Tag Archive for: Omer Yurtseven

Omer Yurtseven Expanding His Game, While Expanding His Role

When you hear the name Omer Yurtseven this off-season, it’s probably just him being thrown into a mock trade for Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell as a potential sweetener. But that’s not the case here.

The Miami Heat brought back Dewayne Dedmon on a decent sized contract well above his market value, basically meaning if a trade needed to be facilitated with extra money, he could be thrown in to make it work.

But still for the time being, he is a member of the Heat’s big man room and will compete for playing time in training camp. Instead this time around, I’m not so sure that he’s the one that will come out on top.

Miami already has holes in the front-court after PJ Tucker walked in free agency, but the expectation is that they will plug the starting spot through some type of trade at some point. As for the back-up big spot behind Bam Adebayo, the Omer Yurtseven-Dewayne Dedmon battle begins.

I will say, I was a proponent last season that Dedmon deserved that spot. Prior to the playoffs, he was playing at a decent level by doing his job as a drop big, rebounding presence, and screen-dive-repeat. And well, it still felt like Yurtseven was in that development stage.

Fast forwarding to now, a full off-season for Yurtseven has commenced and an aging year for Dedmon has taken place. Yet more than anything, it’s the flexibility Yurtseven provides with his natural abilities on the basketball court.

For one, we can’t start a basketball discussion about him without mentioning his rebounding. He enters the game with 50 seconds left in the game, and fills up 4 rebounds in the stat-sheet somehow. (Seriously, I don’t know how.)

Those aren’t just lucky bounces into his hands either. Every game he has played, it’s been clear he’s a natural ball magnet, which especially takes place on the offensive boards

When Bam Adebayo went down in late 2021, which bled into the 2022 calendar year, Yurtseven had his name called and he answered. He had a 2 month stretch of true high level play on the offensive end. During that stretch, here were some of his rebounding numbers: 17, grabbed 16 on three different occasions, 15, 14, 13 two times, and 12 three times.

Simply, it’s a gift.

Over that same span, he began flourishing offensively after scoring in double figures 11 times. But it’s not about the frequency of those numbers, it’s about how he was getting those numbers.

And that begins with his comfort growing in the pick and roll game…

When it comes to bigs and screen setting, you pretty much always have one of two options. (Well at least one of two *good* options.)

The first option is stay linear with the ball handler to create that 2-on-1, simultaneously forcing the dropping big to make an instinctive decision. While the second option includes a quick and decisive dive behind that second line defense, also known as the dropping big, to have a takeoff spot without contention.

In the clip above, Lowry threw a nice lead pass over the top, but the main takeaway is that Yurtseven chose the latter option.

Those are the plays that will give him more flexibility offensively, especially for Erik Spoelstra to tweak and put in different spots. Setting good and steady screens will be a priority, but the following decisions will be big time for his development, which I’m sure is a focus as we speak.

After showcasing his game within option #2, it’s also important to fully master option #1, which is not only something he will utilize more often, but it’s something he’s much better at.

Going back to Summer League of last year, what was the main element of his game that stood out aside from the rebounding? The natural touch in the in-between game. Catch, two feet down, one hand up for the floater. All net.

That flows into the first clip above, where he sets a hard screen to begin on Tyrese Maxey, while staying patient on the roll instead of rushing which puts you in danger of a moving screen. He stays aligned with Lowry flowing downhill and immediately goes into that three-step process of his that I just said.

Catch – two feet down – one hand up for the floater.

That’ll be his home-base a lot of the time, which makes you ask yourself about the alternative. Once defenses adjust to play a bit higher or have the recovering defender muck up the catch, what is his next go-to?

Looking at the second clip above now, this is what has me intrigued: the mid-range jumper two feet back from where the floater takes place. If that can be an alternative to blitzing like they did on Max Strus there, it gives the Heat much more space with the bench unit next season.

(Oh and by the way, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven bench pairing? One of the best pick and roll combos last season for some odd reason.)

The other part about young developing bigs is their ball control. Not as a ball-handler, but where they place it on the catch. If you see any coach or trainer with a big man from high school level to the NBA level, what is the preaching comment? Keep the ball up high.

Once you bring it down on other defenders level, there’s a very low probability you’ll be coming back up top with the ball still in your hands.

Yurtseven, though, hasn’t seemed to have had that problem much in his minutes.

The clip above for example is picture perfect big man rules. Embiid blitzes Butler, he feeds Yurtseven on the cut by throwing the pass high, and Yurtseven stays at that angle to go over the top of the defender for the easy dunk.

Simple stuff, but sometimes the simple stuff is most important.


When thinking of the Heat’s developmental projects in the past, they always showcase a glimpse of something to be utilized once again down the line.

