Tag Archive for: Gabe Vincent

Five Takeaways from Heat’s Win Over Bucks

The Miami Heat faced the Bucks yet again, with similar rosters on both sides as Tyler Herro and Giannis Antetokounmpo each missed another game.

It was the Gabe Vincent show yet again, as Victor Oladipo heated up late.

Some takeaways from this win…

#1: Gabe Vincent picks right back up where he left off.

After Gabe Vincent put up a career high 28 points against the Bucks on Thursday, he followed that up with a 21 point first half on Saturday afternoon. For starters, the way he was doing it was impressive within the PnR. Manipulating the point of attack defense around screens before keeping his defender on his back into a tough leaner or step back. But most of all, we saw his shooting from deep really return with 5 threes in the first 24 minutes of play. He’s obviously extremely confident in his pull-up, but the spot-up three returning is massively important. That number has been rough so far this season, and with all of the ball handlers on the roster, that making a return can shift the offensive structure. His play can be characterized as hot shooting nights, but it’s simply the growth of his offensive game.

#2: Looking a bit deeper into the Victor Oladipo usage.

I’ve been talking a lot about the Victor Oladipo minutes as of late, mostly since he’s been great on both sides of the floor. Yet if we were to point out one single downfall, it would definitely be his overall handle and being loose with the basketball at times. Some early turnovers made an appearance in this game, and it flowed into a consistent takeaway of mine. The extra ball-handler in the back-court with him feels like the most necessary adjustment to his minutes. When he’s forced to be the sole handler, that’s when the mistakes roll in. Yet next to somebody like Vincent or Tyler Herro, he can shift right back into his usual role and excel on the offensive end off secondary attacks. Fast forward to the second half, he takes off again after rough starts. While I can depict the minor stuff in his game, his energy and current level of play is hitting real highs at the moment. Bypassing the early uneven play into a 20 point night.

#3: Orlando Robinson doing the right things.

When watching this game tonight, there was a play where Spo was yelling at Haywood Highsmith on the weak-side defensively to fully help off the corner for the right slot drive. He second guessed, and a lay-in was the result. Spo called timeout to get in his ear a bit. Last game, Jamal Cain was pinching to hard at the top of the 2-3 zone, giving the Bucks an open three. Spo got in his ear at the next stoppage. We just haven’t seen many of those moments with Orlando Robinson. He’s played his role pretty well and simplified it. Fights on the offensive boards, and always seems to kick it back out to work on a short clock. He had zero points at half, but I saw more promising things than not.

#4: A statistical shift: assisted field goals down.

At the end of the third quarter, the Heat had 32 made field goals. Only 13 of those were assisted. That’s not really a Heat trend as of late, but that can be pointed toward a couple of things. Vincent’s hot shooting stretch pretty much led to a good amount of isolation cooking on pull-ups and floaters for a good portion of that first half. Jimmy Butler’s offense was also slow-paced post work on Jrue Holiday types, taking away the over-passing elements to generate a ton of assists. Also, Bam only having three made field goals at that point feeds that statistic, since most of his buckets are always assisted by the creators. I thought the offensive flow was good anyway, but just an interesting trend.

#5: Taking care of business.

The excitement of a Heat-Bucks prime-time match-up surrounded by the star players was pretty much eliminated from the equation, as Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out yet again. What could’ve been a game to kind of judge where the Heat are against real talent, it quickly shifted to a completely different theme: take care of business on nights like this. The Heat are in an uphill climb at the moment in the Eastern Conference standings following the early struggles, meaning they will take any break they can get. But knowing this team, games like this never feel like a break. They’re more likely to get up for an Antetokounmpo match-up than a short-handed group. But they did capitalize on this stretch with some gritty wins against the Thunder and two against this Bucks group. Now they head on the road for another test.

Gabe Vincent: An Upcoming Shift in Shot Distribution

When looking across the board at Miami’s evolving young role players, it seems as if a door is opening up right in front of them heading into the new season.

For Max Strus, the starting job is still ready to be taken if he continues to shoot the ball at the level he has. For Caleb Martin, there’s a massive hole at his position with PJ Tucker heading out the door. For Omer Yurtseven, he will get his first true opportunity to earn the back-up big man position for good, as Dewayne Dedmon slows down.

Yet for Gabe Vincent, there really hasn’t been that door opener right in front of his eyes. The role for him has been clear all off-season: the back-up point guard next to either Tyler Herro or Victor Oladipo off the bench.

Now I must throw in the fact that there’s a good shot he will start many games in this regular season, since the expectation is that Kyle Lowry won’t be pushing extra hard for that 82 game mark. And with that said, the team will be confident in those specific games that Vincent slides in.

Looking at this team’s past playoff run, Vincent was at the forefront of the offense as the starting point guard in 8 of their 18 games. They went 7-1 in those games.

In a recent interview with Brett Siegel of Fan Nation, Vincent was asked about his goals heading into this season, which he pretty much mirrored my current feeling on his upcoming role. “I want to increase my efficiency,” Vincent said.

The initial interpretation of that is a cliche statement in this league. Who wouldn’t want to make that jump into higher percentages when talking about their abilities as a scorer? But the reason I want to address this is that efficiency is his primary outlet to overall improvements.

When evaluating this Heat team on paper, they basically swapped PJ Tucker for Victor Oladipo when discussing regular season availabilities. What does that mean? Well those two players don’t have the same shot chart by any means. That’s a major swing in shot attempts, while simultaneously hoping for that same jump from Bam Adebayo, and even Tyler Herro.

The point is that role players like Vincent won’t have the luxury to simply “increase shot attempts.” The role they play is to counteract the primary scorers around them, while taking advantage of the smaller dose of shots given to them.

So that leads us into our next topic. Efficiency isn’t the only way to make that jump. A shift in his personal shot profile could do the trick as well.

21% of Gabe Vincent’s field goals came from less than 10 feet from the basket last season. For a player that saw a ton of pick and rolls, you would think that number would be higher when initially diving into the stats.

