Kendrick Nunn is one of the most interesting players for this Heat team moving forward, since he will have an even bigger role with Avery Bradley and Goran Dragic out. There’s a possibility he could be the starter on Sunday, due to the natural fit, while Tyler Herro can control the second unit, but only time will tell.
Here’s a look at Nunn’s offensive package against Washington on Friday night…
– Nunn attacks poor defenders, which Miami needs to do more
If there is any team that knows about attacking poor defenders, it’s this Heat team. Opposing teams constantly hunting favorable match-ups hurts them, but Miami must play the same game.
Kendrick Nunn seemed to be the only one to attack Washington’s weaker defenders. As seen here, Kendrick begins to breakdown his defender out on the perimeter, leading to a blow by for a layup at the rim.
These are the types of things Miami has been missing as of late, since not only was an offensive spark necessary, but utilizing the spots of the floor that have been problems.
– The jab step equals natural shooting flow
The jab step technique is something I’ve mentioned when breaking down Bam Adebayo’s shooting abilities. When he faces a defender up, it’s not always about using a jab step for separation, but using it to get into a natural shooting flow.
Nunn, on the other hand, utilizes it for both reasons. He uses it for slight separation as seen on this play, since Rui Hachimura turns his body just enough for Nunn to immediately pull. But it seems that jab step allows him to get into the jump-shot in the most comfortable way.
Some players utilize a step-back, others may utilize a crossover. But this small technique for him holds much more value than it may appear.
– Dragic-Nunn minutes effective when this occurs
The Goran Dragic and Nunn minutes have been the one combo that has been a bit of a worry. There was some concern that they don’t fit well together offensively, and both struggle on the defensive side of the ball as well.
The one way that they can work together, though, is Nunn attacking the way he did here. He’s a very explosive player, while Dragic bases himself off craftiness, so them working off each other in this fashion seems to be the only effective way.
If Nunn continues to prove himself over this next stretch while Miami is loaded with injuries at the guard position, Coach Erik Spoelstra may need these two to work on a nightly basis.
– Major improvements with quick decisions on shot attempts
Now, after looking at Nunn’s offensive game in a deeper way, this was easily the biggest improvement that was seen. He knows how to utilize his body for a sliver of space to get into his shooting motion, for either a jumper or floater.
As seen here, he blows by his defender, and gives a slight bump to allow him to get his shot off against the grain as a lefty. Another thing that stood out here was his decision making on personal shot attempts. Instead of the past uncertainty between going into a normal jumper or floater, he makes those choices much quicker, which is necessary for a natural scorer.
These small mechanical adjustments that he has made will allow him to be a much more trusted player, and can contribute to the uncertainty involving consistency.
– The Butler-Nunn duo makes starting him much easier
As mentioned previously, there’s a chance Nunn could end up as the starting point guard for the time being, but the offensive connection with Jimmy Butler makes that much easier.
The first play was an inbound play, which the primary option is to pass out to the wing to Dragic as Adebayo sets the screen. Butler notices Nunn on the cut, and gives it to him by the basket, since he has a clear size advantage. The following play, Butler runs a dribble hand-off with Nunn, as he pulls with zero hesitation.
If there was any certain offensive need to plug into that starting lineup, it would be what Nunn gives them, while Herro can be given the keys to the second unit to do what he does best, as I broke down as well.