For Max Strus, it was the ball-handling reps in Summer League, which prepared him for the blitzes he would see and DHO creation off the extra dribble.

For Gabe Vincent, it was forcing him to play at the top of a 2-2-1 press whenever he entered, leading to him being a very sound defender at this stage of his young career.

And for Omer Yurtseven, it was January 8th in Phoenix. If you don’t remember what took place, it was the Yurtseven play-making breakout where he recorded 8 assists in a win. But more importantly, it was Spoelstra and the coaching staff running stuff through him against the team with the league’s best record…

No Bam Adebayo still so that means the offense runs through the creating guards, right? Wrong.

Running stuff like Chicago action, which is a pin-down into a DHO, as Yurtseven had to figure out quickly how to make initial reads. Hands it off to Strus with a solid screen, and he hits a three.

A few minutes later, we see a similar thing. Except they overplay it, and Yurtseven has to make the next read with no safety net. Strus fakes the hand-off and cuts, yet he doesn’t force the pass. Tucker cuts back-door down baseline and Yurtseven zips it to him.

That’s the stuff that made you stop in your tracks a bit.

Now it’s the second quarter, and they began handing him the keys to Miami’s post splits that were usually headlined by Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo.

A bunch of mis-directions in the lane, he takes two retreat dribbles to give him some space, and finds Herro open for the easy lay-up. The next play is the same thing, but he looks off Herro instead this time and hands it off to Kyle Guy who finds himself some space for the bucket.

Much like we always say Spoelstra always keeps something in his back pocket for big games, the Miami Heat always keep something in their back pocket for developing players.

I’m not saying Yurtseven will ever be asked to be a primary distributor, but opening up the possibility expands certain options.

Speaking of “expanding,” it’s not just about Yurtseven’s game expanding this off-season. It’s that it is simultaneously occurring with his role possibly expanding.

Training camp will be a big tell for a lot of these things, but if the positive elements of his game that have been displayed continue to grow, it’s hard for me to think he won’t be in the rotation this upcoming season if he is still on the roster.


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Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Philly

The Miami Heat fell short to the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back to back. Duncan Robinson and Max Strus shot the ball poorly, Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler couldn’t get it going, and offense just wasn’t being generated enough.

So, here are some takeaways from this one…

#1: Omer Yurtseven comes out dominating.

The match-up between Omer Yurtseven and Joel Embiid went in a total different direction to begin this one. While it seemed like Dewayne Dedmon is the more physical body to slow down Embiid, they stayed with Yurtseven, and man did it pay off. Not only did he semi-handle Embiid defensively, but he was the primary offensive threat to kick off this game. Hitting pockets when they blitzed Jimmy Butler, planting himself in the dead spots of the drop, and continuing to develop his chemistry with Kyle Lowry in the pick and roll. It felt like this was the final showcase for Yurtseven before Bam Adebayo returned Monday, but he’s only making the new rotation decisions harder. It’s a good problem, but still a problem.

#2: Caleb Martin is constantly everywhere. Emphasis on everywhere.

Caleb Martin is a continued conversation piece in these articles, but tonight just tied a bow on all of it. Simply, he’s everywhere. Always. On both ends. One play where he was the sole trailer for Jimmy Butler on the break led to an easy bucket for Martin, and that is the definition of his play. Reliable, energetic, and always in the right spots. We always talk about him plugging the role of Butler, but it needs to be said that he has plugged the role of everybody at one point or another. PJ Tucker, Max Strus, etc. His versatility speaks volume, and this isn’t just a two-way player overplaying his value. This is a rotation player on a contending team. And I think he will be here for a while longer after this season.

#3: A different halftime position. A better halftime position. But still couldn’t close it out.

The Atlanata Hawks were up 70-64 at the half on Friday night, while Miami led 50-43 on Saturday. Obviously the fact that they were leading in this one puts them in a better spot, but take a look at the numbers from both games through 24 minutes. Yeah, tonight was definitely much more of a Miami Heat game, but ultimately, it still came around and hurt them. Erik Spoelstra and company were not pleased with their defensive showing in the first half on Friday, but tonight was much better. Forcing Joel Embiid to make that kick-out as they helped down majorly, but the key with that is they were banking on strong rotations. And after that was problematic against Atlanta, it was clearly a focus heading into this one. But like I said, the other end was the problem now.

#4: Rotations are changing. Scheme could be changing.