That ability to increase his scoring value around the basket not only helps his efficiency levels, but it allows him to obtain a much smoother shot diet when spacing out to the perimeter.

When looking into more of the specifics of his drive, I think it’s safe to say that his inside scoring will have to be branched out broader than just pick and rolls. With Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, and Kyle Lowry also preparing for a heavy PnR showing, the off-ball stuff for Vincent may have to revert back to his early years.

The reason there is such confident in that is because he’s a natural off-ball player. He just became this solid ball-handler and on-ball guard in a short span, since at this time last year, the discussion was if he could become a good enough on-ball creator for this group.

Getting back to the basics, an off-ball role is more than just catching and shooting. As it pertains to this stuff as an attacker, it’s more about relying on quick bursts off the catch than the usual methodical pick and roll.

He’s physical enough to absorb contact when driving, which makes Miami comfortable with one-on-one match-ups. But once that weak-side help begins to tail over, what is the counter? He has the strong finishing. He has the pull-up, which I will get to later. So that slight in-between game is the rounded out element.

This is something many of the Heat’s guards are searching to pick-up, but for Vincent, it may be the most realistic with the role they’re preparing him for.

Speaking of that off-ball role, he got plenty of reps with it while playing heavy minutes next to Tyler Herro and even Kyle Lowry. Instead of being the creator, he can be the capitalizer.

Waiting patiently on that weak-side wing as the PnR begins, Lowry surveys Vincent’s defender just enough as he slides down to the nail, as seen in the first clip above. Lowry hits Vincent, as he pulls decisively with the defender closing out.

After shooting under 30% on spot-up threes in his sophomore season, that shot up to 39% this past year. As I noted about a year ago in training camp, Vincent was going through a mechanical adjustment on his jumper, which led to that brief period of a shooting drop-off.

Other than his shooting numbers being on the rise, it feels like the space he will have will simultaneously be increasing. As I stated earlier about the creators on the roster, the expectation is that Oladipo’s rim pressure will allow the half-court offense to operate at a much higher level for drive-and-kicks.

Vincent will have the opportunity to really earn his stay yet again in this similar, yet slightly different, role for the new year. But let me address one last part of his game: just because I believe he gets more openings off the ball, doesn’t mean his PnR stature is disappearing by any means.

Vincent will still have the ball in his hands a ton, since simply they trust him in these spots. Much like any of Miami’s guards in recent memory, they just love the sight of drop coverage forming right in front of them.

Vincent fits that mold perfectly.

He began reading PnR coverages at an extremely high level during the back-half of the regular season, as he just waiting for his defender to drop over or under that screen. He maximized his range so he could pull it immediately when the defender went under, but more often than not, that defender was chasing him over.

2-on-1’s are then created, and Vincent can try to find his sweet spot with that mid-range pull-up that just so happens to be the drop coverage not-so-secret formula.

He shot 43% on those middy pull-ups throughout the season, but what showed to be even more impressive was that he shot 46% in the post-season on the same number of attempts. During a period where coaching and coverages begin to tighten against certain player’s strengths, that was a very intriguing development.

Like I said earlier, he won’t be expecting a major jump in shot attempts this year by any means, since it just isn’t realistic at this stage. But what he can do is expand his shot profile into the areas he feels most comfortable. Possibly a slight decline in pull-up 3’s occur, which then pad his rim attempts.

The point is that his shot distribution will begin to spread, and it’s for the best.

His defensive abilities on the other hand deserve their own piece just to hit on all of the stuff he provides from fighting through screens to the 2-2-1 press to sizing up on switches. We know what we’re getting on that end of the floor which makes it not as fun to discuss, while the scoring elements are just beginning to scratch the surface.

Training camp will tell us a lot, but as for the way Erik Spoelstra and the coaching staff view him, it seems to be they believe he can be plugged in almost anywhere within this system.


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The Vincent-Strus-Martin Ascension Spiraled into a Miami Heat Ascension

When covering the Miami Heat’s scrimmage during training camp, there were two names that I walked away from that game with that were clearly playing at another level.

Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin.

One guy fresh off a two-way contract, and the other brand new to it.

Martin came as a surprise for many, as this athletic kid, that recently played for Charlotte, was showcasing to be much more than just a simple “athlete.”

He showed that his jumper was becoming more consistent, and wasn’t just some isolation player that some seemed to perceive him as coming in.

More than anything, he was a legitimate defensive piece that showed flashes of being a real rotation piece.

Then the month of January hit in the year 2022. His name was already getting more buzz after an electric performance against the Bucks mid-way through December, where his 28 points without Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo led to a much needed win over the defending champs.

But well, the calendar flip was pretty much a defensive tour.

He made De’Aaron Fox’s night uneven with a 5 of 12 night, but it was clear that they had something aside from the Adebayo and Tucker switches. Martin followed the Fox night up with the assignment of Steph Curry, which he bothered enough to shoot 3 of 17 from the field at home.

Yes, they ended up dropping both of those games, but something was brewing.

Shortly after that two-game stretch, he held Chris Paul to a 3 of 9 night, Trae Young to a 4 of 15 game, and Fred VanVleet went 6 of 16 from deep with only one 2 attempted.

The point guard tour was real, but it was the true understanding of what he could be on this team, combined with the overall improvements in his offensive game.


Rewinding back to Gabe Vincent, there weren’t a ton of expectations coming into the season. He was a situational piece when guys went down, leaving many saying that a back-up point guard may be a neccessity.

People were right, they did need a back-up 1. But that guy was Vincent himself.

When he first signed with Miami, he appeared to be an undersized shooter who would play mainly off the catch, which he showed flashes of. But last season, he had an uneven year shooting the ball from deep due to some mechanical shifts.

Yet while some focused on those numbers, he was rapidly excelling at the all around parts of his game.

He became the staple of Miami’s 2-2-1 press that debuted last year next to Andre Iguodala, just due to the fact that his perimeter lateral quickness was for real, and he had a clear knack for the ball.

Coming into this season, he just bounced off that two-way contract, and the next step would be could he make minor improvements on the ball.

Well, the improvements weren’t minor.

