Tag Archive for: Meyers Leonard

The Meyers Leonard Return: Running it Back

“Whatever role I’m put in, I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna do it well.”

That’s what Meyers Leonard told media last week about his role heading into next season.

As training camp is set to begin tomorrow, there will be a lot of interesting changes that will be made. For one, Moe Harkless and Avery Bradley trying to mesh with the team, while Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr have parted ways.

Another thing is that there will be increased roles for the young guys including a possible starting job for Tyler Herro, plus getting Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala acquainted with the team.

There seems to be so much uncertainty surrounding the rotation, but there’s a good chance we see a similar starting front-court from last season.

Bam Adebayo and Meyers Leonard headlined the front-court last season, and were a big reason that starting lineup was one of the most effective in the league.

The perimeter shooting from Meyers gives Bam the space he needs to work the offense, which usually occurs at the free throw line extended.

And the thing that stands out the most defensively with Meyers is the comfortability factor, since his vocal on-court attributes help everybody out on the floor.

Once again, that is something big for the young guys on the roster, since having a free safety in the back calling out screens and plays can truly help a player’s confidence.

“Watching what Jimmy did…It made me feel like I could run through a wall in all of my off-season training. And I have.”

That statement from Meyers sums up this Heat team. A big advantage Miami has over other teams is their chemistry on and off the floor, but mostly since they all drive each other to be better.

And that chemistry can possibly continue with a very similar starting lineup, except they get to sprinkle in some more depth throughout the game, which will be very important this season.

Meyers is looking to come back stronger than ever after recovering from his ankle injury, and this team knows he will be ready to make an impact on day one.

Media Zoom Call with Heat’s Meyers Leonard, Goran Dragic

After Meyers Leonard and Goran Dragic both reached a deal at the start of free agency with the Miami Heat, they spoke with media about their return.

Meyers discussed his excitement to return to Miami, saying “There was unfinished business.”

He mentioned that his ankle injury in the bubble restricted a lot of the things that he wanted to do. He said, “I think it had everything to do with it.”

Now that he is healthy, he mentioned that he’s been working out like crazy, after being inspired by what Jimmy Butler did in the bubble. He said, “Watching what Jimmy Butler did…It made me feel like I could run through a wall in all of my off-season training.” And he looks like he picked up that Jimmy Butler mentality when he kept reiterating that he doesn’t care about what his stat sheet looks like.

Goran Dragic also talked with media, which he answered a question about losing Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr. He mentioned “They made us better,” but went straight to discussing their new acquisitions in Avery Bradley and Moe Harkless. He discussed the fact that both of them are great defenders, and both have guarded him in the past.

He also said that he doesn’t care what his role is next season, “If he needs me to come off the bench, I’ll come off the bench. If he wants me to start, I’ll start.”

He also made sure to give praise to the rest of his teammates like Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and even incoming rookie Precious Achiuwa.

He mentioned that Precious will be a “big piece of this team.”

And well, it’s very possible with some slots opening up on this roster.

Goran Dragic is confident in this Heat team and so should Heat fans.

Meyers Leonard Reaches A Deal to Stay in Miami

Meyers Leonard also reached a deal with the Miami Heat, which is worth $20 Million for two years.

Meyers told the Associated Press, “I wanted nothing more than to come back to Miami. Literally nothing more.”

And well, it happened. Although playoff minutes weren’t flying his way in the bubble, he was one of the most key pieces to this Miami Heat locker room.

Standing on the sideline, cheering his team on. That’s Miami Heat. That’s culture.

And of course, Jimmy Butler most likely had a lot to say about that. Although there’s so much to discuss about Meyers off the court, he also has some stuff to prove on the court.

He was the starting center in one of the most productive starting lineups in the NBA last season, and there’s a reason for that.

Not only do his shooting abilities allow him to be a dangerous big man, but his on-court fit with the Heat stands out even more.

Tyler Herro got his on-court leader in Goran Dragic back, and now Bam Adebayo got a mentor back as well.

The Hammer, welcome back to Miami.


#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.

Next Man Up or All Men Up

In game one of the NBA finals, both Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo went out with an injury, and are now doubtful for game two on Friday night.

So now, it’s that next man up mentality.

If there was any team prepared for this type of situation, it would be this Miami Heat squad. Kendrick Nunn, Kelly Olynyk, Meyers Leonard, and Derrick Jones Jr have been patiently waiting for their moment, and now it has finally come.

The most notable is Kendrick Nunn, since he came in the game during the second half of game one, and absolutely shined. 18 points on 8 for 11 shooting proved he still has it in him.

And that’s because he has stayed ready, which is what everyone on this roster has been trying to instill in him since he was taken out of the rotation. Jae Crowder told media that he’s been telling Kendrick to stay prepared since the Indiana series, since it was tough for him to realize. Andre Iguodala mentioned that it has “something to do with that Heat culture.”