To take a slight step away from the true specifics from this one, there are some things that must be noted as we pick on some trends. For one, after Miami seemed to struggle with the 10 man rotation last night, they shrunk it down to a 9 man rotation tonight, as expected. That meant Gabe Vincent got squeezed, and as good as Yurtseven has played, he feels to be next. As Bam Adebayo returns, not only will the rotation shift, but the offensive game-plan will shift. Spoelstra won’t just totally flip things back to pre-injury, but it’ll clearly be mixed in. Butler’s mid-post possessions will be split 50/50 with Adebayo, Lowry’s passing demeanor will be much more lob/pocket mode, and most of all, they will be looking for takeover Adebayo. We’ve seen Yurtseven do it at times, and Adebayo will need to pick that up and expand.


#5: Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry lag behind in scoring column. 

For most of this game, you would look over to the stat sheet and see that Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry were 6th and 7th on the team in scoring, which is pretty odd in a close game against a very hot Philly team to say the least. To be honest, that sentiment says a lot about the guys I’ve already discussed in this piece. Guys like Martin, Yurtseven, and Tucker just really kept them afloat in times of need, as both the shooters in Robinson and Strus had very rough shooting nights from deep. This wasn’t like the usual Butler performance, which is why it’s more eyes on him aside from the Robinson talk, but I feel like he got the shots that he usually gets but couldn’t knock them down. It happens, but that’s kind of the difference in a game like this.


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Five Takeaways from Heat’s Loss to Kings

The Miami Heat fell short against the Sacramento Kings after their recent hot stretch, and now the real tough slate lines up right in front of them.

Omer Yurtseven had another promising performance, but Miami just couldn’t control things ultimately on either end.

So, here are five takeaways from this one…

#1: A very ugly start for Miami.

The Heat had a pretty horrible start to this one, and it transcends poor shooting from the outside. While that jumped off the stat-sheet, and was heard every time the ball clanked off the rim, it began to blend into other things, like it usually does. For one, it always waters down defensive effort. But the issue early was that 10-day contracts were showing. It seemed like it was miscommunication after miscommunication, giving Sacramento easy threes and easy layups every time down the floor. And as shots continue to miss, you jump into an accidental offensive shift on the floor, almost repeating bad habits. The main one is something I’ve touched on a ton which is overusing bigs that aren’t Bam Adebayo. You can’t work offense through less skilled bigs even though that’s what you’re used to, which we saw at times with guys like Chris Silva.

#2: A Kyle Lowry-Omer Yurtseven 1-2 punch to finish the first half.

Although I touched on the things that went wrong for Miami offensively, something had to have gone right if they only trailed by 4 at halftime. And well, that started with Kyle Lowry and Omer Yurtseven. Tyler Herro finished strong after a patchy start to the half, and Kyle Guy contributed a decent bit on that end, but the Lowry-Yurtseven PnR’s were being spammed. And they were working well. Lowry was hitting that pull-up three when the defender went under, and surveyed the mid-range at a high level, either spinning into his coveted turn-around or dishing down low with 5 first half assists. But Yurtseven’s control down low really shined. Although defensive lapses occurred, he was needed as that roll/post presence, and he showed up in that area. He went from the least experienced guy on the floor to the second most real quick, as many of those lineups were surrounded by 3 10-days.

#3: Does open floor operation need to increase in this interesting period?

It’s hard to judge minor specifics during this stretch of games with only 5 roster guys available, but one simple element has jumped out to me. When the year began, the offensive topic that outweighed everything else is the pace increase Lowry would bring to this team, and as we’ve seen, Herro has loved it as well. But the more games played, the more things seem to slow down. Of course that will always be this team’s identity, but can a true identity be found when running a Haywood Highsmith-Chris Silva front-court pairing? I believe not. With that said, it feels like this team needs to open up the playbook a bit more, to maximize guys like Caleb Martin, Lowry, etc. We’ve seen it shine at moments, but the consistency is never there. A lot of it relies on high level defense, but pushing the pace feels like a necessity when playing with young legs who want an opportunity.

#4: Tyler Herro’s “battling” factor.

I talked about Tyler Herro a little in this sense last game, but ultimately in a different light. When shots aren’t falling, it doesn’t look like last season whatsoever. Last game, his outlet was his passing ability, where he controlled the game on the ball and set others up. Tonight, he just kept battling through. Yes, he battled through a couple times last season as well, but I don’t remember it working out as much as it has this year. He can turn games around within that same 48 minute frame, and that’s an important skill for a 21 year old pure scorer. As I said before, he had a nice finish to the first half, but he continued that in the second half as well when energy and rhythm picked up in that 3rd quarter. After talking about Yurtseven, how was he getting such good looks down low? Along with Butler looking for him, Herro kept feeding him.


#5: An unsurprising, surprising loss by Miami.