He was pretty much thrown into the fire of point guard reps, and he proved that the off-season did a lot for his game. The pick and roll savviness was really something, the catch and shoot numbers jumped up from under 30% last season to 39% this year, and his mid-range/driving game had surged.

His mid-range pull-up stalled out at 29% last year, which spiked to 43% this season. That isn’t gradual improvement. That’s turning the whole page.

Plus, speaking of big games mid-way through December, Vincent led Miami to back-to-back wins with a 26 point performance in Philly, then a 27 point night against the Magic. As the top guys kept dropping out of the lineup, these guys were ready to step up.

Not only are they great fillers, but they’re now potentially in a playoff rotation.

And when talking about certain guys stepping up, Vincent’s two-way companion Max Strus is the perfect example of that.

I wouldn’t exactly say Strus’ scenario was completely aligned with the other two, since it was more about situation and opportunity for him. He constantly would get the same looks no matter if it was last year or this year, but the sample size being greater this time around allowed for a true evaluation period.

Among the top 50 players in 3 point attempts a game this season, which includes around 50 players, only one player shot a better percentage from deep than Strus, with the stipulation of playing at least half of the regular season games.

Desmond Bane edged him out, but Max Strus trailed him with a 41% shooting season from beyond the arc.

It’s not easy to be that spark shooter who has to consistently perform as a guy with zero rhythm prior to entering, but he proved himself. Now he finds himself sitting in the starting lineup less than a week away from the start of the playoffs.

These 3 guys are extreme success stories for this Miami Heat developmental program, but they’re also examples of putting in the work, and performing at the highest level.

From fillers to playoff rotation.

It isn’t everyday that you see that, but from the Heat’s perspective, they aren’t surprised when it happens.


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Breaking Down the Dynamic of the Heat’s New Bench Unit

There was a lot to takeaway from the first Heat preseason game in a positive manner, but it’s important to have a realistic approach to it as well. We may have seen the baseline to what the team could look like when they’re clicking, but it’ll take all of the preseason games to really give us the plot on this Heat roster.

I touched a lot on that starting lineup from Monday night, but the bench guys truly had their moments as well. And up to this point, that’s been the one part of the roster that many have been skeptical about.

So, let’s touch on some of those guys who will be seeing the floor quite frequently this season…

Gabe Vincent Balancing his Role On/Off the Ball

When I talked to Gabe Vincent earlier in the week, I asked him a lot about balancing that on/off ball role. The reason for that is he’s been primarily used off the ball in past situations, while Coach Spo has fully used him as a true point guard to now back-up Kyle Lowry.

But I also don’t believe it’ll be as much on-ball reps as originally expected.

When I left the Miami Heat’s scrimmage last Friday, there was one takeaway that stood out from the others: Tyler Herro will have the ball in his hands a lot. And with Vincent and Herro currently consisting of that back-up back-court, it’ll make for an interesting dynamic.

As seen in the first clip above, it was good to see Vincent shooting the ball from deep at a good rate off the dribble, especially since that was a major off-season focus. And in many ways, that three-ball could ultimately determine his minute distribution.


Bam Adebayo-Duncan Robinson DHOs are not going to be spammed as frequently this year, but as seen in that first game, it’s going to be a role player staple. In that second clip, Vincent flows right into the hand-off with Herro on the right wing, leading to an immediate fire.

Oh, and by the way, that ball spinning off the fingertips with 19 seconds left on the shot clock is something new.

Some were a bit worried about shot-creation off the bench, but if Herro plays like that while Vincent’s jumper is revived, there’s nothing to be skeptical about as they await the return of Victor Oladipo consequently.

Max Strus….Still Getting Loose?

When bringing up scrimmage takeaways, Max Strus was one of them in a totally different manner. He didn’t totally pop out with extreme play, but his all-around consistency spoke major volume.

We know the efficiency will be there from beyond the arc to a certain degree, and you don’t usually have that immediate trust in a guy that literally just received his first official contract following the two-way deal.

Strus did his thing in that first preseason game, while they utilized him in different ways throughout to generate good looks. They ran plenty of staggers for him to fly off pin-downs to fire immediately, but a specific usage stood out more than the others.

Just take a look at the first clip. A simple slip screen is all it takes. With the court spread out with two guys in the corners and a big on the block, the top of the perimeter is clear. The options are to hit Strus on the relocation so he can shoot without a double team in sight, or Vincent can drive hard to the right to force a defensive collapse.

Cam Reddish hesitated quickly and it signaled to Vincent and Strus that the ball must hit him on that left wing, which he buried it. Miami’s going to use Strus in a bunch of ways, but it seems like the simple stuff fits him better than anything.

Caleb Martin: A Two-Way Gem…Literally

When the Heat acquired Caleb Martin on the two-way deal, it instantly made a ton of sense. A guy with experience to potentially use when needed, a plug and play ability, and essentially, an offensive talent that many at the bottom of the roster don’t have: pure shot-creation.

While I’ve focused on that one skill, Martin has shown in training camp and the first game that he’s more than that. He may have the two-way label in terms of contract, but he’s also a literal two-way player.

He doesn’t take possessions off on that end. Hounding his match-up off the ball, playing the passing lanes, and even soaring up to the rim for a couple surprising blocks. Not only is he athletic on the offensive end, but the defensive athleticism has been a surprise.

Looking at the first clip above, that is Caleb Martin. Getting a steal on one end and finishing wildly on the other. Do you know what that play screams? A player that is a spark.

Coach Spo loves guys at the end of the roster that can be a spark when things breakdown. If Herro isn’t generating looks on the ball or shots aren’t falling for Vincent on a certain night, Martin’s name could be called quickly.

This team doesn’t use two-way slots as a developmental holding place. It’s for production when needed.

Bench Unit Offense: Force Mismatches

Although shots were falling for that second unit on Monday night, that won’t always be the case. Most of the time, one of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, or Kyle Lowry will be on the floor, but how can they potentially maximize that other short period of time?

Well, one way to do it is by forcing mismatches. In the clip above, it obviously helps when the on-ball defender is playing that high up, but double drag seemed to be the answer.

