The young trio of Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson had the common trait of being athletically gifted players, who could rock the rim with their dunks.
The emergence of Rodney McGruder and signing of Okaro White, 12 wins and counting, point the Miami Heat towards having players on the court with a more disciplined approach to the game.
Highlight videos of Marcus Georges-Hunt in the NBA D-League lack highlight dunks, but feature two-hand flushes, pinpoint passes, getting to best spot on the court, and making soft off-the-glass baskets.
In the clip below, at the very end, Marcus demonstrates how he knifed through three defenders to score a reverse layup, instead of simply trying to overpower them with his strength.
His ten assists against the D-League Nets demonstrate a superb court vision, especially with an over-the-shoulder pass at end. Meanwhile he immediately runs back on defense to protect the basket.
In a game versus the D-League Bulls he does a little bit of everything from flushing baskets, to assisting teammates, to attacking the paint for scores at the rim.
Georges-Hunt seems to perform in the Dion Waiters and McGruder mold of being able to contribute in many different forms, i.e. if you stop him one way, he’ll find another method to help win games.
Since two possible ten-day contracts for him would expire after March 1, 2017, Miami has the option to waive Chris Bosh to create a roster space then and activate Josh Richardson to prepare for the stretch run of the season.
Briante Weber had a +10 rating in the Golden State Warriors victory over the Chicago Bulls. GSW fans were looking for someone to mop up for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in garbage time, in order to reduce injury risks to key players during meaningless minutes. They found him in Briante.
Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr praised Weber and indicated he’ll be kept on roster.
“I liked what I saw from Bri. He’s a high energy player and he’s really fast. He fits our roster well. That’s a position where we actually needed some depth.”
“You want to close the game the right way, have balance to your roster and have positions filled. I think Bri is going to fill that role well.”
Another ex-Heat player, Derrick Williams, found a new team to play for: the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tyronn Lue had this to say about Derrick:
"He can play the 3 and the 4. He's a good defender on-ball. Has athleticism. So, I'll just try to work him in with that second unit, let LeBron handle it, let him play off LeBron a little bit with [Kyle] Korver and those guys and just see how we can get him acclimated."
The Heat organization continues their excellent reputation on developing players, and become an attractive destination for free agents wanting to revive their careers. What the single-season rentals appreciate most is the possibility of a lucrative contract as free agents. The prospect of large pay increase after a season’s work (Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside) is a big drawing card to spend some time in Miami.
The successes of seasoned quarterbacks Payton Manning and Tom Brady in the last two Superbowls could, in part, be due to executing a winning gameplan flawlessly. The NBA punishes mistakes by novices without mercy during the games: players having super-athletic talent can only go so far in professional sports before being exposed for botching their assignments.
The Heat’s recent wins have not necessarily come because of highlight clips, but players being in the right place at the right time quietly doing their job.