Yeah, it definitely felt like Miami was in control of this one late and was there’s to win, but well, it slipped away. While that may surprise some, it just shouldn’t. The Miami Heat ran a 4th quarter lineup of Kyle Guy, Nik Stauskas, Haywood Highsmith, and Chris Silva, which gives us a ton of perspective. The Heat have still won 9 of their last 12, but now, real challenges strike. The upcoming stretch of this road trip is the toughest part, including Golden State and Phoenix to kick things off essentially. But the only good thing about it will be that this team is getting healthier. Quick. Guys like Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and PJ Tucker could be exiting protocols real soon, Dewayne Dedmon should be close to healed up, Markieff Morris *should* be back soon, and clock is ticking on the hopeful return of Victor Oladipo and Bam Adebayo. Steal a couple coming up, and they’re in perfect shape.


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What Individual Skill Do Miami’s Young Projects Need to Showcase in Camp?

Training camp is an interesting time in the NBA. It’s a good time for star players to begin the ramp-up process before jumping back into action, gives coaches some time to prepare a game-plan for the season ahead, and it’s just a great time to further develop an NBA level feel.

For that last part, that tends to the young guys on the roster.

The players who are awaiting a chance to prove themselves and gather meaningful minutes for the regular season. And on a Heat team, there’s some extra motivation since many of the guys surrounding them on the floor started right where they are.

Starting from the bottom and clawing your way up is a part of the Miami Heat way: just ask Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and others what it’s like.

Due to this time being important for a lot of those guys, I feel it’s a good time to address the one skill that should be a focus in camp for the two-way guys who always seem to be in a perfect position the following season.

(But well, I’m throwing in an extra player who is a fan favorite because I feel like it)

Omer Yurtseven:

Fitting the Team Aspect

Omer Yurtseven has already earned some respect among this group just through Summer League alone. He pretty much bypassed the two-way route since Miami felt it was necessary to lock him up immediately on a regular contract.

The reason I bring him up specifically is that many players in his position usually focus on one thing. The two guys up next in this piece seem to be heading in that direction, but why is Yurtseven different for some reason?

Well, Las Vegas pretty much was the showcase stage. From an individual skill-set perspective, they know what they have in him as a player. Against NBA competition, on the other hand, that’s the current test to put him through.

If there’s one focus for him, it’s comfortability in a fast speed, competitive game atmosphere where he’s able to make instinctive decisions on both ends of the floor. In many ways, lining him up in scrimmages on the other side of Bam Adebayo would feel to make the most sense.

The long-term hope is to see them in the front-court together, but this is the development stage. Make him defend a bunch of PnR’s in drop while covering the speedy Adebayo one-on-one, continue that pop usage for above the break threes/elbow jumpers, and of course drill those paint touches in the post with good foot-work and even better touch.

To a certain degree, this may be approaching this topic too simply, but putting everything together in game speed, even if it’s in a practice gym with his teammates, will do wonders from both a short-term and long-term sense.

Marcus Garrett:

The Catch and Shoot Fling

When we hear the name Marcus Garrett in training camp, I think of the coaching staff testing his strengths by throwing him on Miami’s skillful guards all week. His best three abilities are defense, defense, and defense, so seeing it on the next level is obviously essential.

But I don’t know if this time will be used entirely to evaluate strengths. It’s mostly to pick-out weaknesses.

There’s a lot of unknown about his offensive abilities heading into his NBA career, since ultimately, that’s what landed him in the undrafted market in the first place. But after seeing him in action during his stint in Summer League, I see a clear offensive skill to drill. And it’s actually the same thing I’ve brought up with his young, defensive minded teammate KZ Okpala.

Spot-up shooting.

He’s not an exceptional ball-handler or downhill threat at the moment, but he has shown a fluid shooting motion up to this point to potentially be a capable outside shooter. And frankly, they don’t need much. Just make your defender think twice before leaving you open in the corner, and make him pay from that spot on the floor when he does.

When he’s thrown in at some point, it’s going to be for defensive purposes, but surviving on the offensive end will be crucial.

Okpala is currently heading into his third season, and turning completely to a spot-up mentality may finally be on the way. The point of this topic is don’t waste two seasons of Garrett’s early career with offensive uncertainty.

Caleb Martin:

On-Ball Creation Upside

There’s an interesting theme when going through Miami’s guards on the roster. Kyle Lowry will be a facilitator/off-ball threat, Tyler Herro will be the straight bucket getter/spot-up spacer, Duncan Robinson will simply be a catch and shoot threat, Gabe Vincent will be in a strictly point guard role, and Garrett, as mentioned, will be a defensive threat.

What is missing among that group? Oh, a straight isolation guy who thrives with self creation.

In many ways, that’s Caleb Martin. And it’s why this two-way pick-up makes a lot of sense in case they need to plug him into the rotation in a certain scenario. The other reason for the signing was older/more experienced players were the focus for that final spot.


