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The 2021 NBA Draft Class Will Become One Of The Best Ever

While many people may not know a lot about the 2021 NBA Draft class, they will soon enough. This draft class has as much talent across the board as any I’ve ever seen. Here’s a look at some of the talent…

 

1. Cade Cunningham

(PG, 6’7, Committed to Oklahoma State)

Cade Cunningham has been getting looks since he was a freshman at a small high school in Texas. Before his Junior year, he transferred to play for Monteverde and get coached by arguably the best high school coach ever. He is an all around player who lingers around a triple double every time he hits the floor.

Comparison: Ben Simmons (With a jump shot)

 

2. Jalen Green

(SG, 6’5, Not Committed)

Jalen Green is the most talented player in his class due to his athleticism and superb scoring abilities. Even though he is ranked 3 in most of the rankings, I believe he will be the best prospect in this class by far and will shoot up to number 1 by draft time. He has handles, can shoot the three, and can take any defender 1on1 off the dribble.

Comparison: Kobe Bryant (Ish)

 

3. Evan Mobley

(C, 7’0, USC)

Evan Mobley is a talented young center who has shown great potential over his high school years. He has even better intangibles than a lot of NBA star centers at his age. He runs the floor as good as a guard and his body is starting to fill out. By the time he finished his season at USC, he will be as solid as anybody in the draft.

Comparison: Kevin Garnett 

 

4. Ziaire Williams 

(SF, 6’7, Not Committed)

Ziaire Williams played for Sierra Canyon this past year on one of the most watched high school teams ever. He was out for the first half of the year with injury, then came back where he left off. He hit a game winning jumper to win the State finals. He never gets rattled and plays the game at his speed at all times. His game translates to the NBA very well.

Comparison: Paul George

 

5. Terrence Clarke

(SG, 6’7, Committed to Kentucky)

Terrence Clarke is another insanely athletic guard who can not only jump out of the gym and shoot the ball, but prides himself on the defensive side of the ball as well. He is a player with a very high IQ when he has the ball in his hands, due to his high end passing abilities, especially when he is driving to the rim.

Comparison: Donovan Mitchell

6. Jalen Suggs

(PG, 6’5, Committed to Gonzaga)

Jalen Suggs is one of the most explosive point guards I’ve seen in a while. While a lot of the guards in this draft are good passers, he is on a different level. This might be because he was a five star quarterback and safety as well, which means he is able to read a defenders eyes and manipulate them just as he does in football. He has a very high ceiling and will shoot up the draft boards even more by the end of his year at Gonzaga.

Comparison: Russel Westbrook

7. Scottie Barnes

(SF, 6’8, Committed to Florida State)

Scottie Barnes has the athletic ability to blow by any defender teams throw at him from a point guard to a center. He is great at attacking the rim and crashes the boards at all times. His best attribute though is his defensive versatilities, which he’s proven he’s the best defender in the class. What sets himself apart from other players is his energy. No matter if it’s the championship game or a pickup game, he puts it all out there on the floor, which makes him very appealing to NBA scouts.

Comparison: Pascal Siakam (But vocal)

8. BJ Boston

(SG, 6’6, Committed to Kentucky)

BJ Boston is a pure scorer and has proven he can score at all three levels this year at Sierra Canyon. When their top player, Ziaire Williams, started the year with an injury, BJ Boston took the team over as the leader and number one option, which proved he deserved to be a top player in his class. He can shoot the three as good as anybody and will look to improve his all around game this year with Coach Calipari.

Comparison: Devin Booker

9. Joshua Christopher

(SG, 6’5, Committed to Michigan)

Joshua Christopher is another high flying guard, which seems to be a trend in this class. He has proven he can handle the ball as good as any point guard and is not afraid to take the ball up on anybody. He also has a good shoot from deep and looks to continue to polish his game under Juwan Howard at Michigan this year.

