Five Takeaways from Heat’s Shorthanded Win Over Rockets

The Miami Heat got a win over the Houston Rockets on the second night of a back to back, without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. The entire supporting cast stepped up on the offensive end all the way through, headlined by a pretty impressive night for Kendrick Nunn. Anyway, here are five takeaways from this game…

#1: Kendrick Nunn stepping up early as expected, continuing his catch and shoot clinic.

Since Miami was far from complete on Monday night, Kendrick Nunn was one of the few names that stood out when evaluating a possible explosive performance on the ball. And as expected, Miami relied on him heavily whenever he was on the floor, and he produced. He was forced to become even more involved as a passer, as the PnR’s were used over and over with Precious Achiuwa as the sole lob threat. But his offense that has really stood out lately is his shooting from the outside. This was mentioned after yesterday’s game as well, but it really unlocks a lot of things for this team when fully healthy. If he can be utilized as an off-ball threat next to a guy like Duncan Robinson, it makes their offense pretty interesting while Victor Oladipo is out.

#2: Andre Iguodala: The one calming hand.

Andre Iguodala was labeled as questionable before tonight’s game, which seemed as if he would be ruled out on the second night of a back to back. He did end up suiting up though, and it was definitely for the best when looking at Miami’s offense when he was on the floor compared to off of it. Many would expect that drop-off to occur on the defensive end, but it was actually that facilitating presence on offense that kept Miami going. He is actually capable of getting guys different looks other than the normal PnR, and more importantly, everybody just seemed much more comfortable when he was on the floor. Although some of the pull-up jumpers could’ve been eliminated tonight, he gave Miami an offensive element that they obviously missed.

#3: KZ Okpala truly misses those extra reps away from actual NBA games.

A pretty obvious takeaway is the fact that KZ Okpala really could’ve used those extra reps in a Summer League or G-League atmosphere. All of his experience has been him getting thrown into odd situations, which he’s far from being able to fill. One game he doesn’t look at the rim at all, while other games he looks at it a bit too much with the amount of space he’s given when standing beyond the arc. He’s clearly talented, but he just doesn’t seem to know how to use that talent at this stage, which is expected. One thing that is widely known is that he’s not a catch and shoot player, but he always seems to be plugged into that type of role. He won’t truly make a leap in impact until he’s able to play his own game, when playing freely off the dribble and in transition, which once again, will not occur until he gets additional opportunities in other areas.

#4: Dewayne Dedmon playing his role to perfection.

When Erik Spoelstra made the comments about utilizing youth before tonight’s game, it was pretty obvious he was going to insert Precious Achiuwa into that starting role, and keep Dewayne Dedmon as the back-up big. And the same thing stuck out tonight as it did yesterday, which is Dedmon plays his role to perfection, doing what he does well consistently. He truly battles on the boards, but most importantly, the constant effort on the offensive glass creates extra opportunities for the Heat’s offense. He’s also a very good defender in the paint, since he does a good job of contesting attackers without getting off his feet to foul them. There’s zero doubt that Dedmon has that back-up big spot for good with the way he’s been playing lately.

#5: Duncan Robinson showcasing an unfamiliar attribute: Shooting.

Most of these takeaway pieces involving individual player evaluations consists of discussion about the undercover areas of their games. But tonight, the most obvious attribute for Duncan Robinson cannot go without discussing, since he was lighting it up from deep on a night where the defense was expecting it even more. He’s on the top of the scouting reports every night, but when Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler aren’t next to him in the starting lineup, it felt like a lot of those looks generated by Adebayo screens would be out the window. But they weren’t, and in fact, this may be the type of game that gives him a bit more variety moving forward with his scoring abilities.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Cavaliers

The Miami Heat expanded their win streak to 5 in a row with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bam Adebayo returned, while Jimmy Butler still dominated to lead Miami throughout. And now, they will be playing yet again in less than 24 hours on this back to back. Anyway, here are five takeaways from this game. Well, four takeaways from this game and a trade possibility….

#1: Sprinkling in extra defensive schemes, including traps, zone, and the press.