When I think of the things Martin should be progressing in this period, the first thing that comes to mind is extra ways to be effective in space. He’s shifty enough to get to the rim, has no problem shooting off a step-back/side-step, and doesn’t have a problem putting the ball on the floor excessively.

If Miami ends up looking his way in a specific situation, it’s for that one skill.

Of course they’re going to be rounding out his entire game throughout the season and continuing to learn about him as a player, but the bottom line is making sure he is always prepared for when his name is called.

So, what is my main takeaway from this topic?

It’s quite simple: sounds to me like throwing Marcus Garrett on Caleb Martin throughout the week is the way to go. In a lot of ways, that’s what each of their roles will look like this year.

A game of one-on-one.


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The Future is Bright for Miami Heat’s Omer Yurtseven

The Miami Heat have an interesting past of finding diamonds in the rough. When all eyes were on the 13th pick in the NBA draft on Miami’s Summer League team in 2019, other guys emerged into the team’s focus. Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn went from undrafted guys fighting to make a roster, to immediate starters on a team that eventually made the NBA Finals.

It’s safe to say Miami has a pretty good eye in that department specifically.

Toward the end of last season, some young 7 footer was added to the roster in hopes of potential off-season developing. While there may not have been many expectations on this young kid, it kind of felt like deja vu was striking Heat observers.

Omer Yurtseven had a monster Summer League a few weeks ago, leading to him earning a regular deal and roster spot for next season. And although it’s a contending team with a crowded front-court, the Heat always find ways to work in these young, hungry, and supreme talents.

So, let’s continue my Heat preview series, answering some questions from you guys about individual players on the roster. Why is the future so bright for Yurtseven?

After watching him in action through different environments, including playing with Turkey and Heat’s Summer League team in Vegas, it’s clear that his offensive bag is pretty broad. When watching this 7 footer on the offensive end, the first word that comes to mind is versatility.

In this instance, a lot of stuff is going to tie back to Miami’s young centerpiece Bam Adebayo. The reason for that is the overarching point to these discussions is asking how they would potentially mesh in the future. And well, that transitions us right into how he will be used most on the offensive end.

For starters, I’ve said this frequently, but I believe many of Yurtseven’s spot minutes will come next to Adebayo this season. He’s going to be the sub-in starter if injuries were to occur, and the Dewayne Dedmon back-up plan since he won’t be playing close to 82. It’s the Gabe Vincent/Max Strus role of last year.

To that point, Yurtseven’s two best offensive skills are probably Adebayo’s two weakest skills at this stage. The first one is the outside shot since his high release point means it’s close to impossible to alter. With Adebayo occupying space on the roll or mid-range off the catch, he needs a floor spacer next to him at all times.

The second offensive wrinkle is post-play. As the league continues to evolve, you see more and more bigs picking up Yurtseven’s shooting trait, instead of his back to the basket trait. And when the footwork continues to improve against bigger defenders on the block, it’ll only make that soft touch down low even deadlier.

Ultimately, his role will be very watered down and simplified. They will most likely run some double screening/horn sets for Adebayo to roll and Yurtseven to pop, just due to the fact it maximizes spacing and places Yurtseven at a favorable spot at the top of the key. He may be able to knock down the corner three consistently, but above the break popping will be his home-base.

Once that offense is perfected, the all-around expansion and added layers can begin to be flooded in.

This is a very good question, and I think it should be evaluated from a few different angles.

Once again, we have to start by relating this to him playing next to Adebayo. In those minutes specifically, he just has to do what he’s done at a high level for some time now: protect the rim, deter drivers, block some shots, and grow in that drop coverage.

That would be Adebayo’s safety blanket in a lot of ways. It would allow each of them to play to their strengths in terms of defensive capabilities, which is what I see them using at different points in the regular season to switch it up.


Now, back to the question, I’m not sure the “quick twitch” or “quick feet” is something I would really bet on in his immediate future. He has very good defensive instincts from what I’ve seen, but the other original attributes don’t really jump off the screen to me at this time.

Due to that, I don’t think I see him being an “above average defender,” but I can see him being an average one who can make plays. If he gets some extra reps by the basket, improving his all-around pick and roll defense, then I can see him being an above average rim protector.

But addressing “NBA defender” as a whole, I don’t think I’d put that expectation on him. His true skill is on the offensive end of the floor, since there aren’t many players with that size who can utilize the level of touch on the ball that he possesses.

I spoke briefly before about the opportunities that he will be given, but I just don’t see this being his breakout season with the role he will be given.

As much as I’ve said he will get plenty of spot minutes, sprinkled in starts, and chances to prove his game, the roster construction just doesn’t mirror this being his big year. Once again, this team did a total 360 from a crowded back-court to a crowded front-court.

