Tag Archive for: Pat Riley

Five Takeaways from Pat Riley’s Presser

Pat Riley spoke with media today before the season opener this Thursday, and the overall vibe was completely different from when he spoke a couple months ago after the loss to Milwaukee in the post-season.

Riley actually embodied something in this presser that the entire team will embody this season: being refreshed. A new team, a rested mind and body, while carrying over that same winning mentality is both the Riley and Miami Heat way.

Anyway, following a ton of topics to cover from this 45 minutes presser, here are some things that stuck out to me:

(Plus an audio form of Five on the Floor on this topic)

#1: Bam Adebayo might be a “flat out scorer this year.”

There’s never a better place to start in these type of evaluation pieces than Bam Adebayo. Riley started out saying that Adebayo has “gotten extraordinarily better than last year.”

He mentioned some things regarding his role last season, such as being that much needed ball handler and facilitator with the guys around him, but following some off-season additions, the goal posts are moving.


Riley adds, “I think you might see a flat out scorer this year.” And as many have added in the past, that places this Miami Heat team in a completely different tier. If Adebayo is your leading scorer on a team with Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and an emerging Tyler Herro, the league must watch out.

This isn’t just Heat twitter fantasizing over offensive tweaks that may never ultimately happen. This is Pat Riley once again saying to the public that this transformation is upon us. And well, as Riley alluded to a bit in the presser, Lowry and Butler will be major reasons for that.

#2: The closing lineup factor isn’t a surprise.

The question started with a general evaluation of Duncan Robinson, and his goal to close games with this Heat team. Riley jokingly responded, “He’s got to be on a bad team,” in terms of him closing every game since he’d be the best player on a bottom tier ball club.

In this scenario, the way to close games is pretty straight forward for Riley: “They know now that if you want to be on the court at the end of the game that my defense is not gonna hurt me in the last 4 or 5 minutes.”

This type of discussion pretty quickly turned into an interesting topic that’s been brought up a ton recently: will Herro or Robinson be the one closing?

Riley gave his opinion, saying, “Tyler is probably gonna be on the floor, because he’s a multi faceted player.”

Just from what I’ve seen so far, aside from Herro’s string of masterclass performances, it seems like they need that looser offensive piece late in games who can handle over the spacer.

But yet again, there won’t be a set closing lineup. Spo will do his usual tinkering, but we do know the four who will be on the floor at all times.

Yes, four…

#3: PJ Tucker isn’t just an Erik Spoelstra guy. He’s actually a Pat Riley guy.

When PJ Tucker was signed this off-season, the initial thought was that this is an Erik Spoelstra guy. Doesn’t explode in the scoring column in any capacity, but he plays hard, plays his role, and he can be trusted late in games.

Yet, the respect Pat Riley has for him seems to be even greater.

“He’s 3 times more than I thought he was. If I wanted to put on a defensive clinic, I would use him.” Riley continued to praise his ability to defend in every way, using perfect close-outs, positioning, and even screening on the offensive end.

As I said before, we all know Butler, Lowry, and Adebayo will be out there when that final buzzer sounds every night, but Tucker is in that grouping as well. This team needed extra defensive size, and although his length on paper doesn’t project that to be true, his on-court presence certainly does.

#4: Max Strus is high on this team’s “young guy” big board.

Pat Riley brought up the “young guys” on this team quite frequently. Not just bringing them up in terms of their age, but also the ways they can contribute at this stage.

That list clearly consisted of Adebayo, Herro, and Robinson, but one other name kept being thrown in when being discussed: Max Strus.

Now, this may not seem to be a big deal to many, since he’s going to be a major piece of this team’s bench unit this season, but the respect level among his peers has been incredible. It’s not just his teammates and coaches either. It’s the business man upstairs as well.

Riley joked, “His agent is on the phone all the time trying to extend his contract.” And well, pretty soon those conversations will be progressing even further. He puts in the work, and he produces at a high level on the big stage. There’s no doubt he’s in store for a big season.


#5: The season focus: early season success.

After discussing a lot of individual players, there was one general theme that floated around a couple times in this press conference: the strength of the early-season schedule.

This team had to deal with a bunch of things to begin the season last year regarding Covid, and it lead to a 7-14 start. Due to that being the case, it seems like there’s some extra initiative to come out the gates hot.