I’ve done a lot of breakdowns on Miami’s defense over this past winning stretch, mostly since it’s really been an intriguing aspect. Not just because they’re playing solid defense and landing number one in defensive rating over the last stretch, but because of the way in which they are doing it. Forget about individual defenders, since they continued this without Bam Adebayo, utilizing not so great individual defenders in a team scheme. In tonight’s game, Miami really went hard on high traps out of the pick and roll, forcing Cleveland to make that extra pass. Now, at times it may not have looked as effective as it could be, since shots were clanking off the rim right to Cleveland’s lengthy bigs, leading to their offensive rebounds and paint points. But these continued altering schemes will be crucial against good teams, especially when the offense isn’t clicking.

#2: Duncan Robinson benefiting from offensive cutting.

The off-ball cutting has been yet another aspect that I’ve dove into quite frequently, but it must be discussed once again. I’ve mentioned the team benefiting from these actions nightly, but there were some individual benefits tonight. For starters, the first play of the game was a Duncan Robinson back-door cut for an easy layup, which led to extra spacing on the three following the early timeout. They got some favorable switches in the first quarter, which led to Robinson being patient when receiving the ball, forcing the opposing big to make a decision. Another thing this led to for Robinson was a pick and roll flow. It’s been clear that some PnR sets will fully maximize his offensive abilities with Adebayo, which is exactly what he did throughout, but didn’t shine as bright due to constant turnovers in the first half.

#3: KZ Okpala over Precious Achiuwa once again.

KZ Okpala got his name called off the bench for Miami tonight, which shouldn’t be surprising since Precious Achiuwa found himself behind Chris Silva with Adebayo out. Okpala gave Miami a pretty impressive defensive game yet again, while still trying to find himself on the offensive side of the ball. But the interesting part about this topic is Achiuwa not being utilized in this game specifically, due to the Cavaliers bigs dominating against Miami’s small lineups. This doesn’t mean he should be playing over somebody in particular, but it does seem like the type of game where you expand to a 10 man rotation, especially to preserve some guys for this back to back. The counter to that point would be maximizing speed for their advanced defensive scheme with trapping and intense zone play, but it’s still a bit odd that some trust in Achiuwa has faded away slightly.

#4: A short Andre Iguodala stint early was one of his best first half spurts of season.

When comparing Andre Iguodala’s early spurt to others throughout the season, it’s important to note that this was the best first half stretch he’s had this far. The reason for that is because he’s had some very important moments down the stretch this season that shouldn’t be overlooked. But tonight’s was so impressive due to the impact on both ends of the floor. He knocked down both of his three point attempts, while immediately sinking back into a 2-2-1 press, then down to a half-court 2-3 zone. Once again, Miami winning by a good amount allowed Iguodala to watch from the sideline mostly, since they will be playing in 24 hours against the Memphis Grizzlies. These Iggy flashes are the moments that will truly come up big in a playoff game, which is why I’m mentioning this.

#5: A Trevor Ariza addition to this two-way Heat team?

Although tonight’s match-up may not make you think another small 4 is necessary, due to Cleveland’s centers dominating the boards and paint throughout, it just expands the way Miami likes to play at the current stage. Kevin O’Connor reported the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are in discussions, which would send Trevor Ariza to Miami. Now, some may evaluate him as a guy past his time of impact, but this would just sound so similar to the trade of last year to add some wings for the post-season. Another two-way guy, who Erik Spoelstra would love, since he’s the type of player he can “plug and play” in many spots. As I’ve mentioned many times, sometimes a tiny spark is more important than the player you’re attaining, especially in a situation where you’re not giving up assets of value. Although KZ Okpala may not love this move after finally finding a spot in the rotation, it’s the perfect move when evaluating a low risk, high reward trade for the post-season, who wouldn’t have a huge role to fill.

A Breakdown of Andre Iguodala’s Defensive Presence

When discussing certain NBA players who do all of the small things to help their team win a basketball game, Andre Iguodala is probably one of the first names that would come up. It’s clear that most of those big time impact plays take place on the defensive end, especially in Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks.

Here’s a deep dive into some of the moments that stood out from Andre Iguodala on Sunday afternoon…

– Interior Presence to Perimeter Presence leads to a Forced Shot

Andre Iguodala is widely known for his ability to wreck havoc on the perimeter, but there has been major improvement on handling the inside with bigger guys.

As seen here, Iguodala is battling with Julius Randle as he fights for the post-up, and Iggy gives him absolutely zero room to get into a comfortable shot. He buys just enough time for Jimmy Butler to come for the double, leading to a pass out to the perimeter.