Comparison: Jaylon Brown 

10. Greg Brown

(PF, 6’9, Not Committed)

Greg Brown is one of the most polished 6’9 prospects that I’ve seen. He is very under control with the ball in his hands which is usually the problem with players with his size. He is a walking mismatch since opposing teams just can’t defend him. If they put a big on him, he blows by them and if they put a guard on him, he bodies them down low. He will be one of the most exciting players to watch in college this upcoming year.

Comparison: John Collins 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Possible Miami Heat Picks Late In First Round

Looking at five players the Miami Heat could draft, if they keep their draft pick, and if the draft actually happens.

 

1. Theo Maledon

(PG, ASVEL)

Theo Maledon is a superior talent who plays overseas for ASVEL. He is a great passing point guard who thrives in transition. He is a decent shooter and has a great frame for a point guard. Even though the Heat already have a young PG in Nunn, Dragic is getting older and only has a couple more productive years in him. Theo is only 18 years old, which would be perfect to put him in the G-League for a year to develop him, then he can be effective the following year just as Duncan did.

2. Jaden McDaniels

(SF, Washington)

Jaden McDaniels is a freaky athlete who can score the ball anywhere on the court. His ability to shoot the ball over anybody at 6’9 is Keven Durant esque. He has great handles for his size and uses moves that translate to the NBA well. He would be a great scoring spark to come off the bench for a guy like Jimmy.

3. Tre Jones

(PG, Duke)

Tre Jones has the most Miami Heat tendencies out of anybody in this draft. He is the best defensive point guard in this draft class and brings his scrappiness every game. He is a floor general who is a great passer and a decent shooter, but his leadership is second to none. One of the Heat’s weaknesses is their ability to defend the perimeter since their guards aren’t great defenders. Adding a guy like Tre could change that landscape.

4. Vernon Carey Jr

(C, Duke)

Vernon Carey Jr brings a powerful paint presence on the offensive side of the ball. He is an unstoppable force when he gets the ball in the post under the rim due to his size and quick feet. This type of game would complement Bam since Bam is more of a point guard in a centers body and not an enforcer down low. His ability to grab rebounds on both sides of the ball makes him a very smart pick for the Heat.

5. Jalen Smith

(PF/C, Maryland)

Jalen Smith is an athletic big who can run the floor, block shots, and shoot the three. He is a great offensive rebounder and has great speed with and without the ball. His only problem is his small frame at only 215 pounds, but this usually isn’t a problem once players get into the Miami Heat training. He plays a lot like Whiteside with his ability to block shots, but has the energy of Bam, which is what Hassan lacked. He would be a good fit to come off the bench for Bam.

5 Reasons Giannis Should Come To Miami

With the NBA season suspended, we will look at some Heat-related topics, the Five Reasons way….

 

1. Giannis fits the culture perfectly

Giannis has that work ethic that all Miami Heat players must have. He works hard and more importantly plays hard every night, just like his soon to be teammates, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, do every night.

2. Giannis can take Jimmy’s scoring role

It seems as if Jimmy doesn’t want to be the primary scorer at times, so Giannis can take that role over and dominate when he needs to. Jimmy can play facilitator with Giannis on the floor which is where he thrives.

3. Adding Giannis makes Heat best defensive front-court in the league

Bam and Jimmy have already proven their defensive versatilities together, and adding a player that is in the discussion of defensive player of the year, would cause major disruption in offenses, especially come playoff time.

4. Giannis won’t have to carry the whole load as he does in Milwaukee

While the Bucks do have some key role players around Giannis like Middleton and Bledsoe,  they never seem to show up in the big games when Antetokounmpo needs them to. This won’t be the case when having Jimmy, Bam, and the young guys to bail him out of tough situations.

5. It’s South Beach

How can someone say no to the Miami bright lights, nice weather, and pristine beaches? Even though this type of lifestyle isn’t exactly what Giannis enjoys, it’s hard to turn down. It’s definitely hard to turn down when you have The Godfather, Pat Riley, closing the deal. Also from a financial standpoint, no state income tax is enticing itself. Miami’s offer will be a hard pitch to turn down come 2021 free agency. In Riley We Trust.

