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#BugBrady: Taking Your Miami Heat Questions #3

Well, it’s still not out of the question that he resigns with Miami. For one, Miami is in search for a big to play with Bam Adebayo or play behind him. And if they don’t sign one of their ideal big man options, Meyers might be a smart resigning.

I actually believe that it would make sense for Meyers to make a return back to Portland, if Miami chooses not to resign him. The city loves him, his teammates loved him, and of course there’s an opening as well.

Hassan Whiteside is entering free agency, and Portland seems to have their starting Center in Jusef Nurkic. This means that Portland will be searching for a back-up big as well, and an old friend may be on the market.

Obviously Miami would love to bring him back due to the leadership he brought to this team, but the question will be if he would rather a much bigger role.

I feel that Miami and Portland may be his two main options.

The easy answer would probably be to try and improve the fundamentals on the defensive side of the ball. It’s pretty obvious that Tyler Herro’s offensive package is pretty solid already, since he has the jumper, the ability to attack, and a nice handle.

I have a feeling there will be a lot of ball-handling improvements that will be made throughout this off-season, especially if he takes the role of starting point guard. He has a great vision for the game, so the passing side of things isn’t an issue.

Another thing I see him improving is his body. I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back with even more strength by gaining some muscle, since that ultimately can help on the defensive side of the ball alone.

Well, in my opinion, I feel like Miami would be letting Derrick Jones Jr walk even if they didn’t have KZ Okpala.

But yes, I do feel this makes it pretty certain that DJJ will be gone. KZ already has a skill-set to replicate what DJJ did this season, and obviously much cheaper. We haven’t really been able to see what KZ has to offer right now, but due to the fact that Miami was so high on him upon drafting, and also giving him a full year to develop, I’d say it’s a good replacement.

It makes it even more clear that they will let DJJ walk since he wasn’t even apart of Miami’s rotation upon injuries in the playoffs. Miami felt more comfortable putting in Soloman Hill than Derrick Jones Jr, which further proves they don’t feel the need to give him a good sized contract.

And due to DJJ’s youth, other teams will be looking to sign him since he has a ton of upside. Those teams would probably include the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, and others.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Victory Over Boston in Game Two

The Miami Heat trailed early in game two once again, but came back and got the win, 106-101. It happened after they increased their intensity in the second half, led by Bam Adebayo. Here are some takeaways…

#1: Duncan Robinson comes out firing.

If there was anything positive to takeaway from this game, it’d be the hot start of Duncan Robinson. He’s been struggling throughout these playoffs, and needed a game where he could come out the gate getting shots up. I’ve mentioned previously, Boston’s defensive game-plan is not the same as Milwaukee’s or Indiana’s. Although Duncan wasn’t hitting in game one, he was getting a bunch of good looks. Duncan will hold a bit of pressure heading into game three, since Miami’s offense runs so much smoother when he’s scoring. But that pressure is nothing for Duncan, since he’s one of the most confident shooters in today’s league.

#2: Bam Adebayo struggles early, but takes over in third quarter.

Bam Adebayo struggled early, not having the same success that he usually has around the rim. But that turned around late once again, since Bam got busy in the third quarter, absolutely taking over the game. Some of Bam’s early struggle may have had something to do with having to chase Kemba Walker around on defense, while he absolutely had it going. But he seemed to have gotten his usual energy back after halftime, being the vertical spacer that he always is. The team made it a virtue to run the pick and roll and find Bam, while Bam sustained the confidence in himself that everyone else has in him.

#3: The Erik Spoelstra and Brad Stevens match-up was on full effect.

Miami had problems all season defending the perimeter, but tonight they got attacked in the paint. Even Enes Kanter came in getting busy down low, since Miami doesn’t have a true big that can eliminate post defenders. Bam is clearly a terrific defender, but since he had a lot of assignments with Kemba Walker on the perimeter, this allowed them to thrive. This seemed to be an adjustment by Brad Stevens, since Bam isn’t in the paint, that’s what they decided to attack. But Spo’s adjustments in the second half proved his coaching excellence. He implemented more of the zone defense, gave Derrick Jones Jr minutes, and increased the intensity of the team. This win goes to Erik Spoelstra.

