expected it, saying it went about how he visualized.

Here’s the clip:

Make sure to join us at GQ’s Crafthouse in Lauderhill starting at 5pm, for a watch party.

Free food, and t-shirt giveaways.

We’re 0-11.

Jimmy being out doesn’t help that. But at least we’ll be drinking.

Josh Richardson Claps at Heat Fans in Postgame Presser

On Wednesday the Miami Heat opened their season with an impressive home win without Jimmy Butler.

His former team the Philadelphia 76ers did the same, dispatching the Boston Celtics 107-93.

Josh Richardson had 17 points and six rebounds in his debut for Philly, but his performance afterwards garnered more attention.

It seems like no matter the sport, when higher profile athletes leave Miami it doesn’t always leave them.

Now Heat fans catch a lot of, well heat, for punctuality and that one time in the playoffs something happened.

Miami time is a thing. So is South Florida street gridlock.

However make no mistake, Heat nation shows up night after night.

And the kids will be alright.

Philadelphia is an incredible basketball area on all levels, that should be stated.

That being said, it seems like J-Rich is already starting to trust a process that has yielded zero conference finals since his team was all in diapers.

If you follow the NBA and its players on social media, Twitter in particular, you know there is no love lost between these two organizations.

The difference is, one actually has the culture and the banners.

While the other has a process of playoff elimination annually.

Follow @5ReasonsSports and subscribe to the 5 on the Floor podcast for exclusive Miami Heat content all season.

Catch the 5 Reasons crew at their next watch party this Saturday ( yes, we know) when the Heat travel to Milwaukee to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

 

 

Get Used to Kendrick Nunn

You’ll have to get used to Kendrick Nunn.

Maybe we’ve been hyping the wrong rookie.

Well, not entirely. Tyler Herro is 19. He will have much better nights than he did in Wednesday’s season opening 120-101 win for the Miami Heat against the Memphis Grizzlies, when he was often squeezed off his spots and tried to do much creating to compensate.

But it was his summer league backcourt mate, the one who has appeared polished in every game he’s played for Miami — Las Vegas to preseason to now the regular season — who shined the most.

Kendrick Nunn is 24 already. And the guard — snatched from Golden State on the last day of last season — matched his age with his scoring in his Miami Heat debut, a debut that came as a surprise starter. Not a substitute starter. That was Herro, in for Jimmy Butler, who missed the game with a personal issue (nothing to worry about). Nunn was supposed to start all along.

Think about that.

Nunn, who wasn’t drafted, who wasn’t valued enough by a thin Warriors team to be kept safe from poachers, who was an afterthought heading into the offseason, was given the starting job between Butler and Justise Winslow for the season opener at home. Ahead of Herro. Ahead of Dion Waiters, before Waiters’ complaining and IG stalking got him suspended.

Eric Reid, who has called 31 seasons of Heat basketball, tried to tell you on the Five on the Floor we posted just prior to the opener:

As Reid noted, this promotion wasn’t just about that 40-point game, mostly against Houston’s starters, in the Heat’s preseason finale. It was about the steady approach Nunn has shown for months now. His hesitation dribble is elite. He does not rush. He switches comfortably between both guard spots. He competes on defense. And he’s not afraid to pull up and launch when he sees some space.

The Heat have a long history of unearthing point guards. Anthony Carter, now on the staff, and Mike James had long NBA careers after no team really wanted either. But Nunn is a combo of the two. He shoots much better than Carter. And he’s more versatile and polished than James.

Also, the attitude.

Listen here:

 

 

Jimmy Butler out for Season Opener

The Miami Heat announced late Wednesday afternoon that Jimmy Butler would be out for the season opener against Memphis.

 

The exact reason for the absence has not been specified, NBA writer Tim Reynolds had this from head coach Erik Spoelstra.

 

This obviously throws a monkey wrench into not only the starting lineup, but the entire rotation along with defensive assignments on the perimeter.

Justise Winslow and Tyler Herro among others will be asked to carry more of the offense, it will be interesting to see who Spoelstra opens and closes with tonight.

Tip off from the American Airlines arena is 7:30pm EST

Check back for more updates as we learn more.

Follow @5ReasonsSports for the latest Miami Heat news.

Charles Barkley loves Dwyane, Herro & Heat?

What’s happening in the sports media world tonight?

Dwyane Wade told us on Twitter that he got some good news Monday. But no one could have anticipated this.

Joining forces with Charles Barkley on TNT?

Is everyone forgetting the way that Barkley has treated Dwyane Wade over the years, to the point that even Wade’s buddy (LeBron James) and wife (Gabrielle Union) had to step in and talk back?

I mean, just click on this history of the Barkley/Wade feud.

And that feud has gone beyond Wade. Barkley has never ceased taking shots at the Miami Heat. He didn’t think James should have signed with them. Then he said James should go back to Cleveland. Then he said the Cavaliers title meant more than the Heat title.

And on and on and on.

Now, suddenly, Barkley and Wade are teammates.

And of course, Shaquille O’Neal — whose relationship with Wade has been hot and cold since O’Neal forced his way out of Miami in 2008 — is Wade’s teammate again now too.

But now, what’s gotten into Barkley? He’s not just making jokes at Shaq’s expense in favor of Wade — saying that Wade carried Shaq to the 2006 title, but he’s praising Wade’s heir apparent as the Heat’s featured 2-guard.

But here’s the thing: Barkley didn’t just start liking Herro. The Basketball Hall of Famer is also part of Turner’s NCAA Tournament coverage, on which he is forced to fake it most of the time. He was, however, high on Herro prior to Miami drafting the Kentucky freshman. Very high.

Look:

Herro calls it drip.

But whatever.

Barkley liking the Heat now is such a stunner that it will take some getting used to. With Wade classing up Turner, and Paul Pierce still polluting ESPN’s studio shows with his terrible (sorry Charles) takes, we know where we will turn first for NBA analysis this season.

 

Miami Heat suspend Dion Waiters before zero tolerance season

“I let the culture slip.”

With those words — spoken after last season by Miami Heat president Pat Riley — you knew the next season would be different. Riley felt burned after he gave much-criticized lucrative long-term contracts to non-stars in 2016 and 2017 and then those players returned the reward by slacking on their conditioning.

And before it even begins, this season is different.

First, Riley banished James Johnson from training camp not for failing the conditioning test — he passed — but for failing to meet Riley’s special weight requirement.

Now, Dion Waiters, who had weight issues last season but got himself in better shape this offseason, has been told he isn’t “in Heat shape” by Erik Spoelstra (we posted that video), and has been steered toward a bench role as Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have gotten preseason starts.

And he’s been openly unhappy about it.

So now he’s been suspended for one game.

Notice the language.

“Number of unacceptable incidents.”

Remember Waiters telling Ira Winderman that he wasn’t cool with coming off the bench, even after he flourished in that role against Charlotte in the third preseason game?

Remember this from Spoelstra about what he wants from Waiters, which Waiters then somewhat contradicted right after?

Here was Waiters:

There was some speculation that Waiters was away from the team for three days this week after Charlotte game because of a disciplinary action, though my sources did confirm an actual personal issue unrelated to his unhappiness.

Even so, it doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Here are some tweets that tell the story:

 

Instagram always remembers, and this doesn’t appear that it is going away anytime soon. Unless Waiters ends up elsewhere:

We know how this goes.

Just ask Hassan Whiteside. In Portland.