2020 NBA Mock Draft Plus Possible Miami Heat Picks

There are many players drawing uncertainties as they enter the NBA draft this coming year. Since teams are unable to see the players true colors during March Madness, everything seems up in the air about guys. Even though it seems as if the draft will most likely be pushed back, here’s a mock draft using the current standings.

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards

  (Georgia, SG, 19 PPG)

Anthony Edwards is the best prospect by far in this draft since he already has a polished game that’ll translate well into the NBA.

 

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: LaMelo Ball

(Illawarra Hawks, PG, 17 PPG)

LaMelo Ball has the most potential out of any prospect in this draft, while being such a confident scorer, he has great vision averaging 8 assists per game.

 

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Obi Toppin

(Dayton, PF, 20 PPG)

Obi Toppin is a high flying and super athletic player, who is most known for his vertical and dunk packages, while his shooting has gone majorly underrated after he improved his three ball in his last ten games.

 

4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija

(Maccabi Tel Aviv, SF, 12 PPG)

Deni is an outstanding shooter and has a great IQ for the game, and would fit in nicely next to Trae Young to try and make a Curry and Klay type of backcourt.

 

5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman

(Memphis, C, 20 PPG)

James Wiseman has a great feel once he gets the ball in his hands inside the paint, and would replace Drummond perfect as they can build around an improving 20 year old center.

 

6. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony

(North Carolina, PG, 19 PPG)

Cole Anthony is a very explosive point guard that would give the Knicks a fun young player to watch, who has the guts to play in a city like New York.

 

7. Chicago Bulls: RJ Hampton

(New Zealand Breakers, SG, 9 PPG)

RJ Hampton is another all around player with great scoring and passing ability, but his draft stock fell once he didn’t get as many minutes as he would’ve liked overseas.

 

8. Charlotte Hornets: Killian Hayes

(France, PG, 13 PPG)

Killian Hayes has major upside and has an opportunity to get even drafted higher with his slashing and passing abilities, and while Devonta Graham has had a great year, moving him to the 2 might be better as he has been a great three point shooter the past year.

 

9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu

(USC, C, 16 PPG)

Okongwu has been turning heads since he played with the Ball brothers in high school, and putting his athleticism and defensive versatilities next to Wall and Beal would be a great start for the next couple of years.

 

10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton

(Iowa State, PG, 15 PPG)

Tyrese Haliburton has unbelievable passing abilities, and is able to play off the ball which would complement Devin Booker perfectly, and give them a young PG which is what they need.

 

11. San Antonio Spurs: Issac Okoro

(Auburn, SF, 13 PPG)

Issac Okoro is by far the best defensive wing in this draft and can guard all 5 positions at times, which will fit into the Spurs system perfectly.

 

12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey

(Kentucky, SG, 14 PPG)

Tyrese Maxey is a player that doesn’t lack an ounce of confidence on the court with the ball in his hands, while he is streaky with his shooting ability, he would be a great spark off the bench for the Kings to replace Fox or Hield.

 

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Precious Achiuwa 

(Memphis, PF/C, 16 PPG)

Precious Achiuwa likes to establish himself in the paint at all times which causes him to draw many fouls by the basket, and he is also one of the best rebounders in this draft at only 6’9.

 

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Vassell

(Florida State, SF, 13 PPG)

Devin Vassell is one of the top shooters in this draft class and can defend both the perimeter and paint at a high level, which will entice the Blazers to put him next to Lillard and McCollum.

And….

23. Miami Heat: Vernon Carey Jr

(Duke, C, 18 PPG)

Vernon Carey is a South Florida native who grew up around the Heat as he turned heads constantly in high school. He uses his size inside the paint to score, but has one of the best big man passing abilities in the draft. Having a center come off the bench who can rebound at a high level would be perfect for Miami, which is where they struggle at times.