#4: Derrick Jones Jr gives another stint of quality minutes.

Kendrick Nunn currently is the 9th man in the rotation, but it seems as if he’s slowly playing himself out of it. Not only does he continue to struggle, but Derrick Jones Jr gave some quality second half minutes on the defensive end. He matches up perfectly with this Boston team, since they’re full of perimeter wings. Not only can he defend guys one on one, but he’s such a disruptor with team defense. This is a big reason they use him at the top of the zone defense, due to his length and quickness. If he can give Miami some quality offensive minutes, he will 100% secure a spot in the rotation.

#5: When Boston’s scorers get going, they’re hard to slow down, but Miami found a way.

Kemba Walker struggled in game one scoring the ball, but their adjustments opened up the floor for him today, which led to his breakout performance. He torched Miami’s defense to start the game, which led to them getting comfortable down low. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum still seemed as confident as ever with the ball in their hands, putting on a display of their unique pull-up games. But once again, Miami utilized their unique way of gaining momentum. They intensified the game through Bam’s activeness, and overcame Boston’s first half scoring display. This team is hungry, and they’re up 2-0.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Dragic, Adebayo, Jones Jr

The Miami Heat had an early practice on Saturday morning, preparing for the start of the playoffs. They spoke with some media afterward, including some discussion on the health of Derrick Jones Jr. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Derrick Jones Jr started the session speaking about the injury of course. He said he feels good but just a little sore. This is definitely great to hear since it doesn’t seem as serious as first expected. He also mentions that he’s hopeful that he will be ready by the first round of the playoffs, but will take it day by day. He says that he just did not see the second screen on that specific play, and mentions “he came out of nowhere.” Spoelstra was also happy to hear the seriousness of it, saying “Thank goodness he has what he has today.”

 

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Bam Adebayo got asked about the match-up of him and Myles Turner, and if he reminds him of himself at all. He quickly added “no.” Then continues saying that he thinks of himself as “one of one.” He says that he’s one of those guys that can do absolutely everything on the court. Bam Adebayo will be looking to display the scoring side of his game during the playoffs a little more, since this team will be looking to him to score in tough stretches. And with Bam’s confidence at an all time high right now, I’d feel bad for anyone having to guard him in a 7 game series.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Goran Dragic seems to know as much as everybody else does when regarding the starting lineup for the first round. He says that he doesn’t care if he starts or comes off of the bench. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t matter to him because he has thrived in both situations. He has a natural ability to lead and score, which happens no matter who is on the floor with him. But with Kendrick’s recent struggles, it would be no surprise if Spoelstra started him in this series. And if he doesn’t start, he will see an extended amount of minutes off of the bench.

Post-Practice Comment #4

Bam got to talking about himself in today’s interview, including the different spots he could be utilized. He says, “put me on a starting guard.” I bet Erik Spoelstra would have no problem sticking Bam Adebayo on Victor Oladipo in this series, but that would be a huge risk for foul trouble. You are going to need Bam Adebayo in this series as much as possible, which is why there’s no need to risk this early. But, he might see some extended minutes on Oladipo down the stretch of games in the fourth quarter.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Erik Spoelstra gave a quick update on Miami’s Jae Crowder today. He said that he practiced today, which definitely is a good sign. He was tagged as questionable yesterday prior to the game, which seems to be a good sign that he will be ready for game 1 of the first round. Miami will need their versatile power forward in this series, especially since he spent a lot of minutes guarding Victor Oladipo in the game earlier in the week. And that’s not even discussing the amount of efficient three point shooting he has endured at a high volume. This Heat team needs a healthy Jae Crowder to make some noise in the playoffs.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Take-Down over Indiana Pacers

The Miami Heat played a much anticipated game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, and got the win 114-92. After a tie game at the half, Miami came out sharp in the second half on both sides of the ball. Here’s five takeaways from this big win…

#1: Jae Crowder continues to be Heat’s most consistent player.