Iguodala then switches onto RJ Barret, although it seemed as if it was an unnecessary switch, leaving Kendrick Nunn guarding Randle. He immediately goes for the help, as Randle kicks it out to the corner late in the shot clock, leading to a great defensive possession for Miami, mostly due to the constant movement from Iguodala.

– Active Hands means Constant Disruption

Iguodala’s active hands are probably the most unique part of his game, but picking moments to use them is even more impressive.

One thing you don’t want to do in a pick and roll with Iguodala defending is pick up your dribble, since he will swarm you in an instant. On this play, he doubles Alec Burks as he picks up his dribble, and Iguodala immediately gets his hand on the basketball. The ball then rolls out of bounds off of Burks, as Miami gets the ball back.

Another reason plays like this are so important is because it’s obvious the intensity that is generated from this type of play. It’s one of the small reasons for Iggy’s overall importance to this team.

– Anticipating Passes Points to High IQ

Being able to anticipate passes off the ball is one of the major defensive things that points to high IQ.

Iguodala is on the left block as Randle spreads out to the corner, while Iggy is totally focused on the developing pick and roll at the top of the key. As he sees the lob pass get thrown, he times it perfectly to get the steal, and gets Miami right into their fast-break offense.

Teams notice when a guy like Iguodala is on the floor lurking, which leads to natural discomfort throughout.

– Coach Spo Finds a Perfect Iggy Lineup Fit

It’s necessary to take a quick second to evaluate the offensive side of the ball with Iguodala in. There has been a clear spacing issue with certain lineups, since defenses go for constant doubles to force an Iggy three ball.

The way that can be fixed is by going to certain lineups that fit him. When he shares the floor with both Butler and Adebayo, there’s limited ways to overcome that spacing burden. But playing Iguodala with only one of Butler or Adebayo cures that automatically. Surrounding those two with three shooters is all that is needed to have a functional offense in spurts of the game, but all three may be needed to close.

When these three have shared the floor this season, they have an offensive rating of 82. While when just Butler and Iguodala share the floor, they have an offensive rating of 97, and Adebayo and Iguodala have an offensive rating of 104. The eye test has proved this to be true, and so have the numbers.

– Physicality and Quickness means Uncomfortable Screener

Iguodala has been a screener’s nightmare this season, since he’s been playing a lot of power forward. As mentioned previously, he has the physicality to handle you down low, but the lateral quickness to stop you on the perimeter.

On this possession, Miami is in a 2-3 zone, and the clear offensive goal is to take Iguodala out of the equation from the top of that zone. The only issue with that plan is that he won’t be eliminated easily. Iguodala fights through it, leading to an offensive foul on Taj Gibson.

– A Superstar’s Safety Net

There is a certain comfort level when Iguodala is on the floor, especially for the young guys. But it seems important to note the role he plays for Adebayo every single night.

Adebayo loves to defend out on the perimeter, but it makes it harder for him since he has to worry about what is happening on the back side. Except there doesn’t seem to be any worries about the interior when he realizes Iguodala is controlling that part of the floor.

After Adebayo doubles, it leaves Iguodala covering both Gibson at the rim and Obi Toppin in the corner. As soon as they find the open man, Iguodala sprints out to contest, leading to a missed shot.

– Late Game Stops Leads to Iguodala on the Ball

With under a minute to play, Miami leads by one and clearly needs a stop.

Randle tries to take Iguodala off the dribble, but his lateral quickness allows him to cut him off fairly easily. Randle then dumps it off to Burks as Iggy switches onto him, and it led to a very tough fade-away triple with Iguodala in his face.

These moments at the end of games show how necessary it is for Iguodala to be on the floor, no matter the offensive spacing issues that may occur.

Andre Iguodala: The Key Piece for this Season

The one word that seems to describe this Heat team heading into the season is depth.

When going down the line, many begin to pick out the youth at the end of the roster, but there’s plenty of veterans as well.

The one player that will hold major importance this season is Andre Iguodala. For starters, the departure of Jae Crowder made this evident automatically, since losing a quality wing with size could be troublesome.

To that point, that’s a main reason Coach Spo will slowly help him adapt in the regular season, since veterans will need rest on this team after the quick turnaround.

Although he will be key in the postseason, what makes him so essential in the regular season?

Well, I believe they balance him with the playing time of Jimmy Butler. There may be some nights, especially on a back to back, where Jimmy will get more breaks than usual. And that is where Andre will come into play.