Jimmy Butler told media as well that it looks as if Kendrick will be back into the rotation, which he added “I sure hope so.” Kendrick played well with Jimmy Butler on the floor throughout the season, especially since that starting unit was so effective.

And what stands out most with Kendrick Nunn after that game one performance is that it seems as if his confidence is back. He’s a player that relies solely on his self-confidence, and when the shots aren’t falling, he never seems to be able to bounce back. That’s a little different from his fellow rookie teammate who never lacks an ounce of confidence with his shooting. But now that he’s rolling, this team may have the piece that they’ve been searching for.

Kendrick isn’t the only guy that will be looked to step up in game two. Kelly Olynyk will definitely get a bump in minutes, and most likely will be starting. This may be good for a couple of reasons. It stretches the floor on offense, and will take guys like Dwight Howard out of the paint. This may ultimately play him off the floor, since he struggles with perimeter defense.

But he can take advantage of this match-up as well. He will be able to have a field day on the glass and pretty much own the paint.

But that might call for yet another player to step up, and that guy could be Meyers Leonard.

If Miami begins to have issues with the Lakers bigs again, they will most likely use this card. Not because Meyers will be able to out rebound them, but he’s someone who can bang around down low and be a disruption.

And he’s also very capable of being a knock down shooter. He’s had some tough stretches in a few games where he got put in for a short stint, but what else do you expect from a guy that’s not getting any playing time. He’s a player that Miami could possibly look at to be a spark, and if there was any game to use it, it will be this one.

Once again, the depth of this team is clearly their strength, not even mentioning a possible role for Derrick Jones Jr and increased minutes for Solomon Hill.

“It’s always that next man up mentality,” Kendrick Nunn when discussing this team.

Although it is next man up, more importantly it’s all men up, since everybody will have their chance in game two.


Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) is a contributor to Five on the Floor platforms on Five Reasons Sports.

The Miami Heat’s 5 free agent decisions

The Miami Heat will have little time to celebrate a successful playoff run this offseason before making some roster decisions about the upcoming season. The Heat are positioning themselves to be major players in the 2021 free agency market, with names like Giannis Antentokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Anthony Davis potentially being available for the taking.


Although Miami is set to have enough cap room to sign a max player, there are some tough choices this summer that could impact the Heat’s “whale hunting” in the future. Here are a few of Miami’s impending free agents and where they potentially fit in Miami’s plans moving forward.  


  • Goran Dragic

Dragic has been one of the biggest stories of the team’s run in the bubble. He is leading the team in scoring in the playoffs and has displayed some of his best basketball in a Heat jersey this year. Goran is in the last year of his deal, which pays $17 million this season. Considering his production, that number is relatively inexpensive. However, at 34, his best days are probably behind him and he will likely return to the bench next season. Miami will want to reward Goran because of how important he has been to this team’s success but avoid messing with any of its potential spending for 2021. Is the Dragon willing to take a one-year balloon payment or will he take a multi-year deal elsewhere? 


Prediction: Dragic will take the one-year balloon payment this summer and negotiates a team-friendly deal with the Heat next offseason. Dragic has now spent half of his career in Miami and this run should help both he and the franchise realize that he should finish here. 


  • Meyers Leonard

Leonard has been a joy to have in Miami this season with not only his play, but his professionalism and commitment to the organization and the community. Meyers has been a model citizen this season and would have been welcomed back with open arms under any other circumstances. He will command more than his current $10 million salary this summer from another team. The Heat will not be able to match that. 


Prediction: Leonard will give the Heat an opportunity to retain his services. Unfortunately, the team won’t have much to offer him in terms of money, long-term security or playing time. Meyers will be a one-and-done in a Heat jersey, but he will be remembered fondly by fans.


  • Jae Crowder

Crowder was the steal of the Winslow trade. His impact on defense became a secondary thought when compared to the revelation that has been his three-point shooting. The Boss Man converted at a nearly 45 percent clip during the regular season for Miami after arriving from Memphis. He is shooting 38 percent on nine attempts in the playoffs. The team got more than what they bargained for in Crowder and will scramble to make room for him on this roster moving forward. The challenge will be convincing Crowder to forgo a multi-year deal and accept a one-year deal to remain in Miami. By all accounts, Crowder enjoys Miami and wants to be here. With his shooting numbers going up, so has his value to other suitors, many of which more willing to spend than Miami. He may have played his way to much more than his current $7 million number. The question for Jae is will he choose culture of currency.


Prediction: The likelihood of Crowder duplicating this year’s success next season are slim to none. He has been a sniper for Miami, but there is no evidence to suggest that he can sustain that level of play long term. Miami will do everything within reason to keep him, but ultimately, another team comes in with a deal too good for Jae to pass up.