Due to the amount of lethal shooters on this roster, including Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder seems to get left out of the conversation. But, he continues to be the Heat’s most consistent player on both sides of the floor, and is shooting 60% from three in the bubble. Jae Crowder is also one of those guys that does the dirty work for you, which obviously fits well into this system. This is why Jae made his way into the starting lineup and replaced Meyers Leonard, since versatility matters on this current team more than ever due to their depth in wings.

#2: Bench unit struggles with Goran Dragic moving to the starting lineup.

Goran Dragic got the surprising start in tonight’s game against the Pacers, but consequently caused a problem. Goran had such a groove with the second unit, which was one of Miami’s biggest strengths this season. When most teams had bench drop offs, Miami didn’t. But today, it was evident they did. When Goran exited the game, it wasn’t the same bench unit we’ve seen all season, which caused Indiana to comeback early. Goran came back into the game with the second unit in the second quarter, which seemed to settle Miami down on offense, and led to Miami’s second half display. Although there’s been questions about taking Kendrick Nunn out of the starting lineup all together, it may be better to continue this rotation and let Goran and Tyler run the offense smoothly with the bench unit.

#3: Derrick Jones Jr tries to lock up a spot in the rotation.

Derrick Jones Jr has been in and out of the Heat’s rotation this season, but this may be Derrick’s time to lock up his spot. He has proved that he can guard every team’s best player, but his offense has been in question. But today, he showed he can use his vertical spacing to his advantage. And he’s beginning to improve his shooting from beyond the arc, which if he can hit one to two threes in a playoff game, that can change a game. There also seemed to be a special connection between Derrick and Goran Dragic tonight, since about 80% of his points came from a Goran lob. Derrick has said time and time again that he wants to be here, but he will need to prove his impact during this last stretch before he goes into free agency.

#4: Bam Adebayo comes out aggressive out of the gate, which is essential.

Bam Adebayo started the first quarter with fire in his eyes when he had the ball in his hands. And with Myles Turner basically daring Bam to take a mid range jump shot, he took it with no hesitation, but it wasn’t falling. The thing is with Bam though, it doesn’t need to fall to help the offense. There are plenty of guys on the court who can hit these jumpers on offense, but they can’t open up the floor like Bam does. He also had a defensive motor tonight, which he brings every night, but it seemed to have a little more energy behind it, due to the Myles Turner match-up. Myles got the spot on the USA team over Bam, which obviously didn’t sit right with him. If Bam can bring this energy and aggressiveness every night, it benefits this team’s offensive versatilities even more.

#5: TJ Warren truly isn’t in Jimmy Butler’s league.

Everybody has been waiting for the TJ Warren-Jimmy Butler match-up since their scuffle back in January. Fast forward eight months later and Jimmy Butler still hasn’t forgotten. TJ Warren has been going on an absolute scoring tear in the bubble. Emphasis on scoring. Someone in Jimmy Butler’s league would have to be able to score, rebound, play-make, defend, and lead the way Jimmy does. Jimmy showcased this today scoring 19 points, along with 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Jimmy also mentioned after their game in January that “I can guard him and he can’t guard me.” Jimmy guarded TJ to start the game, while TJ guarded Jae Crowder, which definitely raises an eyebrow. This was also far from a meaningless game since Miami is trying to secure the four seed, which may ultimately mean a first round match-up against TJ Warren and the Indiana Pacers.