Last season in the playoffs, Iguodala was most effective on that second unit when Butler exited, since he’s able to replicate the things he does from the perspective of running the offense.

They will utilize him in a similar way through this regular season, especially with all of the youth on this roster, a guy like him is necessary for the other guys to strive.

Heading into the season, Andre Iguodala’s name doesn’t get thrown around much, mostly since he’s one of those silent impact guys who’s play doesn’t show up in the stat sheet at times.

And with the relationship of Coach Spo and Iguodala building over time, it’s clear that these two high IQ guys will come up with an efficient plan for him to be worked in.

Andre Iguodala may not be in many discussions right now, but he will be pretty soon.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Crowder, Iguodala

The Miami Heat basically went through a non-contact practice today, which everyone on the team attended. Afterward, Erik Spoelstra, Jae Crowder, and Andre Iguodala talked with media about their mindset after that game three loss and some minor mistakes they will need to critique. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Jae Crowder spoke about the hot topic heading into into game four on Wednesday, Jimmy Butler. He said, “He’s a guy who is about action. You can tell if he’s in one of those moods where he’s going crazy all game.” He followed that saying that the Heat need a more focused and intense Butler. That is indeed the truth. Many people have been saying that it’s time for Butler to start being a primary scorer, but that’s just not him. What he can do is intensify the team through his on-court actions as Jae mentioned, which would speak more volume than any scoring he could do. He did say at the start that Jimmy doesn’t do a lot of talking pregame, which is why you never know what Jimmy you’re getting heading in. But on Wednesday, I’m pretty sure Jae Crowder and this Heat team know what Jimmy Butler they’re getting.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Jae also talked about some adjustments they will be making, without going into detail. He said, “I don’t want to give it away through you,” when discussing some match-ups they will be searching for. This may be the spark for not letting the game get away from them early, which he expanded on starting games better as well. He said, “Our spirit is right, our heads are right, our energy is there. We just want to see how we can play a complete game.” There’s no question that this Heat team has been better in the fourth quarter in all three games, but the key is putting that out there in the first three quarters as well. That’s something else that has to do with intensity, since they finally get a burst of energy down the stretch it seems.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Erik Spoelstra touched on Duncan Robinson for a bit, mostly about the defensive side of the ball. He mentions that he “just has to do things with force and detail.” He knows that teams are going to continually try to attack Duncan no matter what, especially in the post, but he says that “he’s gotten much better at it.” There were many instances that Marcus Smart or Jayson Tatum would take Duncan to the rim, and Miami displayed zero help defense. Duncan struggles one-on-one defensively as it is, and with no help, it seemed problematic. Spo also mentioned that Boston came out with “great force off the dribble” and that they must do a “better job of that.”

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Erik Spoelstra was going into great detail about their young star Bam Adebayo. He said Bam is genuine and real, but on the court he’s as nasty as anyone in the league. “One of the best competitors on this planet.” That statement was on full effect in game three, when Bam was giving it his all even when they trailed by 20 points. Jimmy even recognized it post-game on Saturday, saying “He did everything he could to try to will us to this win all game long.” Spo also transitioned into selecting Bam on draft night, saying “He was the guy we wanted to take. We were just hoping he was going to be there.” He then said that he’s the “Anti-AAU player,” since he never played AAU basketball. Spo ends with “He’s wired differently, which we like.”

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Andre Iguodala touched on what it has been like to mentor Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and others. He said, “I had really good vets…I like to take no credit at all.” He also said, “Once you master something, it’s your duty to teach it. So it’s my duty.” Bam Adebayo having Udonis Haslem as a mentor and Jimmy Butler taking Tyler Herro under his wing has shown to be very essential for this young group. Andre also talked about his recent play, which has been tough due to some issues with back spasms. He said, “One thing you don’t want to be is a detriment to the team.” He says that the Bubble “has been more good days than bad days,” but today is one of those tough days. He finishes off with “We are really built for this environment, it really puts us in an advantage.”

