Miami Heat managed to keep their youngsters and potentially have enough cap space to chase Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021. Would he fit though?
An All-Star trio of Antetokoumpo, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler would have name recognition, but space the floor from A to B like the power rotation of the New York Knicks. Last night the Houston Rockets defeated the twin towers of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, with a 6’7” squad under the guidance of Mike D’Antoni.
How should Miami build around their incumbent All-Star duo of Adebayo and Butler going forward? That’s something for Heat brain trust of Erik Spoelstra, Shane Battier, Pat Riley and Andre Iguodala to figure out. Dre may seem like an odd strategist, but he experienced doing small ball the right way with the Golden State Warriors.
Who does Miami currently have to space the floor? Players with over 35% 3P% numbers include Duncan Robinson 43%, Meyers Leonard 43%, Kelly Olynyk 40%, Goran Dragic 39%, Tyler Herro 39%, Solomon Hill 38%, Kendrick Nunn 36%, and two-way player Gabe Vincent 44% in G-League.
Of the players above Olynyk has the tools for being a deep threat, but he pump faked himself out of the Boston Celtics rotation which drove Brad Stevens crazy. In a hungermania interview Olynyk said his alter ego is artifice, i.e. someone who is clever, cunning and deceiving. On the basketball court Olynyk’s artifice character becomes like the running back in the NFL who gets pounded by help defenders as he tries to dazzle his primary defender with fancy footwork. Too much wasted motion can be deadly.
Same thing happens to Herro who hasn’t learned yet that NBA defenders are much quicker than his college opponents. Time and again Herro gets smothered for a figurative ten-yard loss by professional NBA defenders who are smarter and faster than him.
As Chris Paul motions, cut out the grandstand celebrations, because there’s work to be done.
As the chase for Antetokoumpo intensifies the Heat have a job to do for the rest of the season. Identify which players on the team will dedicate themselves to best space the court for Miami’s All-Star duo. No artifice needed, plus Zach Lowe writes Miami may have already traded its way into the title chase, even without Rooks 1 & 2.