When Robinson is in the action, many times it just looks like a wide PnR. The reason is that Robinson’s defender won’t even think about doing a little “show and go,” since that pop-out three is the focus.

That means Vincent will get the big in space as Dewayne Dedmon can post-up the guard on the block. This possession specifically didn’t end up going anywhere, but you can see what can be generated from moving defensive assignments around.

We will see a ton of that stuff from Butler and Lowry, but if this grouping can do that as well, it won’t be as much of a substitutional scramble to get some starters back in.

All Eyes on the Inbounder

This may not seem like it holds high importance right now, but it was an interesting pattern when watching some of the reserves.

When that ball went out of bounds for Miami to throw it in, the defense always seemed to forget about the most dangerous player on the floor: the inbounder. Vincent and Strus taking turns to either sprint off some staggers or flow into a DHO for a good look from three, which actually worked flawlessly in this game.

Both instances above consisted of a short clock or a ticking shot-clock, but the point still stands. When watching this team in these situations, be prepared for a good look from three to come out of it. And more importantly, watch how the first or second best shooter on the floor is the inbounder.

A Markieff Morris Wrinkle

When Markieff Morris joined the team, we knew what the stat-lines and production levels would look like. He’s not the most efficient player, which means the shooting numbers from the outside won’t always look pretty.

We got a taste of that on Monday, but I feel there’s something deeper to take out of this. Even before this game, I’ve been saying there are certain spots on the floor that fit him better than being a “floor spacer” on the outside, and the clip above is an example.

Things work better for Morris when he gets to the middle of the floor on the move. The quick hand-off and slip is one way to go about it, and allow him to navigate from there. It allows him to make simple decisions: a mid-range jumper or corner kick-out.

The reason this is so important is they must keep the offense moving in these lineups. When Lowry isn’t on the floor, there can’t be immediate stagnant offense with limited movement. And Morris becoming a straight spot-up threat is a product of that.

Shots will eventually fall from the outside for him here and there, but harping on it too much may become problematic. The utilization as a roller, though, could be a completely different story.


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Gabe Vincent : “I’ll Be On the Ball a Little Bit More, and I’ve Got No Problem with that At All”

Gabe Vincent is ready to take the next step heading into the new season. Fluctuating from past off-ball reps and spot-up shooting to extra on-ball reps and play-making duties, it’s been a constant adjustment period for this young guard.

I got a chance to speak with Vincent after Sunday’s practice, which he provided some of his thoughts heading into the season.

After last season, he mentioned that he tweaked his jumper to provide more consistency and range, which he would continue to work on as he entered the off-season. When I asked him how comfortable he is with his jumper at the moment, he said, “It feels a lot better. Obviously a lot more shots, a lot more reps to put in, a lot of game reps this Summer. It feels pretty good coming into the season.”

Shots will definitely be there for Vincent this season off the catch, but his on-ball duties are increasing. When guys went out last season, Coach Spo wasn’t ever afraid to throw him in the mix to replicate the role of the player he was being inserted into the lineup for.

I asked Coach Spo about that off-season growth from Vincent, which he responded, “He’s had a very good Summer. The Nigerian national team experience was really good for him. He was a team captain, having to play on the ball, off the ball. And that’s what this group will require from him. Just find a way to make an impact, regardless if the ball is in his hands or not.”

When I asked Vincent about those on-ball improvements heading into a new season, he said, “I played a little more off the ball then I wanted to this Summer, but that’s just the way we wanted to do things, and it doesn’t hurt, it gave me reps off the ball as well.”

“I understand, here, I’ll be on the ball a little bit more, and I’ve got no problem with that at all,” he continued. “If anything it was good for me getting more reps off the ball, as well, to kind of be a combo. We’ve got a lot of guys who can handle between Jimmy, Bam, Kyle, Tyler when he’s out there.”

Speaking of Kyle Lowry, there will be a lot of games where Vincent is standing at the scorers table ready to check in, while Lowry is walking off the floor. I asked him if there’s been any advice Lowry has given him throughout camp that has stuck.

Vincent said, “Nothing yet. Most of camp we’ve kind of just been competing. So I’m just kinda seeing the way he runs his unit, the way he pushes the pace, the tempo he plays at, and different things like that. Seeing it up close and playing against him daily is a little bit different than watching film or seeing him 3-4 times a year. It’s been different seeing it in camp, and I’m sure I’ll have the time to pick his brain as the season goes on.”


Vincent is going to be lined up next to Tyler Herro frequently this season as a part of that back-up back-court. Vincent has been grinding on the Heat roster from Herro’s rookie season to now, seeing the ups and downs of his game from the bubble breakout to him entering his third season in the league.

I asked Vincent what the biggest difference is from Herro’s rookie season to now, which he said, “The first thing everyone notices is just his body. He’s put a lot of work in his physical shape. He’s gotten stronger, he’s bigger. And I think he grew from his rookie year to now. I don’t know what the numbers say but I keep telling him ‘you keep growing.'”

“I think his game has gotten way more efficient,” Vincent continued. “Like I said he’s stronger, he’s getting to his spots, he’s coming into his own a lot more, so I’m excited for the year he’s going to have.”

Some may say that the depth of this team is in question, but in between the four walls of the practice gym, this group knows they have guys who can compete all the way across the roster. And now, Vincent has moved past the two-way label and found himself on the official roster.

And he’s ready for the task ahead.


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How Will Gabe Vincent Benefit from his New Rotational Role?

Before free agency even truly began for the Miami Heat this off-season, two things were clear in my eyes in terms of guard play: a starting point guard would be added, and Gabe Vincent would be bumped up to back-up PG.

As Miami continued to fill the holes on the roster, it was pretty obvious that a role was opening for the guy who just received a regular contract following his two-way year. The unique thing about being a two-way player this last season was that it was basically a “one-way.” There was no G-League, and he was needed on the regular roster.

It was known that Coach Erik Spoelstra trusted him greatly out the gate. Some contract tracing issues led to games with eight available players, meaning Vincent was the starting point guard for certain stretches. And well, the way he was originally perceived quickly flipped.