5 Key Moments from Media Availability with Spoelstra, Dragic, DJJ

The Miami Heat had an earlier practice than usual on Thursday, while other teams are preparing for the first regular season game of the restart tonight. This was the first official practice for the Heat that will prepare them for these types of regular season games. Well, here’s what they had to say about their preparation for Saturday against the Denver Nuggets…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Coach Erik Spoelstra talks a little about the preparation for these regular season games coming up. He says the plan is to “adjust and play the depth as necessary.” This is definitely a major advantage for the Heat, as mentioned many times. It seems pretty clear that depth is the biggest strength of their team. Sometimes it seems as if Spoelstra has a little too much depth to mess around with, but this is definitely a good problem to have in this format. He also says “I have to remain open to pivot as needed.” Spoelstra is one of the only coaches that have the ability to adjust quickly and succeed at it. As there’s been many different x-factors discussed for this season, Spoelstra may be the biggest one.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Goran Dragic seems pretty excited to get back out their on the court with the team in games that count. He said, “I can’t wait to start.” He also mentions that today’s practice was really intense, which means they’re starting to ramp stuff up a little more. These practices are being utilized right now as a type of scouting format. The coaching staff is trying to find the guys that are in the best shape right now and who they can trust. This very well may be Goran Dragic. As mentioned before, it’s been very obvious that veterans are made for this format more than young guys. Plus, Goran is one of the Heat’s primary play-makers, which will begin to be needed more and more over the course of the next few weeks.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Derrick Jones Jr got to talk with some media today after practice as well. He starts it off discussing the Heat’s primary struggle. Defense. He said, “We just got to get a little bit better rhythm playing together. Just getting locked in on defense.” Derrick Jones Jr is one of the few guys on the roster that has the ability to fix this problem. It’s been obvious that the defensive struggles have come from the lack of defense from the Heat’s guards. And well, DJJ has the ability to match-up against other guards, which he mentions, “I want to guard the best player every night.” But, there’s a lot of question marks around what he will be able to offer offensively. It seems pretty clear that Spo will have to make a decision on what he wants to prioritize.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Spoelstra talks a little about the importance of these scrimmage games for this Heat team. He says, “We didn’t play particularly well in our last game, but there were moments in each game where we made progress.” The Heat’s final scrimmage game was definitely a bad note to leave on, but as Spoelstra said, they’re focusing on the positive moments. These scrimmages have helped Spoelstra find the right lineups, defensive schemes, and mainly the type of environment. Last game’s disaster may be the best thing that could’ve happened to the team, since that makes them practice that much harder and truly understand what it takes to win these games.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

The Miami Heat have just released some new shirts on the social justice issues. The team wore them in practice today, which include “Enough is enough,” “Silence is compliance,” and much more. Derrick Jones Jr talked a little about the shirts, saying “I love it.” He says there are some people that aren’t very comfortable speaking about this matter, so the shirt does the talking for them. Erik Spoelstra also spoke about these shirts, saying “This is the shirt that resonates with me,” when speaking about the “Silence is compliance” shirt he was wearing. This team continues to be vocal with their stance on social justice aspects, which is one of the main reasons they wanted to get back onto the highest stage possible.

Post-Practice Comments

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Haslem, DJJ Zoom calls

The Miami Heat had an evening practice on Tuesday afternoon, preparing for Wednesday’s first scrimmage game. Udonis Haslem and Derrick Jones Jr spoke to the media on Zoom afterwards about the team’s current status and the preparation before tomorrow. Here’s five main Post-Practice Comments from Sports, UD and DJJ.

Post-Practice Comments #1:

There has been a lot of excitement from the players this week after practice as they get closer to the return of play. Spoelstra touched on this saying that’s all they’ve been talking about, especially for the game tomorrow. He also mentioned that every player in the bubble right now will get minutes tomorrow, which might mean no minutes upon the return of Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn. This then gives these guys the time they need to get back to 100%, and gives some of the bench guys an opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation.

Post-Practice Comments #2:

Udonis Haslem got asked about what he likes about this type of environment, he replied, “Ain’t nobody complaining. We got a no complain rule.” This is indeed true with this team, especially under their leader UD. Haslem has talked about this bubble in the past and always talks about one thing, focus. He wants their guys to be with their guys and essentially stay locked in. He also said “We got a short amount of time to get a whole lot of work done,” when referring to the return of play. Although we don’t know the minutes UD will get over the next few weeks, we do know he’s been putting in more work than most team’s starting lineups.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Derrick Jones Jr begins the discussion with the joy of getting back to doing what he loves. He said, “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for.”