To talk about this on a much smaller scale, opening night could really propel this team into a hot start. Taking down the defending Champs, in the Milwaukee Bucks, to kick off their season will give them the ultimate confidence to keep it rolling.

And as Riley noted today, that Bucks team has a bunch of versatile bigs to try and match-up with. But well, Miami added some size of their own, and one of them was taken from that Bucks team.

On this team that is built for the playoffs, a hot regular season start can move them up to that next tier.


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Who Does Pat Riley Consider the Core and How Will They Be Maximized?

Pat Riley had his post-season presser this afternoon, which can be discussed from a hundred different angles. But I’m going to discuss the thing that stuck out most from this 45 minutes discussion: their core.

We heard that word spread out throughout the press conference, which is something that is pretty obvious to people that pay attention to this Heat team. They are confident in their top two players, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but they need to fulfill that core and surround them as best as they can.

But, is there more to that current Heat “core?”

Riley seemed to think so, as he was asked about Tyler Herro’s down year and late-season slump, he responded, “He’s a core player. That’s all there is to it.”

There are always certain guys that Riley talks about with a certain energy and it’s not just saying what you want to hear. He did that with Herro today.

Of course that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be included in a trade if the right deal came along, but he seems to like their young prospect and the trajectory that he is on.

Other than Herro being included in the core, another interesting point was made about a certain someone in that core, Adebayo. When asked about Adebayo increasing his aggression, he shifted his answer saying, “I think Spo has to evaluate a bit how he uses Bam. Bam is one of our primary ball-handlers, gets us in offense and sometimes there is a disconnect between running offense and really being effective as an offensive player.”

That just furthers the discussion that we’ve had over the last few months. Yes, Adebayo is an incredible passer and the offense is based around that play-making, but when backs are against the wall, your star must have the ball in his hands with a scoring mentality. He followed that statement with: “I think all of these things will be worked out.”

This may be the core at the moment, but it’s far from a finished project. He ended the presser saying, “There will be a lot more news coming along the way.” They know that they’re going to be active in all avenues within free agency, sign and trades, and even the draft, since he mentioned: “I can guarantee I’ll probably get a couple good players out of this draft somehow.”

We will see what happens over the next few weeks, but Riley seems fairly confident in their current spotting and current core, so it should make for an interesting off-season.


Miami Heat Free Agency: Unlimited Time, Unlimited Options

It was announced late Monday night that free agency will start on November 20th at 6 p.m. ET.

The Miami Heat have so many options heading into that day, but time is on their side.

The big question that has been looming around that front office is the one that Pat Riley brought up in his presser, “Do you just run it back without doing anything?”

Obviously that is a possible option, since they just made it to the NBA Finals, but I don’t believe it’s their first option. Guys like Goran Dragic and Jae Crowder will most likely be taken care of, but a “whale” to improve this team will always be first on their list.

The reason they have unlimited time is because they’re going to be waiting to see what shows up to their doorstep, instead of the other way around. Miami is clearly a place that everybody in the league wants to be and play for, which is why they will be looking out for guys pushing themselves out of cities via trades.

Pat Riley and the crew will be playing a patient game this off-season to find the best possible option for both this season and 2021 free agency.

And with the NBA draft set to happen in a little over a week, they will clearly use that 20th pick to their advantage as well.

It’s truly looking up for Miami heading into this next season, mostly since even if all other trades and signings fall through, they have a pretty intriguing core to fall back on.

And by the way, with Miami’s front office, not many things will fall through.

Pat Riley Knows Tyler Herro Isn’t Going Anywhere

“He just turned 20. My gosh.”

That’s what Pat Riley had to say about Tyler Herro in his press conference on Friday afternoon.

There still seems to be some discussion if Tyler Herro is indeed untouchable. Obviously he is above most of the trades that have been discussed in the past, such as Jrue Holiday or Victor Oladipo, but what if an even bigger name gets thrown Pat Riley’s way?

Something that stood out to me about what Pat Riley said when discussing Tyler Herro over other players was that he raved about his future. He even said, “He will go to another level when he gets older.” And if Pat Riley is saying that about a cheap and productive 20 year old rookie, I can guarantee he’ not going anywhere.

Bradley Beal is the name that continually seems to get thrown into the mix when asking if Tyler would still be considered untouchable.