5 Comments from Spoelstra, Iguodala, Adebayo of Miami Heat

The Miami Heat officially returned to practice yesterday morning, but cancelled the post-practice media session. But today they got to speak with media, mostly about their current mental state due to what has been going on. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Miami Heat, started off the media session saying that everyone on the team practiced today, including Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder. He also talked about the team getting back to normal, both physically and mentally. He said, “We had a couple really good days of work. Nobody was in the mood to work on Wednesday or Thursday.” But now, they are back to their focused routine, since Spo mentioned they will be watching the Bucks-Magic game this afternoon. If the Milwaukee Bucks win, Miami will be facing them in the second round starting on Monday.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Andre Iguodala touched on the current movement that is being led by the NBA. He said, “I think it’s a simple message: We just want to stop being targeted.” Spo also applauded the player’s leadership lately, saying “The league is in a great place moving forward with our players leading the way.” Andre Iguodala has played a huge part in what the league is doing, since he is the union’s Vice President. Bam also gave his opinion on what has been going on, saying “Our people are being harmed. So it’s kind of difficult to focus on basketball because we all have families at home.” Bam also mentioned that it’s “hard to stay in a positive place” at the moment, especially being in the bubble away from his family. He also said that he’s been telling his family to “stay safe and do the things necessary.”

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Bam Adebayo talked a little about the basketball side of things, which clearly hasn’t been discussed in a while. He said, “As a team, I feel like we have a great balance.” Not only does he mean a balanced roster, but balanced personalities. He mentions that they are at a stage where “anybody can go talk to anybody,” which is great since no one will take it personal. We have seen this with Bam a few times during games in the bubble, where he would be vocal if someone like (Miami Heat rookie) Tyler Herro messed up. But that is true leadership, which is why there’s a whole lot of mutual respect in that locker room.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Bam also mentioned that he doesn’t really have a huge voice right now on these topics since he’s so young. But mentions that for him, “It’s if we have a chance to speak our minds every single night on national TV and keep bring awareness to it.” That’s the reason it was important for many to continue the season, so they could use their platform to make people aware of what is going on. He also said he was “on the fence” about continuing the season. He said that he wanted to go back home to help people, but ultimately thought the right decision would be to bring awareness through media and TV.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Bam Adebayo, one of the Miami Heat’s two All-Stars, finished the media session talking about the importance of using American Airlines Arena as a polling place. He mentions that it’s important “so you don’t have to go out of your way to vote.” He then related this topic to his personal life, mentioning how voter suppression has affected his family. He says it was as simple as a polling place being too far from a workplace and a boss not letting his mother vote. This is why this clearly hits home for Bam, which is why him and the team will continue to use their voices to make change.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra and Iguodala

The Miami Heat talked with media after practice again today, but there wasn’t much talk about basketball. Both Erik Spoelstra and Andre Iguodala spoke on the recent incident involving a police officer and Jacob Blake, which they discussed trying to reform police training. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Andre Iguodala spent all of his time with media speaking on the recent shooting involving a police officer and Jacob Blake. Andre just kept reiterating the fact that people have become senseless to police violence. He also mentioned the recent notion of the Black Lives Matter movement losing steam, saying “We’re going to continue the good fight.” This is coming from the union’s vice president, which is why this is such valuable information. He lastly mentions that their platform in the bubble is “one of the largest platforms in the world,” which is why he will continue to shed light and deliver the much needed messages on these issues.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Andre Iguodala also touched on the recent talk upon a potential boycott for the playoffs. He said, “I don’t think that’s something that’s agreed upon.” These talks were said to be between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, but Andre Iguodala was very active in these discussions with them. There’s also been some talk of some players possibly leaving the bubble, since they are mentally traumatized. Andre said, “We haven’t spoken about it openly, but I’m sure guys have had those thoughts.” While the Heat players are focused on approaching the situation by using their platforms, other players feel they can impact it more by not playing.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Erik Spoelstra touched on the actual video involving Jacob Blake. He started off saying that he made himself watch it multiple times since he didn’t want to allow himself to avoid it. He then said, “It’s pretty heavy. It’s pretty raw. It’s on all of our minds for sure.” He made this point to make sure everyone understands how much this weighs on the minds of the guys in their locker room, and across the league. He also said, “If you really take the time to watch that video over and over, it’s incredibly horrible and discouraging to see that still happening.”

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Erik Spoelstra got asked about today’s firing of Nate McMillan of the Indiana Pacers. Spo said, “It’s ridiculous. It seems like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth.” This is because they just gave him an extension two weeks ago, then fired him. It seems as if they used him as the scapegoat, when truly there was no reason to. He took that team to the 4 seed, and was left with no Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo who wasn’t 100%. And though they got swept, they battled to the end in each and every game against Miami. As Spo said, it truly seems “totally ridiculous.”