All of the guys feel the same way, but it’s a bit different for Derrick. He’s had a bit of a rocky road throughout this hiatus after testing positive for Covid-19. At the end of the day, he just wants to get back to basketball. Derrick will look to play some major minutes off of the bench for the Heat. He may be asked to jump into the starting lineup some nights for match-up reasons.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Andre Iguodala is one of the Heat’s most intriguing players entering the playoffs. His experience–His defense–His leadership. Which is why it was great to hear Erik talk so highly of him today after practice. He said: “He’s gotten better each day.” Spoelstra also says that this has been great for him since he didn’t have a training camp before the season. He also ends the discussion saying that he’s seen the different ways that he can impact a game to help the team win. Spoelstra will definitely look to Iguodala in tough spots since he’s a guy he can trust in a playoff game.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Spoelstra starts saying that at some point you can’t look at this situation from a basketball perspective. He says they are so grateful to partake in this since there are so many people around the world right now out of work. He says he’s talked to the team about this recently and thinks it’s important. Erik Spoelstra and the Heat have been using these zoom calls with media to touch on all of the important things going on in our world. They’ve discussed the pandemic, social injustice, and much more over the course of the last two weeks in hopes of getting their point across. They clearly have a bigger goal in mind beyond basketball.

Butler, Spoelstra and DJJ interviews

5 Takeaways from Jimmy Butler, Spoelstra, DJJ Interviews

The Miami Heat are slowly making their way into more intense practices this week after taking the day off yesterday to watch film. Here’s some post-practice comments from the Butler, Spoelstra and DJJ Interviews.

Post-Practice Comment #1:

There has been a lot of questions about KZ Okpala after the Heat drafted him in the second round this past year. He’s been going back and forth between Sioux Falls and the Heat roster all season. And it seems too familiar. No matter if it’s an un-drafted guy or a second round pick, the Heat always has a young prodigy flying under the radar. Coach Spoelstra also says “He’s learning how to do things at a more intense level with detail…and I like it.” It seems as if Spoelstra is just as intrigued with him as Heat fans are.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Jimmy Butler starts off the interview with his Social Justice message on his jersey. He chose to not put a message on his jersey, just as LeBron James said he would do a couple days prior. But he also wants to not include his name on the back of his jersey, saying “I am no different than anyone of color. I want that to be my message.” He also says later in the interview that he sees a lot of talking on Social Justice topics, but he wants to see more action. Jimmy is still working on getting the approval to have no name on the back of his jersey.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

The NBA world has been waiting for the match-up of Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren after the altercation early in the season. And it seems as if Jimmy Butler still hasn’t forgotten about it. Jimmy says “I’m pretty sure you can’t see the smile that’s on my face,” when thinking about that TJ Warren match-up. He gives the Indiana Pacers credit by saying they’re a very good team, but closes the topic with “I’m taking the Miami Heat twice.” Which pretty much sums up this whole teams confidence in each other.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

With Derrick Jones Jr’s contract up after this season, there has been a lot of question marks about his decision. The salary cap may be a little tight with other players including Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder, and Meyers Leonards having their contracts up as well. But though there may be more money thrown at Derrick from other teams. He says, “I never want to be on another team.” He love everything about this team including the style of play, which is defense. Derrick said, “I’m gonna just keep doing exactly what I do. Guard the best player, make his life miserable.” This quote right here proves that the Heat don’t want him on another team as well.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

There has been a lot of complaints and comments inside the bubble over the last week about food, rooms, and more. But this doesn’t include one Heat player. Jimmy sums it up for the rest of the team. “We do get to eat, we do get a roof over our heads. For a lot of people, it could be worse. For a lot of us, it has been worse.” He adds that he is speaking for the team. But some of the others have expressed the same idea over the last few days. This type of answer shows this team is ready. They’re not here for a vacation, it’s a business trip. And like Jimmy said earlier in the interview, “I think you can count on this Miami Heat team.”