Obviously other than Dedmon off the bench, nobody has the undeniable size and skill that Yurtseven has, which is why he will get his chance. If he came out and dominates whenever given that opportunity, then that’s a different story. That would lead to a bench front-court punch of Yurtseven-Dedmon minutes, which would be quite a handful.

But realistically, that doesn’t feel to be the case. He will progress behind the scenes, receive playing time to get a taste of what he needs to continue to develop, and make the eventual leap that so many undrafted Heat players have in the past.

There feels to be an in-house formula on how it’s done, and I believe Yurtseven’s formula is the easiest to predict this upcoming season. They now have another young wild card that they can utilize if things were to go downhill, which is something Coach Erik Spoelstra won’t be afraid to use.

The final takeaway: his future is bright. From what I’ve seen up to this point, there’s so much potential within his current game, and he just turned 23 years old. The Heat may have dug up a hidden gem once again, and this time, there isn’t an unorthodox fit with other skill-sets. Instead, it blends in quite perfectly.


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The Roles of Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven are Fairly Simple

The back-up big man slot on the Miami Heat is an interesting discussion to have. The two guys up for the job are polar opposites in terms of experience.

Omer Yurtseven will get his first run at the NBA level following his two-year standard contract, while Dewayne Dedmon will be heading into his 9th NBA season at age 32.

After Dedmon was signed late in the season this past year, he rolled right into the playoffs with fresh legs. And in that first round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, not only was he Miami’s most consistent player, but he was also their most productive.

With that said, there’s no doubt in my mind that Dedmon will be the back-up 5 in the rotation, but that doesn’t mean Yurtseven is kicked out completely. The reason Dedmon was so effective by playoff time was due to the fact that he only played 16 regular season games, meaning an 82 game stretch for next season doesn’t seem one bit possible.

(Enter Omer Yurtseven)

Being the back-up for the back-up is not a bad job to have in your first official season, especially when it’s the Miami Heat. They’re known for their willingness to give extra opportunities for the undrafted projects, since most of them up to this point have exceeded expectations.

But Yurtseven is a bit different from past guys who have gone this route. Why is that? Well, expectations are much more extreme for this young big man. Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Max Strus, and many others showed up out of nowhere, leaving many observers of the team a bit surprised when they got extended run.

Now with Yurtseven, it’s almost expected that he’s going to get his shot and shine.

The pure fit with the Heat’s centerpiece Bam Adebayo makes it even easier to picture. A drop big who can protect the rim while Adebayo switches on the perimeter, a lengthier front-court partner for rebounding, and of course, a versatile offensive weapon who can shoot the three and score in the post, which are two of Adebayo’s weaknesses.

So aside from the games that Dedmon sits out, how will Yurtseven get a chance in the rotation?

It’s not a fun thing to talk about, but injuries happen. And on a team that consists of a bunch of veteran players who are much more fitted for the post-season, openings will present themselves.


PJ Tucker is the expected starting four to begin the year, and he’s known for being an available player in the regular season when looking at his track record. But much like Dedmon, it feels like the regular season games played may decrease slightly at age 36.

(Once again, enter Omer Yurtseven)

When a player in the starting lineup goes down, where does Coach Erik Spoelstra usually look? It’s not as simple as inserting the reserve who usually enters for that player, but instead he brings in a guy that isn’t in the rotation, so it doesn’t mess up chemistry and lineup flow. It’s the reason Gabe Vincent had so many starts this past year.

That’s the Yurtseven role this season.

He’s not going to be the back-up 5 from the jump. He’s definitely not going to be an immediate starter next to Adebayo in the front-court. But I do believe he gets some reps in each of those roles as the season progresses, which is exactly what he needs.

Show some flashes whenever being thrown in there, and stock will rise among the coaching staff. Essentially being the relief pitcher will be his task, and the ability to be plugged in different spots opens things up for him even more.

As stated earlier, the roles of Dedmon and Yurtseven will be simple out the gate. Yurtseven will get a shot and plenty of reps, while Dedmon can be effective and preserve himself for the playoff run.

Yes, this team doesn’t have many guys in that middle ground of ages with the two categories of veterans or youthful inexperience, but this is the one way that type of roster construction can be maximized.

And Spoelstra and crew won’t bat an eye at the thought of giving trust to those type of players through the first 82.


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Breaking Down the Miami Heat’s Summer League Stand-Outs

The Miami Heat continue their undefeated Summer League quest after they took down the Memphis Grizzlies in double overtime, also known as sudden death.

I’ve done plenty of articles on the utilization of guys like Max Strus and Omer Yurtseven, while focusing on the main strengths of their game, but in this piece, I will look through a slightly different lens. Instead of going through the obvious skill-sets, I’d like to highlight what makes these guys so intriguing for the next level.