When he originally got a chance with Miami two years ago, many felt like Vincent was strictly a spot-up shooter, who would fly off screens and not put the ball on the floor much. Yet, his role ended up being the exact opposite.

After playing as an off-ball guy for most of his life, he was asked to quickly transition into facilitating mode for their offense. But as time continued, a realization occurred that offense may not even be his best side of the ball.

When defensive issues were at its peak, the Heat went to plenty of 2-3 zone, which usually meant a 2-2-1 press. And to give it a nickname, the 2-2-1 press could’ve been called “Vincent minutes” this past season, due to the fact it was only used when he was in there pressuring the ball.

But heading into this season, he’s no longer the two-way wild card or an all-around spark. He’s a rotational piece who will be relied upon in crucial moments, so let’s hop right into some of the film of how some things will look in his role, as well as certain lineup combinations…

Immediate Off the Catch Production

Like I said previously, Vincent came into this league as an off-ball player with his ability to shoot off the catch. And although that slightly changed for him this past year, it feels like he will shift back into that role much more frequently.

One reason for that is his projected back-court pairing, Tyler Herro, since it seems he will get plenty of touches off the bench, which I’ll dive much deeper into down the line.

The other reason that role wasn’t very fitting this past year was due to his struggles from beyond the arc. He finished the season shooting 31% from three, and part of that was a developing jumper behind the scenes.

When he spoke with media after the season, he mentioned that he began to alter his jumper mid-season to maximize both consistency and range. And now with a full off-season, including plenty of reps with Team Nigeria, that jumper should be as comfortable as ever heading into the season.

Some players on the roster will have a changing offensive focus this year, but Vincent’s will be really simple in terms of being effective in the offense: knocking down the open triple. If he can provide high level shooting off the catch on that bench unit, it helps Miami’s initiators like Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler tremendously.

As seen in the clip above, we’ve seen him time and time again being the guy who plays off the strong side action. It is known that he can take advantage of defenses in those spots as well, but it just comes down to the overall consistency he brings in that space to begin the year.

Two-Way Contracts to Two-Man Sets

Vincent and Max Strus aren’t the first undrafted guys in the Heat system to propel onto the scene into true production in the rotation. There’s been a theme of certain groupings doing it together, like Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, which is exactly where Strus and Vincent will fall.

After Nunn and Robinson played well in Summer League, it felt like the two always shared the court together when the season began. There was a known chemistry there, and the coaching staff was testing the young guys. Obviously, the new situation is a bit different.

For one, Vincent and Strus won’t be jumping into the starting lineup like the other two did. And secondly, this won’t be as much of a surprise when they get a true role on the team. This isn’t a trial thing for Miami, since they’ve developed them in real NBA games for quite some time now.

Now, the two of them will be a big part of the benches scoring outlets. As much as Vincent will benefit off the ball at times, there’s no doubt he will have the ball in his hands quite a bit with Strus running off screens, Markieff Morris spacing the floor, and Dewayne Dedmon going through the usual screen and rolls.

Getting Strus going from deep will be important in terms of Vincent’s facilitating skills, but it all falls back to previous points. In the two clips above, there’s a mutual outcome between both plays: the spacing between Vincent and Strus.

When skip passes aren’t being involved and it’s just natural swings or base pin-downs, Vincent will have to make his defender afraid to leave him. If he can become a respectable deep ball threat, it leads to defensive reluctancy which eliminates those easy doubles or switches onto shooters.

They found a solution to that problem with Robinson, but he was surrounded by starters. In this situation, it feels like Vincent and Strus will be working off each other more than expected, since they’re both responsible for the other getting good looks.

A Chance to Navigate in Space

We all know that numbers don’t always tell the full story. Vincent obviously wasn’t consistently taking advantage of the wide open threes either, but a lot of it had to do with circumstance and spacing.

When I say circumstance, I mean the Vincent card was always used when the team was in a bad spot. Starters going down due to injury or contact tracing, Vincent was then asked to fill some big shoes.

The team needed some bench production from him, along with other guys at the bottom of the roster, he was forced to be the creator. And well, that task is far from easy.

Looking at the clip above, let’s take a look at the lineup on the floor for Miami. They have floor spacers in Herro and Robinson lined up on the weak-side, while Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala are filling up the lane for their defenders to essentially collapse on the ball-handler, which in this case was Vincent.

These lineups were one of the main reasons half-court offense was problematic at times. Vincent is forced into taking a very tough baseline step-back, which he somehow finds a way to bury it. Although this ended in a make, you don’t want to put this type of burden on Vincent.

He is at his best when he’s able to flow in the offense with true spacing around him, and up to this point, he hasn’t been given any open floor in the half-court with these type of reps.

But when running with Herro, Strus, and Morris in that bench unit, he won’t have the same problems, which truly makes me confident in his offensive usage.

A Big Man Adjustment Period

This should quickly be touched on since I don’t think it’ll be a big deal in the long-term. When I say that Vincent is better when offense is flowing, part of that means running pick and rolls, which forces 2 on 1’s by the rim.

He loves throwing that lob pass to rolling, athletic bigs in Adebayo or Achiuwa, but there will be a shifting big man combo. Vincent will be seeing quite a few minutes with veteran big man Dewayne Dedmon, which is a change in pace for a pick and roll ball-handler.

The reason I don’t think it’ll be a big deal is due to the fact that adjustment period won’t last long, but it is something to monitor. While it may be one less weapon for the young guards in that sense, it’s a positive thing from every other window you look through.

The bench back-court is going to be very inexperienced this season, and as we saw down the stretch this past year, Dedmon can grab a hold on specific lineups just through his veteran leadership.

Vincent and Herro may be losing an option in PnR sets from the rolling big, but it’s clear they are gaining much more from it.

The Tyler Herro Factor = Balancing Reps

And finally, the combination with Tyler Herro. The Miami Heat basically opened up a clear path for the role of Herro heading into the season, which will be a straight bucket getter off the bench when the team needs it.