Airplane Turbulence: Derrick Jones Jr. Dunk Contest Debate Rages

He promised all 50s, no matter how many it took.

And while Derrick Jones Jr. didn’t deliver that, he did give the Heat their first Slam Dunk championship since Harold Minor in 1995, beating Aaron Gordon in the final round.

 

 

Even so, it’s clear many don’t want to give him the proper respect.

Including Gordon.

Nearly 24 hours after the completion of the contest, the dunk contest — and Jones Jr’s win — was still a top trending topic on Twitter, with many pointing to former teammate Dwyane Wade’s ruling as a judge as the reason Jones reigned. And many are saying Gordon nearly taking off the head of Celtics 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall warranted more than a 47 out of 50. Wade gave Gordon a 9 for it.

Still, Jones Jr. isn’t giving the trophy back, or giving an inch.

Here are some of the tweets that tell the story:

Whatever the NBA world thinks, Miami won 2 of the 3 titles on All-Star Saturday night, with Jones’ buddy Bam Adebayo capturing the Skills Competition.

As we’ve said, it’s safe to hate the Heat again.

They appear to enjoy it….

Still, the Magic fans who can’t jump over a coach’s resignation letter are sending slander to Jones on social media, calling him a “fraud” and a “bum.”

Maybe this is the reason for that…

Derrick Jones Jr will participate in All-Star Dunking Contest

Derrick Jones Jr. will finally be at the All-Star Game.

As our Greg Sylvander reported earlier this month, the Miami Heat will have a representative in one of the most exciting features of the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Today, the news were confirmed by Shams Charania, from The Athletic.

With Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo still trying to earn their spot in the roster, Derrick Jones Jr. assures, the Heat, one of the best teams in the league this year, will have a representative in most of the activities that will take place that weekend in Chicago.

Enjoy some of the best Airplane Mode takes and exhibitions this season:

Support Derrick Jones Jr for the All-Star Dunking Contest buying his Airplane Mode Tee here:

Miami Heat: Bench struggles contribute to loss against Spurs

Sunday, while many were watching the AFC Championship game, Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs by a 107-102 margin. Although it was a close game throughout, a strong second quarter propelled San Antonio to victory. Outscoring the Heat by a 32-23 margin in the second frame, the bench was a huge reason why San Antonio was able to come away with the victory.

Derrick White had 11 points on five-of-11 shooting. Patrick Mills had 18 points on four-of-10 shooting. He was perfect from the free-throw line, making all four of his shots. Marco Belinelli also got into the action. He scored 12 points on two-of-six shooting. He made all six free throws he attempted.

San Antonio’s plus-minus numbers were impressive. White was a +21 while Mills was a +17. Belinelli and Jakob Poetl were  +11 and  while Lonnie Walker IV was a +10. Each of the players on the San Antonio bench were assets while they were on the floor.

Miami Heat bench struggles in loss

Miami’s bench had a tougher time getting things going. All five players recorded a minus rating while they were on the floor. Goran Dragic was the big bench scorer for Miami with 19 points in 24 minutes of play. Dragic was a -13 on the floor in this game. Derrick Jones Junior was a -21 in this contest. He finished with six points on the evening.

Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Herro each had zero points in this game. Olynyk played seven minutes while Herro played nine. Both players missed the two shots they attempted. Olynuk and Herro were both -13 respectively. This was Herro’s first game back from injury. He missed the past two contests with a knee bruise. And he appeared rusty.

Miami is going to have to have a better contributions from their bench, particularly as fatigue starts to set in during the remainder of the season. This was a rough night for the bench all-around. Up next, Miami plays host to the Sacramento Kings Monday evening. Tipoff is at 5:00 PM.