I have also talked about a bunch of the other guys on the Summer League roster, but only two of them will make it in this category at the moment. Marcus Garrett and DeJon Jerreau may share some qualities, but the biggest comparison of the two is that they’re both in a perfect spot for a two-way contract this upcoming season.

So let’s jump right into some of the sticking points of this game that pushed Miami to 4-0 in Summer League…..

Max Strus:

NBA Rotation Ready

Strus may have been the player of the day from a Heat sense, but he only needs one category and section to put a bow on his all-around play. Yes, pin-down excellence has been a staple and pick and roll reps have been important.

He even responded to my question about those reps with “It’s always great to have other things in your pocket when guys chase you off the line.” And that’s obviously right on the money.

But a key component to all of this is that he’s doing NBA level type things. An off-ball pin-down role may be what he is assigned, but the stuff shown above just isn’t teachable when reaching this point.

The first clip just displays his overall feel and control for the offense, as he initially awaits the screener to come up. After his hard drives in the past, he avoids the screen and acts as if he’s going to bull-doze his way to the rim once again. That part is important, since he isn’t preparing for a pull-up to give the defender any idea. He just reacts.

A quick stop, one dribble, and a bucket to top it all off after he fired away from deep. That stuff is big time. He isn’t just going through the motions, he’s letting everything come to him instinctively.

The second clip above is another play that shouldn’t be overlooked, mostly since that is just Strus. Taking contact as he’s roaming the perimeter with the ball in his hands, he takes a wide step-back to his left with plenty of separation, but he pauses.

He is aware that the defender will fly by him in fast motion, so he ball-fakes, slightly turns, then squares himself up with the basket once again for the triple. One thing this Summer League team is doing to Strus is letting him be Max Strus. The mentality is to just see what he can do in a free setting on the offensive end, and he’s showing much more than originally expected.

That point was shown in this previous game when the game-plan heading into sudden death was to give it to Strus to make a play, as Coach Malik Allen described it. In the third clip above, he notices his defender is slowly back-pedaling, almost daring the hot-hand to shoot a pull-up three.

Dribbles between his legs and pulls it immediately for the win. It’s not just about a 32 point performance that led Miami to a win. It’s the way he is doing it. With maturity, control, assertiveness, and leadership. That’s the way his fellow players and coaches have described it, and it seems to me that he will be a rotation player for Miami next season.

And with these tools, he has a chance to be a highly effective one at that.

Omer Yurtseven:

Winning Plays/Defensive Improvement

I have spent a lot of time dissecting the game of Omer Yurtseven since the beginning of Summer League. We know his strengths are stretching the floor a bit, using his soft touch in the post, and utilizing his length to his advantage.

But it’s time to look into his defense a bit deeper.

After watching him yet again against Memphis, the defensive stuff really stuck out. He’s not going to be very effective in space and there may be some rotational question marks, but there’s no doubt that he can protect the rim.

That is seen in the second clip above, where he doesn’t bite on fakes and just contains until he has to rise up with his long wingspan to swat it away. Those traits don’t always translate to pick and roll coverage, but they surprisingly have.

He played an outstanding game defending the PnR, mostly due to the lack of explosive guards, but it’s still something to keep track of. In the third clip above, he drops all the way down with the guard while the big stations himself at the top of the key, ending in a turnover with Yurtseven’s fingerprints all over the play.

All of these defensive sticking points stood out throughout the entire game, but the final possession of regulation just tied this whole point together: he has an ability to make winning plays.

After dropping down all game long against screens, Yurtseven reacted quickly and took a timely gamble down 2 with 1o seconds left. With the shot clock ticking down, Yurtseven decided to blitz the ball-handler instead of drop down, which led to major disruption and an eventual steal. The play ended in a perfect lob for Yurtseven to tie the game with 5 seconds left.

Now that stuff stands out to a Heat organization. Miami already has their versatile big who can guard the perimeter freely, so it’s nice to see a developmental project who fills the holes of a front-court pairing: floor spacer, rim protector, and tons of potential.

The Move

A lot of NBA players have “a move.” A go-to that they find themselves relying on in certain situations, ideally from the post. It’s the reason a post-up go-to is harped on for Bam Adebayo, since that can elevate the other parts of his game.

But not many players find that “go-to” this soon.

Yurtseven has just that even if he doesn’t realize it, and it highly benefits his biggest offensive strength. If you asked me what has been the most impressive part of his game so far, I would respond his touch on the interior. Floaters, post-hooks, push-shots. They’ve all been super efficient since Summer League started, which is where this move comes into play.

There have been some question marks next to how he would look as an interior force against bigger guys at the next level, so the Xavier Tillman match-up was something to watch. He made him a little uncomfortable early on, but that faded by the second half, after Strus told Yurtseven at halftime: “I need more out of you.”

