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How Josh Richardson’s game changed from dunking to jump-shooting

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Richardson partial MCL tear in 2016 changed his scoring style since that injury.

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

Per reports at the time, in the summer of 2016 Josh Richardson suffered a partial MCL tear during an summer workout after his rookie season with the Miami Heat.

“Josh Richardson may miss the start of the season for the Miami Heat, after the second-year shooting guard partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during an offseason workout Friday.”

In the loss to the Orlando Magic Richardson went to the basket for a dunk but seemingly couldn’t get the necessary lift to finish it off.

In his rookie season he had no problems taking off from the launching pad for explosive dunks.

Not being a doctor, I don’t know how the toll from such an injury eventually plays out in the NBA. Kevin Pelton dissects performances of players since their ACL injuries, as he evaluated the situation for the New York Knicks after Kristaps Porzingis landed awkwardly during a game.

Pelton concludes some players, such as Jamal Crawford, accordingly adjust their games for long and successful NBA careers, though Pelton notes Crawford is the exception rather than the rule.

JRich’s defense has always been top-notch, and this season he’s significantly improved his mid-range game for extra scoring punch. Perhaps Josh is gradually morphing into a finisher like Goran Dragic, who famously doesn’t dunk, but nonetheless earned an All-Star nod.

Richardson highlight plays from this Tennessee days shows his scoring versatility even way back then: a little bit of the Dragic “iron shoulder” at first and then does that right to left layup look familiar to Heat fans?

Another clip shows he’s been doing finger rolls for years.