As I’ve said in the past, although he will have the ball in his hands a ton, more spot-up opportunities will be mixed in. He struggled in that area this past season, and I would believe that’s an area of focus in off-season training. So, if he’s going to try and create space off the ball at times, who will have the burden of feeding him?

Well, I think we know the guy.

One surprise to Vincent’s facilitating development was smart perimeter passing. He can read the floor well, meaning he watches off-ball actions to await the perfect time to throw that lead pass for the movement shooter, which also refers back to my points about his combination with Strus.

But that doesn’t mean the Herro-Vincent duo will be a one-dimensional one.

Looking at the first two clips above, you can see that Herro will be creating for others when initial sets breakdown very frequently. Hence, the quick trigger of Vincent will do wonders.

On the other side of things, though, Vincent’s creation for Herro won’t just be for triples on the outside. As seen in the last two clips, it’s mostly about hitting Herro in stride to get to the basket, which will be one of his many avenues for success.

When I say Herro will play off the catch, this is what I mean as well. Finding ways to get him to the basket, other than an on-ball screen, will be a specific scheme that will be focused on as the season progresses.


When the new season officially begins, that spot will be waiting for Vincent to fully hold onto. He gets the first shot at it, and I fully believe it’ll be his for good if he can just utilize some of the things mentioned here, which all comes back to three-point shooting.

If that jumper that we’ve seen flashes of a few times in the past shows up to begin the year, the outlook of the team could look a whole lot different.


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Gabe Vincent is the True Heat-Olympian to Keep an Eye On

The Miami Heat are clearly representing in this year’s Olympics, and it isn’t headlined on a Team USA roster. It’s actually with Team Nigeria, as three of the Heat’s young projects, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, and Gabe Vincent, are getting some extra reps.

The main focus seems to be on both of Miami’s recent draft picks, in Achiuwa and Okpala, since experience and playing time is all they really need to make some small leaps in their game. The issue is that there’s some question marks next to their future with the team.

On a team that is going to be fully invested in the trade market, with things such as sign-and-trades, two young and promising assets will come up frequently. As Miami has their eyes on Kyle Lowry, would they have to part ways with somebody like Achiuwa, who they have strong interest in?

It’s definitely a possibility, which leaves us shifting some attention that may continue to go under the radar: Gabe Vincent. He’s had a strong start to these Olympic games in some of the exhibitions in Las Vegas, and that isn’t temporary.

He was placed into an unfamiliar role this past season with the Heat, after playing much more of an off-ball, spot-up type of role in the past. They basically inserted him into starting point guard when some of the unfortunate Covid stuff occurred, which left him adjusting on the fly.

While the on-ball duties were new for him a bit, he ran the offense pretty effectively, and that will look to improve in this Olympic setting. Some extra facilitating and play-making spots in the offense will make him much more prepared for a possible Miami Heat insertion in the future, but when might that occur?

Many have harped on the need of a point guard on this team with Kendrick Nunn most likely taking the best deal this off-season and Goran Dragic possibly being used as a salary filler if a trade deal is going to be made. So yes, a starting point guard is needed with some decent veteran options available, but who will be the back-up point guard?

There are plenty of holes that will need to be filled this off-season, such as a front-court pairing, extra depth, a point guard, and of course the continued search of a consistent three-level scorer. But as time passes, it would not surprise me if Vincent was given a much bigger role to begin the season.

A bench spark who also brings a good amount of defensive physicality is the type of guy they’ve always liked in that role, and it’s obviously a guy that they trust. His development is far from over as well, since he has a full off-season ahead of him, including the Olympics and summer training, to improve some of the things that can get him to that point.

In my opinion, I think a major focus for the Heat will be getting back to the basics, and placing him into his area of strength. If shooting consistency from deep comes back the way I expect it to, he could definitely be utilized regularly as a Miami Heat reserve.

This is a time for all of their young guys to grow as basketball players so they can find their way into the rotation, but the guy that hasn’t been the center of attention for some time, may be the one to come out the true winner of the off-season among that grouping.

And there’s just something about those gritty undrafted guys that the Heat find a major liking for, and Vincent falls right under that category. They have loved his work ethic behind the scenes, and combining some more development with a Heat possible position of need could result in a solution that is right in front of their eyes.


Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at EverythingTradeShows or call 954-791-8882

The Season Evaluation of Miami’s Two-Way Guys

If there was ever a year to have a two-way contract in the NBA, the 2020-2021 season was the one. It was clearly unlike any other, meaning the unknown factor of Covid implications meant you didn’t know who you would have out there on any given night.

Due to that point, the league expanded rosters to allow two-way guys to be a part of the team for all 72 games and playoffs, which is quite the experience. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus took advantage of that opportunity, since Miami dealt with those implications all year.

Not only did that mean they got to see the floor a lot of the time, but even got some starting opportunities.

We had a good idea of who Vincent was as a player, which ended up being completely wrong, while there was not a true definition of who Strus was. But well, we got to see exactly what they were made of, so let’s dive right into their play this season.


Instead of highlighting strengths and weaknesses with these two guys, it feels necessary to group them together into the main categories, while shooting is the most interesting, in my opinion, for a couple reasons.

Before comparing them, the job that Strus did as a movement shooter was truly unexpected. Having to fill the shoes of one of the best movement shooters in the league, in Duncan Robinson, is quite the task, but he seemed to do so after a rough start.

To be honest, the shooting did not look like a strength in his first few games with the Heat. An 0 for 8 night from three against the Los Angeles Lakers is a main one that comes to mind, since they just were not dropping, but he refused to stop shooting. And that’s a tendency that Erik Spoelstra loves.

Taking a look at the clip above, he slips the screen and spots up at the wing, immediately pulling with zero hesitation. That was a sticking point with Sturs when looking back at his shooting, due to the fact that every shot looks the same, forgetting about the result.

If I was to point out a weakness in that area, it’s that there was limited side-steps, pump-fakes, and things like that, which meant he trusted his jumper so much no matter the contest he was getting. That’s a positive thing, but only to a certain extent.