Heat Fall To Hornets Before NBA Season Suspended

The Miami Heat fall to the Charlotte Hornets 109-98, which might’ve been the last game of the season for the Miami Heat and the rest of the NBA. The news broke that the NBA season has officially been suspended due to Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz testing positive for the Corona Virus.


Well, here’s how the game played out…

The Heat came out in the first with a similar energy they usually play with at home. Miami came out hot behind Derrick Jones Jr’s 13 point first quarter, going 3/3 from the three point line in this span. Kendrick Nunn also contributed 10 points on 4/4 shooting. The Heat only missed 3 shots in the first quarter. Miami led 40-22 at the end of the first quarter, which looked like it was heading towards a blowout.

The second and third quarters were a total nightmare for Miami. The Heat totally fell apart on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Miami played the exact opposite type of basketball that they played in the first quarter. When you live and die by the three point line, some nights aren’t going to go your way. The Heat couldn’t hit shots after the first quarter, which went from the Heat being up 20 to down 10 at the end of the third.

The Heat tried to make a late fourth quarter run behind Bam Adebayo’s big night. Bam scored 21 points along with 10 assists and 6 rebounds. Devonte Graham hit some big shots down the stretch on a 30 point night. This led to a 109-98 Miami loss on a tough night for the whole NBA.

 

Duncan Robinson is even better than you think

Until this season, Duncan Robinson was known — if he was known at all — for borrowing two names from the greatest San Antonio Spurs in that franchise’s history.

He wasn’t a given to make the Miami Heat roster this season, not shooting especially well in summer league, where he was the Heat’s third most effective player behind rookies Tyler Herro and undrafted Kendrick Nunn.

Then, after he made the team, many of us — raising hand — weren’t sure he should be a rotation player.

Now, though?

He’s a starting fixture.

He’s making a habit of sinking four three pointers… by halftime.

He’s the Heat’s toughest cover, without whom their offense stalls and sputters.

He’s a Most Improved Player candidate, in competition with his teammate Bam Adebayo, who has come further, but not from as far away.

He’s the hottest shooter in the world.

That includes the recently returned Steph Curry. With Klay Thompson missing the season due to injury, Robinson has become the NBA’s closest facsimile, a sniper with size who is dangerous out to 30 feet.

Even with an odd bruise on his neck.

Simon Smith of Hoop Habit recently appeared on our Five on the Floor podcast from his native Australia, and provided some Robinson statistical nuggets.

But he’s been spitting out more of late.

And they’re… ridiculous…

It’s gotten to the point where the Heat struggle without him…

 

Robinson is shooting a ludicrous 52% from three-point range at home, where the Heat play their next three games, against the woeful Hornets, Knicks and Bulls — as the Heat try to improve their sterling record at AmericanAirlines Arena and move closer to securing home court in the playoffs.
Although odds are not available for all three games yet, SBD updates their odds page as each game gets closer to the tipoff. To get the most accurate stats, I suggest checking back as close to the start of each game as possible.

And even the defense is better than you think, in spite of this…

Quick Recap: Bam, Heat pull away from Wizards in Washington

The Miami Heat were coming off of a tough loss on Friday night to the Pelicans, but took care of business on Sunday against the Wizards, 100-89.

The Heat started off the game in the first quarter the way they do every night it feels, with a Duncan Robinson triple. He had a great first quarter scoring 8 points on 2/2 shooting from three. Kendrick Nunn also contributed 8 points on 3/10 shooting, which seems to be his usual stat-line. Even though this might not seem good, it is for this team who needs a guy who isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. The Heat ended the quarter with a 29-23 lead over the Wizards.

Bam Adebayo was the big scorer for the Heat in the second quarter with 10 points on 4/4 shooting. This leads to better spacing out on the three point line once the defense packs the paint to guard Bam. Solomon Hill also got some quality minutes in this game, scoring 5 points in the second quarter. He hit a nice corner three and added some defensive problems when players would attack the rim. Bradley Beal kept the Wizards in this game in the first half scoring 20 points. This led to only a 3 point lead at the half, 57-54.

