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Wayne Ellington: Miami Heat's "human cheat code"

Jonathan Isaac said Ellington is a "cheat code," who gets whatever shot he wants.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

What the heck is a "human cheat code?" Couper Moorhead wrote that Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac described Wayne Ellington of the Miami Heat this way,

“ . . . What can you do with Ellington? He’s a cheat code,” he said. “You can be with him the entire way and he’s going to shoot it, you’re going to foul him or he’s going to make it.”

Isaac borrowed that term from videos gamers who use "cheat codes" to gain an unfair advantage.

"A cheat code is generally a code, method or device used by gamers to advance levels, or to get other special powers and benefits in a video game....Cheat codes are not explicitly made known to the public. The term cheat code can also be used to denote anything a person does other than the traditional way of doing something for the purpose of winning or scoring above their competition."

The power from cheat codes comes being hidden secrets not known to anyone else, except to a select few. The DJ group "Cheat Code" took that name because a member's brother said, "he had found the 'cheat code' to getting anything he wanted in life." Sort of a "holy grail" for gamers.

So Ellington is the Heat's secret weapon: the team's formula or code that gives them the winning edge in a game. Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers wrote an entire book about how he transformed a 2-14 team into Super Bowl champs in two seasons, "Finding the Winning Edge." His cheat code: preparation.

Amateurs study themselves

Professionals study the enemy

Bill Walsh watched the enemy's game films to detect their slightest flaws, just like Kobe Bryant studied Allen Iverson to shut him down.

Wayne Ellington finds crafty ways to elude defenders before they can recover. Lot of basketball players make 3-point baskets in the gym, but Ellington spends his time learning how to get to his spot before the defender does. Per Moorhead,

“‘I’m sure I haven’t seen them all but I have a feel for a lot of them,’ Ellington said of different coverages.”

“That’s what I try to do early. I don’t want to be aggressive and take bad shots. I try to get a feel for how a team is guarding me. It’s different for me now. I have to evolve and learn.”

"#KaBoom! Count them! All 97 of @WayneElli22's s this season."

"FYI: Wayne is currently 4th in the @NBA in total 3's made and No.1 in 3's made per 100 possessions. #NBAAllStar 3-point contest?"

Now if Kelly Olynyk would stop his pump fakes, which every defender in the NBA knows is coming, and get the cheat code from Ellington, Kelly would have more evenings like this.

"A double-double effort from @KellyOlynyk helped Miami push past Orlando last night!"

"15 points & 12 rebounds for our favorite Canadian"

And don’t forget the versatility of Bam Adebayo and Josh Richardson. Josh has gone beyond dunks and three-point shooting to display a complete arsenal of moves that makes him increasingly difficult to guard against. If a defender stops him one way, JRich will find another to score.

“Bam & J. Rich were in rhythm late in tonight's game!”

These clips were against the lottery-bound Magic, but increasingly the Heat are working on their own secret cheat codes, which they'll use against playoff teams. As Ellington said, Miami will "get a feel" on how teams are guarding them, and take that knowledge to break down defenses. The preparation of knowing their enemy is second to none.