The Miami Heat are bringing back 12 of their 15 standard contract players for the new season, and with that a lot of continuity.
That’s a really good thing considering there is no summer league, a shortened training camp and preseason, and obviously for Miami — a shorter off season that any other team in the league besides the L.A. Lakers.
Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson are for sure returning starters for the Heat — and we also expect that Meyers Leonard returns to the starting unit to start the season.
But who is going to start at point guard?
That’s really a question that is in serious doubt. Last year, we were all surprised when Kendrick Nunn started the season at point guard — and he started all 67 games in the regular season that he played in, averaging 15.3 PPG and was the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year Award to Ja Morant.
But then Goran Dragic was named the starter heading into the NBA Playoffs. Nunn struggled in the restart in the Bubble after dealing with COVID-19. Dragic flourished. But as the Heat hit the NBA Finals, Dragic went down and Tyler Herro stepped in. Many believe that once Herro joined the starting unit that he wouldn’t turn back.
Now, Miami has acquired 6’3, 29 year-old guard Avery Bradley to could potentially make a case to join the starting unit as a premier defender. So who’s going to get the nod?
Let’s take a look at each option.
Nunn seems like the safe bet to return to the starters. Why? He has the continuity to starting a whole season alongside this crew — who were very successful. As a rookie he averaged 15.3 PPG, shot 85% from the line and gives the Heat a pick and roll with mid range pull up capabilities the Heat used plenty.
Despite Nunn’s success, he also had some flaws. He shot, a lot for someone who wouldn’t be even your top 3 choice of offense on the floor. And he is a really poor defender and contributed a lot to Miami’s point of attack defensive issues.
Does Nunn make a jump from season one to season two to sure up his weaknesses and be more efficient? Should the 25 year-old carry the burden of the regular season grind for Miami?
I know there are a lot of opinions about Nunn, but I think he brings a good balance to the Heat’s starting unit and I also think he can be better than he was last season.
Dragic is the best player in the group. He was the best player in the first round of the Playoffs, the Heat’s leading scorer in the Playoffs and he’s clutch. He clearly is going to be a closer most nights and he’s Miami. We love him.
But...Dragic was so valuable during the regular season as a balancing act off the bench for Miami. When the Heat turned to the bench, they had someone to go to offensively because of Dragic.
Although he is worthy of starting, and showed that in the Playoffs — I think the grind of the regular season, at age 34, is better suited keeping the minutes in check and providing a spark off the bench. But I’ve been wrong before.
The young rookie balled out in the bubble. He showed great promise, improvement and star potential. There is great value in Miami placing their trust and future in his hands now rather than continuing to bring him off the bench. Herro very well could be the next best thing Miami has to offer.
Herro’s 37 point performance in the Eastern Conference Finals was all the evidence you need to know what he could be capable of down the road...maybe now. the question is do the Heat view him as a point guard?
At 6’5, Herro surely has a nice handle and play making ability...but what about defensively and running an offense? I’m not so sure that’s who he is. He could be, very well could be. Maybe a better question is does it make sense to start Herro over Duncan Robinson? That might be a divisive conversation.
Herro has what you want as far as a point guard with the ball in his hands and he’s going to get better, a lot better. Should they give him the keys now?
Bradley started at the point position for the Lakers most of the regular season when healthy — although starting at point when LeBron James is on your team isn’t too complicated.
Bradley in the starting unit would be a shift in the rotation as it would leave Nunn, Herro and Dragic all coming off the bench — and those guys all averaged 27+ minutes per games last year. But he would sure up Miami’s point of attack defense. This issue caused the Heat to go zone more than they would like — and playing zone with Leonard isn’t doable.
But Bradley would come with some limitations. He’s not a play maker. So all the ball handling and play making would fall solely to Jimmy Butler and the constant movement from Duncan Robinson.
In fact, Bradley in the starting unit would cause some clogs the Heat do not want. A 36% three-point shooter won’t demand the type of close-outs you want (Nunn isn’t any better). But he may be better served as a complimentary piece when needed.
I think there is plenty of debate here that can happen. But my personal choice is going to be to go with Tyler Herro at the point. I think Nunn is a safe choice and one I would still respect, but I am ready to watch the bucket begin to flourish before our eyes.
What do you think?
Who should start at Point Guard for the Miami Heat?
This poll is closed