The third quarter began and it felt like Miami looked just tragic on the offensive end. The Heat put up a 15 point third quarter and could not get anything going. Miami took another big hit in the third once Jimmy Butler went to the locker room with a left toe injury, and did not return. Spoelstra talked about the injury after the game and basically said it was precautionary since he had sprained his ankle in the previous game. The game was tied at the end of the third, 72-72.

The fourth quarter was a battle to the end, but it ended in a way that makes every Heat fan feel good, Bam Adebayo taking over. Not only did Bam play as the primary playmaker in the fourth, but also as the main scorer, putting up 11 fourth quarter points with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Not bad for a center. Duncan Robinson also helped the Heat clinch this win with 3 fourth quarter threes and 7 on the game. Heat pulled away late and got the win 100-89.

This Heat team relies on their star every night when things aren’t going their way. But on this particular night, one of their stars was in the locker room. This allowed them to rely on their other star in Bam Adebayo and he delivered. Just as Duncan Robinson said postgame, “We turned to our All Star.” Bam’s best moment of the night though may have come postgame, when he traded jerseys with Beal and wore it when leaving. Great recruiting mechanism. Seems kind of Wade-esque as pointed out in Ethan Skolnick’s latest piece on this being Bam’s time. Tonight was a great example of that being true.

Road Issues Continue For Miami In New Orleans

The Miami Heat played a nationally televised game against the Pelicans on Friday night, and Miami falls to another team on the road, 110-104.

Here’s a more detailed look at the game…

The Heat looked to Jimmy Butler in the first quarter when Miami’s shots weren’t falling, and he delivered. Jimmy scored 9 first quarter points and played great defense with 2 steals. Bam Adebayo also added 2 steals in the first quarter, which shows how much defense wasn’t the problem. Miami only trailed by 6 after all of this, and the score was 32-26 at the end of the first.

The Heat’s first quarter shooting struggles carried into the second. Duncan Robinson tried to break Miami out of this slump by hitting 2 threes early in the second quarter. Jimmy Butler also added a productive quarter with 8 more points. He scored his points by doing what he does best, getting to the free throw line. The Heat were 3/16 from three at the half with Duncan having all 3 threes. Miami can’t win a game shooting this poorly, especially on the road. The Heat trailed by 14 at the half, 65-51.

The second half was a fourth quarter story for the Heat. After Miami went down 15 at the end of the third, they tried to make a late run in the fourth quarter. Duncan Robinson led this fourth quarter run by going 4/5 from three in the fourth, who was the only positive plus minus player for the Heat on Friday night. Miami played hard late in the fourth, but it was too late. Miami fell to the Pelicans in New Orleans, 110-104.

If Miami wants to make a playoff run, they need to get going early in games on the road. It seems as if it takes Miami a couple quarters to settle in when playing on the road, which can’t happen in the postseason. On nights like these, it shows how much Tyler Herro is missed. Herro is a guy who can get you going on offense when the team is in a slump and has the guts to take tough shots when needed. The Heat play again on Sunday against the Washington Wizards, then come back home for 3 home games against bottom tier eastern conference teams. Miami looks to go on another winning streak to uphold the 4 seed, which is needed for a team that struggles on the road.

Heat Solidify Florida’s Best Team Status On Record Setting Night

The Miami Heat played their last game of a 5 game home stretch against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night and got a 116-113 win. This may not be a well known rivalry, but it is for the players.

At least, for Meyers Leonard, who watched from the bench as he recovers from injury.

The Heat started this game spreading the ball around, which usually starts with the leader of the offense, Jimmy Butler. He is the one who controls the tempo on a nightly basis. You can always tell the way he is going to play at the start of the game. On this particular night, he was more passive and interested in getting guys like Bam, Nunn, or Duncan going to begin the game. After having eight guys in the points column at the end of the first, the Heat had a 30-26 lead.