  • Derrick Jones Jr.

DJJ deserves to be paid and he will be paid, but will it be by Miami? If the Heat were able to keep him at his current $1.5 million price tag, the deal would have been done months ago. Jones’ defensive length and athleticism are hot commodities in today’s league where long, versatile wings are all the rage. Miami might have an avenue to success. Unless they are completely outbid in the market, Miami may be able to use the scraps of the potential Leonard and Crowder departures to cobble up a suitable deal for the slam dunk champ. 


Prediction: Miami should be able to keep DJJ for a price between $5-7. The only two things that could derail that are unexpected offers from outside teams and Jae Crowder choosing to stay in Miami.


  • Kelly Olynyk

This one is pretty straight forward. Olynyk declining his $12 million player option for next year is as about as likely as Pat Riley calling Danny Ainge up to go for beers. Expect to see Kelly in a Heat jersey next season, unless he can be flipped for something better by the trade deadline. While KO has been inconsistent at times, at his best, he is the perfect complement to Bam Adebayo. His ability to shoot from range, above-average playmaking and basketball IQ have become invaluable off of Miami’s bench.


Prediction: Olynyk was nearly traded to Dallas last year along with DJJ to help facilitate the Jimmy Butler trade. While Kelly may start the season with Miami, expect the Heat to try and trade his expiring contract before the end of the season.  


Honorable Mentions: Solomon Hill, Gabe Vincent, Kyle Alexander, Udonis Haslem


Royal Shepherd (@RoyalAShepherd) has written for several major newspapers, including the Tallahassee Democrat and the Augusta Chronicle, and now contributes to Five Reasons Sports.

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 Key Moments from Interviews with Spoelstra, Vincent, Leonard

The Miami Heat had another intense practice in the Orlando bubble late Sunday night. They got to do a lot more 5 on 5 work tonight, since they’re getting closer and closer to the return of play. Well, here’s some things that were said after practice…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

There has been a lot of talk this week from Spoelstra about the different defenses that may be used heading into the postseason. Well, he took a different approach tonight saying that they “created an identity and found some success with that.” He’s not worried about forming new defensive schemes as much as he’s worried about improving the current ones. One of the main defensive changes we may see will be the different defensive lineups that Coach Spoelstra tends to lean to. Will it be a veteran in Andre Iguodala or a young guy in Derrick Jones Jr? Only time will tell.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

The Miami Heat’s first scrimmage game is this Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. Spoelstra seems to be very eager for this match-up saying, “I have to tell my staff to tell me to calm down.” He says before he jumps into it, he needs to see who will be available. Then adds, “Everyone available will probably play.” This game will be taken as a pre-season game, which is essentially what it is. But the Heat will be taking this game as serious as any other, since Spoelstra says he has a bunch of things to accomplish.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Gabe Vincent got to talk to some media after practice tonight and seemed pretty confident in his role with this team. He first discusses the amount of elite level shooting in the NBA, which lead to him watching a lot of film on some of the best spot up shooters. He also says that he thinks he can be utilized the same way that Duncan Robinson is now and Wayne Ellington in the past. He also considers himself a major threat to pull up or create on the perimeter. Be ready to see a lot of minutes from Gabe Vincent in both the scrimmages and regular season games, especially since he has the capability of getting hot. Very hot.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Meyers Leonard was asked how to define the Most Improved Player award. He responded, “It’s Bam.” He also adds, “You talk about a young guy developing into a superstar right before our eyes.” Meyers continues to rave about how great Bam is, but I’d like to think Meyers may have a little something to do with his improvement. The assistance of Meyers on and off the court this season for Bam has been absolutely tremendous. His ability to stretch the floor for Bam and give Bam the ball where he is most comfortable has been a huge part in the growth of this developing “superstar.”

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Meyers talks about the amount of versatility there is across the board on this team. He says, “Imagine a lineup of Jimmy-DJJ-Jae-Andre-Bam.” The pure excitement that Meyers shows when he talks about his teammates is absolutely unmatched. It shows the amount of confidence they have in each other every single night. This statement also refers back to the Erik Spoelstra comment on improving their current defensive schemes. Playing around with these types of lineups in a playoff setting will be key since there are some vulnerabilities on the floor at times on defense. Either way, this entire team will be ready for their name to be called on any given night.

5 Takeaways from interview with Meyers Leonard

The Miami Heat’s starting center, Meyers Leonard, went on a zoom call today to discuss his status, the team’s situation and more as they head into the bubble in a couple of days.

Here’s some of the key moments from this interview…


Meyers Leonard talks about his current role with the Miami Heat and the impact he thinks he makes. Also mentioning he didn’t have a consistent role in Portland but does here. He says, “I don’t care about stats. All I care about is wins.” This has shown to be true since the Heat went 34-15 when Meyers was starting this season. It also caused the Heat to be in a bit of a slump down the stretch of the season. So getting him back on the floor should get the Heat back to their early season form.