For starters, Bradley Beal is not going anywhere, since he seems like he wants to stay in Washington, at least for now. But if he does end up forcing his way out of Washington in the near future for some reason, I believe it’ll be too late, since Tyler will officially be off of the table.

Something else that stood out when he talked about Tyler Herro was the fact that he loved the mentorship he got from the veterans on the team. He said, “All these veterans took him under their wing because they saw something special in him.”

And Pat Riley does not give up special players. He gives up assets.

The two things that stood out the most to me from what Pat Riley said was his talk about Tyler Herro and “The Next Thing.”

Those two things don’t always need to be connected, because ultimately they are not.

The next thing can be acquired pretty easy without Tyler Herro, since there are plenty of options in both this free agency and 2021 free agency.

Pat Riley and this Heat organization know, Tyler Herro isn’t going anywhere.



Pat Riley Getting His Words Twisted From Presser

It’s honestly not surprising that national media and others feel the need to make up fake stories about what Pat Riley had to say in Friday’s presser.

As I mentioned in my recap of Pat Riley’s press conference, the most intriguing points he made was how highly he talked of his player and Erik Spoelstra, and also some talk about acquiring the “Next Thing” by going whale hunting.

Well, that’s not what ESPN took away from what he said, since this is what they thought this meant…

Well, that’s not the only thing that got twisted, since this was another headline this weekend…

And if you actually watched or listened to what Pat Riley had to say on this specific topic, this is very out of context. When asked about what could’ve happened if they had Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic 100% in the finals, he responded with “It’s an excuse.” He also gave the utmost respect to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, since he credited them by saying “The Lakers were great…And they have the greatest player in the game today.”

Pat Riley made sure to clear up his twisted comments today, since people decided to put out false information…

So, before you go listen to this week’s ESPN programs where they will discuss “Pat Riley discrediting the NBA champions,” instead listen to this week’s episodes of Five on the Floor, where they will discuss five different Pat Riley quotes that actually came out of his mouth.

5 Pat Riley Comments from His Miami Heat Presser

Pat Riley held a press conference with media on Friday afternoon, which he usually does following every season. This one was clearly a little different, since he was doing it in October instead of June. Either way, it was still the iconic Pat Riley speaking about this intriguing Miami Heat team led by Jimmy Butler. Here’s what Pat Riley had to say…

Comment #1:

Pat Riley discussed free agency briefly, mostly since he can’t mention other players directly, but said “If there’s a next thing that can take us to the next level, I’m open to it.” I think this comment was pretty known when discussing the Miami Heat, since Pat Riley is always willing to make a move to win now. There are plenty of guys that can take this team to the next level, including via trade and free agency, but the big fish he’s going to be focused on is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He made it clear throughout that having cap flexibility going forward is a priority, and it’s because of that very reason. He also mentioned that the trade back in February for Soloman Hill, Jae Crowder, and Andre Iguodala had a lot to do with staying flexible. When asked about if this team is good enough to grow on their own or if it needs a boost, he said “I’ll kick that around. Are we good enough or do we need to get onto the next thing earlier.”

Comment #2:

After discussing the possibility of needing the next thing to take them to the next level, he also mentioned the other side of things. Pat said, “Do you just run it back without doing anything? I think about that…We were in the finals.” Not only is Pat Riley thinking about that, but I feel that everybody feels the same way about that question. You may have the ability to try and get somebody to take you to the next level, but you also have the ability to take this youth and watch them grow. Pat ends his answer asking, “Can we get to the Finals next year? That’s a question I’ll kick around with Spo.” This team has so many options and Pat Riley is aware of all of them.

Comment #3:

Pat Riley also discussed their 20 year old rookie who had an amazing post-season run. He starts off by talking about how important the mentorship this season was for Tyler Herro. He mentioned UD, Butler, Goran, Andre, saying “All these veterans took them under their wing, because they saw something special in him.” He also talked about the improvements he can make going forward, saying “He will go to another level when he gets older. He just turned 20. My gosh, he had a great year.” He seemed to shed light on all of Miami’s young core, saying “What a young nucleus we have that can play.” He talked briefly about their centerpiece Bam Adebayo as well, but didn’t want to go into the logistics of his contract moving forward. He did make it clear that they “value Bam Adebayo,” and they take care of the players that they value.