Anyway, he played his role to perfection whenever he was thrown in off the bench ice cold. Anre Iguodala joked around earlier in the season that he’s never seen a player make his first shot every single night in any circumstance. The key with that statement is that he was always ready, and that’s something the Miami Heat look for.

To cut over to Gabe Vincent as a shooter, it’s been an interesting ride for him. Everybody remembers from the year prior that his biggest strength was shooting from the outside, with an inability to do anything other than spotting up. But well, the shooting consistency was clearly an issue this season, and there were reasons for it.

For one, he mentioned after the season when speaking with media that he changed his shot a bit mid-way through the season, which clearly takes some getting used to. The natural perception from people observing this Heat team is that Vincent shot the ball poorly this season, while Strus shot it well from deep, and that doesn’t really translate to the numbers.

Strus shot 50 of 148 from deep this season, while Vincent shot 46 of 149 from three. Yes, sometimes numbers can be misconstrued, such as some of Vincent’s coming late in games or Strus’ early struggles plummeted percentages, but either way, the way Vincent has been viewed just isn’t accurate.

He really struggled as a catch and shoot guy, shooting slightly under 30% as a spot-up guy. But lucky for him, he wasn’t in an off-ball role much this season, which I will discuss a little bit more down the line.

Vincent really showed most of his shooting flashes off the dribble, as seen in this clip. He pulls up off the high pick and roll and knocks it down, mostly since momentum pushing him forward leads to a certain rhythm that he’s comfortable with. Spot-up shots play much more into the mental game, and it’s a main reason he adjusted his shot to expand range and make it a bit quicker.

He is very aware that the consistency must get a lot better if he wants a role in this league, and the best thing for it is what he will get this off-season: playing time. With both the Olympics and Summer League approaching, he will get plenty of floor time.


There hasn’t been much discussion about the defensive attributes of Strus, but it feels like it must be touched on before diving into the scrappy Vincent.

Strus has the ability to play physical on that end of the floor due to his stocky build, but post defense wasn’t his only area of strength. He surprisingly had some good defensive possessions in the pick and roll, fitting the switching scheme perfectly whenever he was inserted.

Young guys, as well as two-way guys, are always energetic when entering the game on the defensive end, especially on a Heat team that takes pride in it. I remember the first thing that stuck out about Strus when he played early on was his eagerness to eliminate soft switching, which was an issue at the time.

When he knew that he could make it over the screen, he’d fight through so Bam Adebayo didn’t just pick him up effortlessly. As times expanded, there was a realization that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world for him to switch onto the big and bang around in the paint.

Take a look at the clip above as an example, since he stays complacent to eliminate the lob, leading to a missed layup and perfect box-out for a rebound over Jarrett Allen. The shooting is obviously his strength, but the ability to fight on the defensive end kept him on the floor in many of these games.

As I mentioned earlier, we all believed shooting was the primary aspect of Vincent’s game, but it ended up being on the exact opposite end of the floor. Taking charges, hitting passing lanes, and well, finding a scheme that fit him perfectly.

There was a point early in the season where the 2-2-1 press could’ve been called the “Vincent and Iguodala chamber.” They basically waited for those two guys to check in before throwing it at opposing teams, and it worked perfectly.

As seen on this play, they thrived whenever a team didn’t have a true ball-handler in the game. They knew when to contain, then pounce on a certain guy for a double, leading into transition offense. The interesting thing about that statement is that we’re bundling up a guy who got a Finals MVP for basically handling LeBron James, and a two-way player with zero experience. That’s a pretty big compliment.

The reason I think the next step in his offensive game is so important is due to their being so much potential as a defender. Toning down some of the fouls and unnecessary reaches must come next, but once again, that comes with experience at this level.


If you asked me the one thing that surprised me most about Strus this season, my answer would be that he’s sneaky athletic. That didn’t seem to be listed on the player profile before the season, but his Heat teammates learned quickly whenever he got on the floor: he wasn’t afraid to go up and try to dunk on somebody.

When I mentioned previously that side-steps and pump-fakes weren’t included in his offensive package, catch-and-gos definitely were, which is important when a shooter gets going as he did in Houston during this game.

It’s not just about the highlight throw downs, since he’s actually proved to be decently methodical when flowing into a pick and roll to get to the rim. The ball handling factor isn’t his best attribute, but he definitely knows what to do once he gets to the rim.

To be completely honest, picking out clear weaknesses from his game this season would not be easy to do. He did just what he was asked to do, and much more. When discussing his future with the team, it’s pretty clear that he will be back next season, especially with the Duncan Robinson situation.

That doesn’t mean he can replace what he does or that Robinson is gone, but in Miami’s win now shoes, you never know if a trigger could be pulled on a deal, leading to that next man up mentality for Strus. When he was asked about his potential after the season, he responded, “Just look at Duncan. I feel I can be like him.”

That’s far from an easy task, but he’s shown some clear signs that Robinson didn’t even show in his first year.

Whenever Strus entered the game this season, his role was clear: DHO’s, catch and shoot, etc. But Vincent, on the other hand, had a much more complex role that he had to adjust to.

He has played most of his life as an off-ball guy, but was basically handed the keys to the offense when he was inserted. Not only when coming in off the bench, but even starting seven games this season to run their offensive sets with the starters.

Once again, that’s not his comfort area, but he had to adjust quickly after given the opportunity. It’s another reason I believe that he struggled at times from deep. Most young guys, or two-way players, have a specific job and role to fill, while Vincent’s job was to basically make sure everybody else was in their spots, while also checking on his own offensive play-style.

The attacking jumped off the screen in those minutes, as seen above. He’s running double drag with a scoring mindset from the beginning of the play, sprinting right at Joel Embiid for a score at the basket. That wasn’t ever Vincent’s game, but it became his game.

I asked Vincent about having to work on his on-ball attributes this Summer after being put into that spot this season, which he responded, “That part of my game will definitely need to grow, and it will grow. It’ll be very important, most of my career I’ve been off the ball, and now I’ve gone higher and higher throughout basketball, and the more on the ball I am.”