One of the most important parts of this Miami Heat team is a healthy Meyers Leonard. Which is why it was great to hear Meyers say everything healed correctly. One of the only positives of the hiatus for the Miami Heat, if there was one, was getting Meyers Leonard back to 100%. So hearing him say he feels good with less than a month away from the season returning is big for this Miami Heat team.

It’s always great to hear Heat players embracing the Miami Heat culture. Meyers definitely thinks it’s a plus saying, “Heat culture is very real.” He also goes on to saying that everyone knows their role on this team, which definitely fits this format. Having a certain type of structure in the bubble should definitely benefit the Heat.

Meyers talks about the depth of the rotation after Miami acquired Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala. Meyers has yet to play a game with them since he has been out with injury since the trade was made. He says he will have to earn his spot again once the season resumes in Orlando. This won’t be a problem for Meyers since his strengths of on court vocal abilities and leadership will be much needed in a playoff setting.


Meyers Leonard says, “When you win, you get paid and you get to stick around.” The word that best  describes this quote is earning, which is something he brings up a couple of times throughout the interview. He then ends the interview saying, “I like it here,” which should make all Heat fans happy since this is the last year of his deal. And hopefully re-signs so he can help lead Miami to the playoffs for many years to come.

5 Most Interesting Miami Heat Player Stats for this Season

The Miami Heat have had their ups and downs throughout this shortened season. They started out the season hot, but took a bit of a dive post-all star break after some unfortunate injuries.

They played great against the top teams including Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, and more. But they also struggled against many bottom tier teams which seemed to be their downfall. Playing down to their competition is the best way to explain it.

They also had a major trade before the trade deadline that added two veteran talents in Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala. This definitely takes some time to find the right chemistry and camaraderie both on and off the floor.

Through all of this, they managed to reach the four seed in the East with a 41-24 record. Well, these are some of the stats that may have lead to this winning record.

1. The Miami Heat were 28-12 when Bam Adebayo scored 15 or more.

It’s been said over and over throughout the season, Bam needs to trust himself as much as his teammates and fans do. He has proven he can score above the rim, in the paint, and has even showed flashes of a mid-range. But at the end of the day, he’s a born play-maker. He’s a point guard in a centers body with his passing and court vision skills, which is why he feels much more comfortable with that part of his game than with a jump-shot. But in many instances, we need Bam to be the aggressive offensive player that we all know he can be. When Bam scores 15 points or more, they have a 70% win percentage, which shows his offensive game is second to none.

2. Miami is 13-3 when Tyler Herro hits 3 or more threes.

Tyler Herro was drafted first and foremost for his outstanding shooting abilities, but the question was how long it take for him to translate his game to the NBA. That didn’t take long after he put on a shooting display in both Summer League and preseason. He’s also one of those players that once he gets going, he’s hard to stop. This is because of the confidence that he has every time he steps out on the floor. Once he hits 3 triples in a game, the opposing teams defense changes to make sure they double team and close out when he has the ball. This opens up the offense to others to attack the basket which then translates to many good team wins.

3. When Jimmy Butler distributes 6 or more assists, the Heat are 24-9.

It’s pretty clear that Jimmy Butler is the heart and soul of this Miami Heat team. He proved his leadership in Miami that was deemed cockiness and arrogance in his last few teams. The difference is that the Heat guys get it. They want to win just as bad as Jimmy does, which leads to Jimmy’s belief in his teammates. He has shown time and time again that his first offensive option is to get his teammates involved as much as he can. This obviously translates to wins since the Heat have a 73% win percentage when Butler plays as the outstanding play-maker that he is.

4. The Heat are 34-15 when Meyers Leonard starts.

It seems as if Meyers Leonard doesn’t get the credit that he should for this Heat team’s success. He has proven to be one of the team’s most important leaders for his voice on and off of the court. And as said before, his ability to stretch the floor against other bigs, gives Bam the spacing he needs to attack the rim. He also helps Bam with big defensive assignments since Bam thrives on perimeter defense. Meyers Leonard is the perfect fit for this team and continues to showcase his winning mentality that he’s had his whole career.

5. Miami is 14-3 when Duncan Robinson shots over 60% from three. 

Duncan Robinson is one of the best three point shooters in the NBA and is number 5 in three point percentage. He seems to shoot the three ball at a high clip almost every night, but when he’s hitting 60% of his threes, the team is far from easy to contain. Especially with the off ball movement that Duncan displays seems to tire out defenses much faster. It’s pretty hard to be shooting the percentage that Duncan does since he’s shooting about 8 threes a game. The Heat will need him to uphold this three point dominance, since it seems to be pretty effective with winning Miami Heat basketball.