He got right back down to the box, going into his usual bag of tricks. Usually the post-up flow is to spin off the back-side to maximize spacing and release the shot without it getting blocked. Yurtseven does the opposite.

Looking at the clip above, it almost looks unorthodox the way he turns into his shooting motion, but Yurtseven is right at home. He turns into a face up ball swing to use his right shoulder for an extra bump before getting into his regular looking jumper.

Part of that move is due to a lack of a true left hand to turn into a floater or hook shot, but even if that’s the case, his way of going about it works at this moment. We’ve seen that face-up bump time and time again, and I believe we see it at the next level as well no matter the match-up. If he just constantly plays his offensive game without being rattled, he will be a hard player to stop.

Marcus Garrett:

Interior Grittiness

We all know how great of a defender Marcus Garrett is. Record setting steals to start a game as seen in the last match to outstanding ways of fighting over screens to just all-around ball hounding. But I’m seeing a trend with his way to generate offense.

A lot of guys with that defensive play-style aren’t the most fluid offensive players. He’s a capable passer who can knock down the open triple as he did in this game, but that just won’t ever be his main priority. The thing that will be used primarily is interior grittiness.

Crashing the offensive boards for put-backs, weak-side baseline roaming, wing slashing, and straight up hard drives. As seen in the clips above, using a plethora of pump-fakes or set-up dribbles allows him to cover a lot of ground whenever he seems “stuck” under the rim.

Is that type of offense sustainable at the NBA level? Maybe not, but I have no doubt that Garrett would work in other stuff once given a role. In a 4 game sample size, I have already seen some flashes from the perimeter, so he will definitely be able to figure that stuff out.

But outlining minor strengths on your weaker side of the ball is always crucial in this time period. He probably can’t evolve with an interior put-back play-style only, but that being the headliner can definitely be a good balance act for some of Miami’s shooters moving forward.

We aren’t just talking about a good defender that can be plugged in somewhere. He has a chance to be great on the defensive end with what we’ve seen so far. As I’ve pointed out in the past, he doesn’t have a defensive weakness which isn’t usually seen this soon.

DeJon Jerreau

Functioning Facilitating

A Marcus Garrett-DeJon Jerreau starting back-court was intriguing for many heading into this game with the amount of ball pressure and defense between the two, but that’s not what stood out from this tandem.

They weren’t really clicking early on offensively, since neither of them are particularly great off-ball players, but once the roles were fully understood, it came together.

The main reason it didn’t take long to figure out is due to Jerreau’s natural ability to take control of an offense as a passer with his pacing, skill-set, and all-around confidence. Everybody on the floor was aware that he was going to lead the offense as the point guard.

There’s a reason 3 out of the 4 clips above included Yurtseven getting the bucket following the dish. For one, a 1-5 PnR is the base offense for this unit when they’re on the floor, due to Strus’ off-ball spacing, Garrett’s slashing, and Okpala’s role playing mentality with screening and movement.

The other reason is that combo allows both to use each of their strengths in the same action. Yurtseven can either pop out or roll to the basket per usual, but when Jerreau is the handler, the outcome should always be to roll.

He’s going to pick apart the defensive coverage and feed the ball to Yurtseven somehow, which leads to my favorite part of his game, as pointed out before: interior touch.

Going through some of the plays above, he is never in a rush as a passer, while guys like Garrett usually aren’t really reacting as much as Jerreau does. He’s an outstanding perimeter defender, but there’s no doubt in my mind that facilitating is his best ability by far, following a night with 10 assists.

Finishing Flashiness

This Summer League team has straight defenders. They have straight play-makers. They have straight scorers. But when looking for a player to give that second two-way contract, why shouldn’t it be a guy that can do all three?

I haven’t talked much about his scoring abilities, but there is a ton of upside in that department. He looks comfortable in isolation with the ball on a string, his lean-back jumper will definitely translate well, but most importantly, his finishing has always been incredible.

The second clip above pretty much sums that all up. Some nice cross-overs, leading to the blow-by, before getting up at the height of the rim for the finger roll. As I’ve described in the past, he’s just a very smooth offensive player and there’s still a bunch of growth to be made.

Jerreau has forced some heads to turn in the past two games, and I firmly believe he will be as much of a two-way lock as Garrett if he plays an extended period of time to finish out these games. He may not be as solid in one area as a Garrett type, but he’s just good in multiple parts of the game that make him hard to pass up on.

There’s one thing all four of these guys have in common: I can find a scenario for all of them where they’re getting some minutes at some point next season for the Heat. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is another story, but just that it’s a possibility, not only says a ton about these young players, but also the Heat’s scouting department who continue to find these hidden gems.


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