Comment #4:

When Pat was asked about this last NBA Finals and what could’ve happened if Bam and Goran never got injured, he said “It’s an excuse.” He also mentioned that they didn’t have enough, which is another small comment that can mean much more. That seems to be another indication of needing the “next thing.” He also praised Jimmy Butler for his finals performance, calling him “Superman,” and saying that those two game were two of the best he has ever seen. He did give credit to LeBron James and the Lakers, saying “The Lakers were great…And they have the greatest player in the game today.”

Comment #5:

And here’s another one of those famous Pat Riley quotes. “This isn’t for everybody.” That’s what he had to say when discussing the culture of this Miami Heat team. It’s clear that a big reason that culture was shown this season was because they were led by Jimmy Butler. Pat discussed Jimmy for a bit as well, which he said “I love Jimmy.” He also said that Jimmy is a different kinda person, and mentioned his relationship with Jimmy being outside of the box. He then said, “As long as he taps and throws me a heart back, I’m cool.” Its obvious Pat has no worry in losing that intense reputation of that Heat culture, when he has an absolute dog like Jimmy Butler as the leader of this team.


Some side notes:

  • Pat Riley mentioned that they will use the 20th pick, but are unsure whether or not they will keep it, which tells me there’s a good shot it ends up getting traded.
  • Goran Dragic will be taken care of by this Heat team.
  • Lastly, although he talks about re-signing and possibly running this thing back, the theme of this presser was the “next thing.” He is always searching for that piece to put them over the top.

Miami Heat: Recap From Pat Riley Media Conference Call

Miami Heat President Pat Riley held a conference call Friday with local media. 

Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports was on the call, here are some of his takeaways along with others from local outlets.


Riley spoke about Andre Iguodala and the organization’s reset:




On Waiters, JJ, and Winslow:


Riley about the one that got away (for now).


Subscribe to the 5 on the Floor podcast here for more exclusive Miami Heat content.

Dwyane Wade to Have Jersey Retired by Miami Heat

Dwayne Wade is coming home.

A Miami Heat legend will get his due in February. According to a report from the Orlando Sun Sentinel, Dwayne Wade will have his jersey retired on February 22 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This will be exactly two years and two weeks after Cleveland traded Wade back to Miami.

When you look at his resume, it’s truly impressive in regards to what Wade did throughout the course of his career. A three-time NBA champion, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, and a 13-time NBA All-Star are just some of the things he has accomplished. Wade had success from the get-go,  making the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2004.

In addition to those accomplishments, he was named the MVP of the All-Star Game in 2010 and was the NBA scoring champion in 2009. That year, he scored 30.2 points per contest. It was the best season of his career, and a performance that is not going to be forgotten.

Although the years with Lebron James were some of the best in Miami Heat history, the 2006 NBA Finals was where Wade was able to make his most significant mark in the postseason.

2006 a major year in Miami Heat history

Wade played in 23 games in the 2006 postseason, starting all of them. He made 219-of-441 field goal attempts, scoring 653 points.  That was Dwayne Wade at his best, and it was fascinating to see him  play at that high a level. The way that Wade and Shaquille O’Neal held down the fort during that run was impressive. That was just one of the many highlights for Wade in what was a storied career.

Do you want tickets? You’re going to have to pay up. According to prices from StubHub, the lowest possible seat cost at the moment is $158.10. If you want to pay that, you’ll be sitting in Balcony Corner, seat 403.

For a night like this, it’s worth it. Wade embodied the Miami Heat from the time he arrived in the organization.  It will certainly be great to see him back home at American Airlines Arena.

Exclusive: The Reason for Dion Waiters’ Latest Suspension


During another grueling back-to-back, which the Miami Heat split — this time against the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks — it was apparent they could have used another playmaking guard who could break down the defense and get to the basket, thus taking some burden off All-Star Jimmy Butler. That’s been the reality in many games lately, as Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow recover from injuries.

So why isn’t Dion Waiters available to help the now 19-7 team?

Five Reasons Sports Network has learned the primary reason for Waiters’ latest suspension, this one for six games and his third of the season totaling 14 games. The active suspension, officially for “failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination” was levied Dec. 12 and extends through the Heat’s Dec. 23 game against the Utah Jazz.

According to three sources, it was inspired by an Instagram post of Waiters hanging out on a boat during a time when the team was made to believe he was unavailable because he was sick. Waiters’ Instagram account (@Waiters3), with more than 350,000 followers, is now private, and no such photo is currently still posted as a regular picture post or Instagram story. But apparently the Heat saw something that troubled them.