The second quarter was led by one guy in particular, Duncan Robinson. Duncan went 5 for 5 from three in the second quarter alone and was 7 for 8 from three at the half. Not only is it important for Duncan to get hot, but it’s also important for his teammates. Once guys start flying out at him whenever he runs off picks, it leads to either an open big man rolling off of the screen or an open man in the corner for three. Orlando’s Terrence Ross helped keep it interesting after scoring 17 second quarter points. Duncan lifted the Heat to a 60-55 lead at the half.

The third quarter was a continued back and forth game. The Heat’s bench unit was a big reason Miami was leading just as they are a lot of nights. Guys like Kelly Olynyk and Goran Dragic add a great amount of shooting and scoring off of the bench. Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala provide a defensive toughness off of the bench, on a night that looked like one of Iguodala’s best games in a Heat uniform. The quickness of his hands on defense and using them in a way that he doesn’t foul goes unnoticed. This helped the Heat to an 88-84 lead over Orlando at the end of the third, needing one last fourth quarter push.

The fourth quarter still contained a couple more lead changes between these two teams. Miami’s bench unit continued their dominance behind Dragic’s 9 point fourth quarter. Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala also added a combined 8 points in the fourth. The bench unit all had a positive plus/minus while it was another story for the starters. This isn’t a bad thing always since it’s good for guys like Jimmy and Bam to get a bit of a break, especially after playing the best team in the NBA two nights prior. Orlando made a last minute push but it wasn’t enough as Miami got the win, 116-113.

Miami set a franchise record 22 threes behind 9 threes from Duncan Robinson alone. Dragic also added 5 threes, and ended the game with 25 points and 9 assists. Not only is it amazing to hit this many threes in a game, but to do it on 50% shooting from beyond the arc makes it that much better. This win helps Miami to a 4 game winning streak, while heading back on the road for a game Friday night against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. It’ll be interesting to see how Bam matches up with a guy like Zion. Miami looks to continue this hot streak so they can uphold the 4 seed for home court advantage come playoff time.

Perfect against the Best: Miami Heat maul Milwaukee

The Miami Heat played the best team in the NBA Monday night and got the win in commanding fashion, 105-89.

Here’s what happened…

The Heat came into this game off of back to back wins against Dallas and Brooklyn. With the Heat gaining the confidence that they played with earlier in the season, a win against Milwaukee would help it even more. The Heat were 1-0 with Milwaukee prior to this game.

Nunn and Jimmy came out aggressive to start the first. This is what Miami wants Jimmy to do every night, especially against a team like the Bucks. Nunn and Jimmy each had 8 points on 3/5 shooting. Kelly Olynyk ended the first quarter strong for the Heat going 2 for 2 from three, which lifted the Heat to a 31-26 lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter was more of a defensive battle with the Heat going through a bit of a cold stretch. The only guy who was the complete opposite of cold in the second quarter was Jae Crowder. Crowder hit 4 second quarter threes, and ended the first half with 5. A complete recap of this first half was one word, threes. The Heat scored 33 of their 53 first half points from beyond the arc. The Heat took a 53-52 lead at the half.

After a scoreless first half from Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson, they started to settle down in the third quarter. They each hit 3 threes in the third quarter for the Heat. This helped Miami take a 81-70 lead over the Bucks, holding them to only 18 in the third.

The fourth quarter was just a recap of all the other quarter, defense and shooting. Bam finally got going in the fourth quarter after having a tough game scoring the basketball. He scored 8 fourth quarter points, while Jimmy and Dragic combined for 16 fourth quarter points. This led Miami to a 105-89 win over Milwaukee to go 2-0 with them on the season.

Miami generally wins games against better teams, most likely since they’re more aggressive against those teams. Being at home also helps our odds in which our defense plays significantly better at home. This proved true while the Heat held Antetokounmpo to only 13 points in the game. He also had a -16 rating while the rest of the Bucks team also had a negative rating. This was big win for the Heat, but it might’ve been a bigger win for the 2021 free agency. This was just a sample of what a polished Miami Heat defense looks like which should be intriguing for a player like Giannis.