That will be the focus this off-season, since even though many may believe another two-way guy could step in, they trust Vincent’s play and that development will force the Heat to have no other choice but to give him another shot.


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Visit them at EverythingTradeShows or call 954-791-8882

A Breakdown of Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent

Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent are two interesting players to look at following the two match-ups against the Philadelphia 76ers. Duncan had an increased role in the offense, since he was forced to put the ball on the floor more than usual. And Gabe just had a huge increase in playing time, and it allowed him to showcase his overall game.

Here’s a look at the parts of their game that shined…

Duncan Robinson:

– One Dribble Pull-Up

Now, this is the one attribute in Duncan Robinson’s game that I’ve been discussing since the beginning of the off-season. It’s known that Duncan is on the top of scouting reports now, which leads to defenses chasing him off the three. But to open up the perimeter for him, the mid-range will need to be utilized. It doesn’t need to be a huge change though, as seen here, a one dribble pull-up seems to be in his offensive package. And that one move can change his entire game.

– Confident Attacker

Duncan doesn’t get associated with the word attacker much, but it was needed in a game with no Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. On this play, Robinson gave a quick jab step and attacked right off the dribble. Dwight Howard came down to help, but Duncan gave a quick scoop layup with the off-hand. He may not take others off the dribble much, but he seems to be creative at the basket when he does.

– Creative Play-Making off the Drive

After Duncan got to the basket a few times, as seen in the last clip, it causes the defense to collapse down low. On this play, three Philly defenders crash once Duncan gets to the basket, and he seems to get caught in the air. He then has to make a quick decision to pass the ball to the corner or the wing, since there was only one defender on the perimeter. Robinson looked at the corner which caused Mike Scott to drop down, and he threw it out to an open Kelly Olynyk for a three.

– Great Feel Leads to Separation 

Once again, Duncan doesn’t get discussed from these perspectives on offense due to his elite shooting, but it needs to be acknowledged. Here, Duncan comes off of a curl to cause a 2 on 1 with Precious Achiuwa. He has Danny Green right on his hip, which is exactly where he wants him. He sees Joel Embiid on his heels, so it’s obvious he’s taking the shot. But instead of shooting it as a jumper, with the chance of it getting blocker since Green is on his left, he puts up a one-hand floater. This mirrors his overall offensive feel in spots other than the catch and shoot.

Gabe Vincent:

– Pull-Up Three in Transition

This attribute of Gabe Vincent can be displayed all day due to the amount of times he shoots on the move in transition. As seen here, he is very comfortable when shooting a pull-up three, mostly since he can shoot over the top of people, even at 6’3. This was an example of the catch and shoot, but he also pulls up in transition off the dribble. This is very hard for a defense to maintain, especially since he continues to showcase his ability to attack. The reason he is able to shoot this way while running up, is because of his lower body frame. He is one of the most balanced shooters you can watch, since he can stop on an absolute dime to get into his normal shooting motion.

– Off-Hand at the Rim

I’ve alluded to Gabe’s ability to score at the rim lately, but what stands out more is the way he scores at the rim. He’s very comfortable using his off-hand on layups, and even floaters. As shown here, he drives to the basket and kisses it off the top of the backboard with his left hand. A few minutes later, he goes right at Joel Embiid to lay it in with a left handed finger role. People describe Tyler Herro with the word confidence frequently, but Gabe fits that description just as well.

– Reading what the Defense Gives Him

One of the biggest things that stands out to me when watching Gabe Vincent is his ability to read a defense, which is even more intriguing when facing a top defender in Ben Simmons. There are four minutes left in the 4th quarter, and Simmons is guarding Vincent. Gabe gives him a pump-fake which freezes him, and drives right to the basket for a layup. And yes, it was another off-hand layup. Shortly after, he comes off of a screen with Joel Embiid in front of him and Ben Simmons trailing, so he stops on a dime knowing Ben will run right into him. It’s the small things that are seen in Gabe’s offensive game that are so intriguing.

– Fundamental Offensive Game

One of the areas that Gabe has surprised me the most was his passing. He seems to know the offense very well, which has a lot to do with the absence of the G-League, since he’s been in every practice with this Heat team. On this play, he notices Joel Embiid sliding over to him, which puts him out of position to stop Kelly Olynyk. He throws a perfect bounce pass for an easy layup. This has a lot to do with the previous clip about reading a defense. He can see the court very well, which is impressive considering the fact that he hasn’t had major floor time.

Who Is Gabe Vincent Trying to Learn From?

Gabe Vincent is one of the more interesting names on this Heat team right now, since they’re currently down to eight players due to the Covid protocols.

And he had a very promising performance on Tuesday night, scoring 24 points while showcasing his overall offensive package.

But who has been the biggest contributor to the development of Gabe Vincent on this Heat team?

Well, that would be Heat’s veteran guard Goran Dragic.

Before the season started, Gabe said, “I’ve learned a lot from Goran…I hang out with Goran off the court at times and I look up to him.”

A couple days later, Goran discussed his time spent with Vincent, saying “He’s a great player…I’m expecting good things from him.”

Now, Goran taking Gabe under his wing speaks major volume. That’s because Goran would not just mentor a random G-League player if he didn’t actually see something in him.

I asked Gabe Vincent following Tuesday’s game about Goran’s message to him heading into this match-up where he would be seeing the floor a lot.

He mentioned that he had a text from him on his phone that he hadn’t checked yet. He followed that saying “Me and Goran have gotten really close. I’m picking his brain any chance I can get.”

The main takeaway from Vincent’s performance was that he’s not just the typical shooter. He had a chance to showcase his defensive abilities, as well as an advanced way to navigate to the basket. And when discussing creativity when attacking the rim, it almost seems as if Goran could’ve played a role in that development.

Gabe also said that he was looking forward to talking to Goran after the game, so he can get his opinion on the things he saw, and things he can get better at.

I think everybody is aware that the consensus of this team is accountability. And that begins with relationships in the locker room with mentor-ship.

It’s great that Vincent can use these games to continue to develop, since there’s a good chance he can end up playing a legitimate role on this Heat team going forward.