According to one source, on its own, this infraction may not have warranted such a lengthy suspension, but it’s due to the cumulative effect of all of Waiters’ distractions, cutting against the team’s valued “Culture” during what has been a less tolerance approach to the season. (Heat president Pat Riley acknowledged after the 2018-19 season that he had “let the culture slip” and would not again). Hassan Whiteside, with his tendency to be mopey and me-oriented, was sent to Portland in a trade that netted team-first center Meyers Leonard. Another veteran, James Johnson, has had his own problems getting back in the mix after being sent away from the team during training camp because he didn’t meet the Heat’s conditioning-related goals for him.

But at least he’s played a little. Waiters has not.

This 6-game suspension came after one for seven games, stemming from Waiters’ “panic attack” on a team charter to Los Angeles in November after reportedly eating a “THC infused edible.” After that incident, the Heat, coincidentally or not, played one of their least focused games of the season. And that situation came after he was suspended one game to start the season after acting out on the bench and on social media, in a way the team didn’t appreciate, especially as it reflected his attitude toward Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

According to multiple sources, that’s not all that Waiters has done to create what the team has deemed a distraction over the past few months, after what it termed “fresh start” for the now-28-year-old. The Heat originally signed him to a short, make good contract in 2016, and after he flourished during the season-ending 30-11 run, signed him to a four-year contract amid limited competition from outside suitors. Then he had ankle problems and the disagreements with the team began in earnest during the approach to his rehabilitation.

A pair of rookies, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro, have taken minutes that many expected Waiters to get if he was fully recovered from those ankle problems this season, and in shape, which he said he was and largely appeared to be during his training camp and preseason action. And now Duncan Robinson has emerged in the perimeter rotation as well. Even so, with Winslow and Dragic sidelined, there appeared to be an opportunity for Waiters, a capable playmaker, a decent defender and an improved long-range shooter, to at least to showcase himself for a trade that would benefit both him and the Heat. Now, after this latest social media snafu, it appears even more likely that he won’t play for the team again.

The problem, of course, is finding a team that wants the rest of his contract, which expires after next season. Miami has a little more flexibility to find a trade as of today, December 15, since that is the date that many players around the league (signed in the offseason) are eligible to be moved.

But for Waiters….

“There’s been no interest,” one source said. “None. Zip.”

This latest incident won’t help. The team is reluctant to include an asset, whether a young player (such as Winslow or the emerging Derrick Jones Jr.) or a draft pick (Miami has a limited stock of second round picks) just to move Waiters.

Stay with Five Reasons Sports for more, including tonight’s new episode of the Five on the Floor podcast. The Heat play in Memphis on Monday night.

The Miami Heat ended the Five Reasons curse!

Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat may win another championship together someday.

But they will never accomplish anything quite like this.

Since Five Reasons Sports Network was born in 2018, we had 12 watch parties prior to Saturday evening. One didn’t count for our record — it was FC Barcelona against Real Madrid, and we don’t really have a horse in that fight. But the other 11 were Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins or Miami Hurricanes road games.

And we lost them all.

Every single one.

And some weren’t close. That included a Heat at Milwaukee Bucks game last season, when we gathered at Duffy’s in North Miami Beach.

So we expected the same Saturday at GQ’s Drafthouse a little further north, in Lauderhill in Broward County.

Top team in the East as the opponent.

Road game.

No Jimmy Butler — and a thin bench due to suspensions.

Then, a 21-point deficit.

So did we all just drink too much?

Or did our halftime giveaways — shirts and autographed cards — turn the tide?

Did this really happen?

Did the Heat… win? In overtime, no less?

Yeah, it happened.

It happened even with the Heat shooting free throws at an Andre Drummond clip in the last few minutes.

It happened even after Derrick Jones Jr. got hurt (groin) and Kendrick Nunn (great again) fouled out.

It happened even with me posting premature tweets about them winning.

It happened even with us all dressed horribly.

It happened, because Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow were relentless on defense, and Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk were major contributors on offense.

And now can it happen again?

We have another watch party, Nov. 26 at Duffy’s in North Miami Beach for the game against the Rockets.

Yes, Harden and Westbrook. On the road.

But we’re on a winning streak.

And the Heat are different this season.

We just promise we won’t do this: