Although the Miami Heat mostly stayed pat from their 2019-20 team, they added veterans Avery Bradley and Moe Harkless and lost Jae Crowder. And two days into the Heat’s training camp, Erik Spoelstra is happy with both additions.
NEW: A fresh Heat 6-pack, including what Spoelstra has noticed so far about Precious, Bradley, Harkless, Tyree and Eboua. PLUS good Spo insight on his staff, news on mid-level exception, arena name, familiar Heat names looking for work, more: https://t.co/XuVBvtNNut— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 7, 2020
Spoelstra called Bradley’s on-ball defense “incredible” and said that the 30-year-old will make Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn “better with his intensity.” Bradley’s arrival makes Spoelstra’s guard rotation a bit more difficult to square. If Goran Dragic will return to the sixth man role from the regular season, who will get the starting job — Herro, Nunn or Bradley? Could Nunn find himself out of the rotation?
As for Harkless, he has big shoes to fill after the loss of Crowder. One of Crowder’s most valuable skills with Miami was his ability to guard up and defend fours, most notably Giannis Antetokounmpo. Can Harkless do the same? If not, will that force Jimmy Butler to play the four come playoff time?
On the offensive side of the floor, Harkless has never attempted 3-pointers at a high volume. Crowder attempted more than six 3s per game in his 20 regular season outings with the Heat. In the playoffs, that went up to 7.7 attempts from deep a night. By contrast, Harkless’ career high in 3-point attempts is 2.5 during the 2016-17 season.
Spoelstra said that Harkless will be open a lot and that he wants him to shoot with confidence.
Erik Spoelstra on Maurice Harkless 3-point attempts, "He's a really good shooter. Just in our couple weeks he's been here in town . . . his shooting numbers have been great." Adds, "He'll find himself open a lot and we want him to shoot those shots with confidence."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 7, 2020
It’s also worth noting that Spoelstra similarly encouraged Crowder to shoot more 3s, even saying he’d like him to shoot contested ones from 25 feet out.