clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Heat missing the maturity and poise of Rodney McGruder on the court

New, comments

Rodney McGruder wasn't an All-Star, yet he helped Miami almost reach the playoffs last season.

NBA: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The news of Rodney McGruder’s stress fracture didn't reach the seismic proportions of Gordon Hayward’s gruesome injury, yet the lack of McGruder's steadying influence on the court is noticeable during the Miami Heat's losing start. Nothing distracted Rodney from doing his job in a steady, professional manner.

McGruder was physically undersized as a forward. but not mentally. Sure he was outmatched when the more-talented big guys went against him one-on-one. He made up for it, and then some, when he caught them napping on offense and defense with his "scavenger" winning cuts, put-backs and dagger three-point baskets.

Nobody or nothing could stop Rodney from doing his assigned task, no matter how big and strong they were. Backing down from anybody was not in McGruder’s DNA.

Despite injuries and setbacks, the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons have survived their misfortunes with unshakable profession attitudes on the court. Even when down double-digits, they perform in a calm and serene manner to win games. No bipolar celebratory highs or depressing lows during scoring streaks or droughts. McGruder had the same unflappable approach and hustle, whether the Heat were up or down. Miami misses his no-nonsense presence on the court.