The Miami Heat defeated teams lead by elite big men Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert by trusting their frontcourt players to do their jobs.
Now with Rodney McGruder joining the injury parade Miami might be forced to take full advantage of the standout two-way contract player Yante Maten.
As a reality check Miami ranks last in 2-point field goal percentage at 47.4%, while the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks, with a combined record of 35-11, lead the NBA at 58.8% and 58.0% respectively.
The Heat also trail all NBA teams on attempts inside of 10 feet with a failure rate of 49.4% despite being 7th in 2FG FREQ and attempting the tenth-most 2-point shots of less than 10 feet from the net.
To address the interior scoring drought Yante Maten has the potential to evolve into a style of game similar to Kelly Olynyk as a patient scorer, per his collegiate scouting report.
“Has a solid understanding of where he needs to be, knows when to utilize his size to seal smaller defenders near the hoop and when to force his matchups more towards to the perimeter if they aren’t comfortable away from the hoop…Pretty patient, not likely to force much offense if its not there and is able to draw fouls well…One of the better mid-to-high post players in the 2018 draft class, poses his biggest threat shooting and working to create a shot close to the rim from this area.”
Maten posted a parody of how to prepare for the physical contact inside the paint per his twitter account.
Trainers be like ♂️ tag a trainer ! pic.twitter.com/BBBMlIJd9u— Max. (@maxisnicee) November 26, 2018
Trainers be like tag a trainer !
Maten just turned 22 last August, so with Justise Winslow, Derrick Jones Jr. and Bam Adebayo, Miami has four players 22 years of age and under to develop.
Three of them, namely Maten, Adebayo, Winslow, are 6’7”, 225 lbs and over, which meshes with the Dwyane Wade style of half-court basketball that brought wins in the last two games.
What Maten displayed in college was his scoring touch with a FT% of 0.801, 2P% of 0.493, and 3P% of 0.341 in his senior year in Georgia.
All 30 NBA teams passed on him in the draft due to his limited athletic ability, as described in another scouting report.
Can struggle to score in traffic
Not an elite ball handler
Can struggle against length and athleticism
May struggle to guard quicker players
Not an elite athlete
If Maten can maximize his “rock solid motor” and “prolific scorer” abilities under the guidance of Wade and Olynyk for their preferred slow-paced game, then he may provide the inside scoring Miami so sorely needs to reach the playoffs.
As an aside to illustrate using natural abilities to the fullest, note the insane athletic ability Josh Richardson demonstrates in snagging a crucial rebound.
While both Richardson and Derrick Jones Jr. are lightweights in the paint, their elite wingspans give the Miami Heat a rebounding advantage against some slow-footed NBA behemoths to grab extra possessions.