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Erik Spoelstra ended the media session on the talk of the possible boycott, which Andre Iguodala touched on prior. He said, “I’m just going to observe and see what’s going to happen over the next 24 hours.” It was said that the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors will have another meet up tonight to discuss it further, which is why Spoelstra said he will wait 24 hours. He will of course get the news first since Andre Iguodala will be at the front-line of those talks, which Spo said “Andre gives us the update with what was discussed. From our end, there hasn’t been any discussions of that.”

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Iguodala, Leonard

The Miami Heat talked with some media after practice on Friday afternoon, heading into game 3 of the first round. Erik Spoelstra talked about the offensive production of Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic, while Andre Iguodala gave many intellectual answers about this team and the game of basketball in general. Meyers Leonard also spoke about his feelings towards his new role. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra was asked about the conversation that he had with Goran before making him a starter. He said, “In a perfect world, he probably would have liked to stay on the bench.” He notes that this was because of their rhythm throughout the season. Although Goran has been starting for the first two games, he still gets plenty of minutes with the second unit. And it seems as if he is more productive at times with the lineup of Tyler Herro, Andre Iguodala, Derrick Jones Jr, and Kelly Olynyk. That is because he’s the offensive leader without Jimmy on the floor, and due to the versatility of this lineup, it allows him to do what he does best which is attack the basket. This is why you see him take more floaters and mid-ranges with this lineup, since he can just truly be his best self.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Erik Spoelstra also discussed Duncan Robinson’s consistent elite shooting abilities this season. He said, “It’s a great quality of this team where guys want to help other guys get shots.” This was shown prior to yesterday’s game, when Jimmy specifically said that his purpose for game 2 was to get his shooters like Duncan and Tyler more involved. This seems to be a huge plus for Spo as well, when he said “Bam and Jimmy really get that.” He also mentioned that they truly understand how important Duncan is for their team. And as I mentioned previously, their offense seriously revolves solely around the production of Duncan Robinson, since this opens up so many other things.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Andre Iguodala talked about his relationship with Coach Erik Spoelstra, and how it grew over the hiatus. It was speculated for a while, but Andre indeed confirmed it. It seemed as if Andre hadn’t found his place yet when he first joined the team, but in the bubble, he knows his role on this team and plays it to perfection. He’s not a guy that’s going to drop 20 points on multiple nights, but he can bring defensive discomfort and make crucial plays down the stretches of games. Andre also mentioned that him and Spo spent a lot of time talking about Bam Adebayo, and how “he can go above his own expectations.” Andre has seemed to play a pretty big role for Bam’s improvements, since he’s been apart of the closing front-court with Bam for the playoffs.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Andre Iguodala also touched on the topic of Tyler Herro, which he was asked for a viable comparison for him. He responded, “None yet.” He then gave a deep description of Tyler’s game, talking about his tight handles and other aspects. But the thing he continually harps on is his confidence. He said, “The thing I like about his confidence is he’s a very hard worker, wants to be great.” And well, hard work is the what gives you the ability to be confident, since you are totally invested in yourself. Tyler also has the confidence from his teammates to be the offensive leader that he is. Andre ends with, “That you can’t teach.”


Post-Practice Comment #5:

Meyers Leonard touched on his feeling towards going from starter to out of the rotation. He said, “I’m not gonna say it’s been easy. I love competing with this team.” Although he’s not playing a role on the court right now, he still plays a major role for this team. He’s a leader that will do whatever it takes to win, which is why he says he is staying ready, especially since Coach Spo has said many times that their depth will be needed down the line. Meyers also mentioned the success of this team as of late, saying “We’re so damn deep. We have so much talent. And I absolutely love it.” He also has talked to Kendrick Nunn since they share the same situation, which he told him “We are going to need you, period,” and finishes with “He will be ready for the moment. All of these things are things that a leader says, and something a leader would do is donate $100,000 to the city of Miami due to Covid and voter suppression. Which he did as well. This team truly understands the importance of Meyers Leonard.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Iguodala, Nunn

The Miami Heat went through their last practice before game 1 of the playoffs on Monday afternoon. This media session included the playoff role for Heat’s rookie Kendrick Nunn. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Kendrick Nunn was asked about the different mindset of coming off of the bench or starting. He basically said that it doesn’t matter to him since he just will go out on the floor and play no matter what. This then lead to the question of if he’d heard if he would be starting tomorrow. He then confirmed that he will be coming off of the bench. This consequently means that Goran Dragic will be the starting point guard tomorrow, since Erik Spoelstra usually rolls with guys that he trusts.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Andre Iguodala talked a little about the importance of the veterans on this roster with the young guys, including Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic, and himself. He said that they know how to deal with these guys when their going through tough stretches. But, you have to truly know your teammates since you have to deal with them all differently. He mentioned that he doesn’t deal with Bam Adebayo the same way he does Duncan Robinson. This leads right into a previous answer he said which was that his most important stretches come in between time-outs. His off-court leadership will become essential starting tomorrow.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Erik Spoelstra began the media session discussing the current status of Derrick Jones Jr. He mentions that he went through the walk through portion of practice today and that he’s not totally ruled out yet. But, it does seem like we’re going in that direction, since there is no reason to rush him back into a game that quickly. This may consequently mean that he will be back by game 2 or 3, and hopefully be a pivotal part in the second unit’s offensive and defensive success.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Erik Spoelstra was asked about the new defensive scheme that Indiana is using, which is to chase people totally off of the threes. This changed because they lost their all-star big man Domantas Sabonis, which lead to them going smaller and faster. Spoelstra said the most important thing is taking care of the ball and limiting mistakes, since they want to get out and run off of turnovers. He also mentioned that Indiana is top 3 in steals and points off turnovers in the bubble, which is why he will be stressing the idea of limiting mistakes. This may be another reason why Gorn Dragic will be entering the starting lineup for Kendrick Nunn, he wants his veterans in control of the ball.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Andre Iguodala got asked about the idea of Jimmy Butler’s new coffee shop in the bubble. Andre says that most people give out samples when they first start out with a business. But not Jimmy. He’s charging $20 a cup for small, medium, and large. Jimmy also said that he may raise the price to $30 for the playoffs. Andre ends the discussion with, “He’s trying to build a monopoly.”

5 Takeaways from Post-Practice Interviews with Iguodala, Dragic, Spoelstra

The Miami Heat finished up a late practice tonight in the Orlando bubble. Afterward, Andre Iguodala, Goran Dragic, and Erik Spoelstra spoke with some media as they get closer and closer to their first scrimmage game this Wednesday. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about the current status of Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn and if they would return in the next few days. Spoelstra responded with the words “we’ll see.” It seems as everything is “we’ll see” when discussing the circumstances of Covid-19, since there is truly so much unknown. Although, there seems to be a bunch of optimism upon them returning pretty soon, which will be much needed for this Miami Heat team to succeed.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

There’s been a lot of talk about players being able to talk with players from other teams, but there hasn’t been a lot of buzz about coaches. Erik Spoelstra said that he talked to some opposing coaches, including Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, about different game plans in the bubble. This is something no coach has been able to do before or thought about doing, especially Erik. But, Spoelstra has used the word “adjusting” many times over the last week which is a clear clue that he will adapt to whatever circumstances.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Andre Igudala discussed Heat’s rookie Tyler Herro today in a very positive way. He says, “He wants to be great for a really long time.” This has been proven true through his clear hard working attitude and winning mentality. Andre talks about how he wants to help Tyler both on and off the court. He says he is there for him if he needs help with the approachment of things like endorsements and social issues. This is another reason why having a veteran guy like Andre Iguodala on this team is so essential.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Since two veterans got to talk with media tonight, there was a lot of talk about the young guys. Goran talked about Duncan Robinson, saying “He’s always first in the gym.” When the team usually talks about Duncan, it usually is about his lethal shooting. But not today. It’s about his hard working attitude. It seems like the players have an even more locked in attitude than usual. He also says that Duncan always wants to improve, which if he was able to improve his defense and shots off the dribble, he’d be an even bigger eye sore for teams.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Coach Spoelstra also got to talking about the different defensive schemes we will see after this long hiatus. He says that this type of environment benefits this because they have more time to drill the zone defense. This is something that we most definitely might see more of in the playoffs. Either if its to lock up a 76ers team in a first round match-up or to catch the Indiana Pacers off guard. It seemed pretty productive this season when it was used, especially to help Heat bigs like Meyers Leonard. Spoelstra also said he will be drilling the basic switching principles over the next few practices to make sure his team is 100% ready.