Diego and I broke down what we can expect from the Heat starters recently and now we’re taking a look at the Heat reserves. With the NBA returning in less than a month, the Heat are prepping for their second training camp of the season. With that in mind, here’s how we’ll think the reserves will fare once the season resumes.
Note: At this moment in time, three Heat players have tested positive for Covid-19 on the Heat roster, the only who has been publicly revealed is Derrick Jones Jr. We prepared our player analysis prior to these tests.
Derrick Jones Jr. Fighting for off-the-bench minutes with Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala, Jones will have a lot to play for when the NBA season resumes. If Crowder or Iguodala hit the corner 3-pointer at a respectable clip in the playoffs, Jones may find himself squeezed out of the rotation. To keep his rotation spot, Jones needs to hit the 3. Miami already has two non-shooters — Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo — who will get a bunch of playing time. — Diego Quezada
Kelly Olynyk: Kelly Olynyk in the playoffs can be a different beast. He is able to turn his game up depending on the game and really make a difference. While he hasn’t had his best season this year, and is averaging his lowest per minute average as a member of the Heat. Olynyk still has the potential to go off when called on. I can’t help but think of this game against Philadelphia the last time Miami was in the playoffs. He carried the Heat in that game, and could have a few of those depending on where the Heat finds itself. - Brandon Di Perno
Goran Dragic: Dragic had a bounce-back year from the injury-riddled 2018-19 season thanks to improved offense. He shot 37.7 percent from 3 on 5.8 attempts per game, a career high. He also made 58.8 percent of his non-post up shots at the rim this season. But he was dismal on defense; according to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR metric, Dragic was Miami’s worst defensive player.
To succeed in the playoffs, Dragic will need to continue to power Miami’s offense. And Erik Spoelstra will need to hide Dragic’s shortcomings on defense — going zone, putting him on the weakest wing, etc. — Diego Quezada
Tyler Herro: Herro hasn’t played since missing fifteen games with an ankle injury, but in recent interviews has stated the he feels “100 percent.” Prior to his injury, Herro was performing as one of the most prolific rookies in the league averaging 12.9 points, 4 rebounds and shooting 39% from three. The Heat excel at floor spacing, and having Herro back should take some of the pressure off Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowder as the Heat’s main three point shooters.
Herro has shown that he’s capable of hitting the big shots, remember the Chicago game?
Judging from earlier int he season, he’s also one of the hardest workers on the team. So here’s hoping that a healthy Tyler will come up big in the postseason when Miami needs him. - Brandon Di Perno
Jae Crowder: Shortly after Miami traded for him, Crowder impressed Heat fans with his 3-point shooting. After shooting 29 percent from deep this season with Memphis, he knocked down 39 percent in 13 games with the Heat — and on more attempts per game. (We should note here: Aside from the 2016-17 season, Crowder has not been a good 3-point shooter.)
But if Crowder continues his hot shooting when the season resumes, he’ll join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as solid two-way players. He’ll relieve Spoelstra of those offense/defense substitutions he made late in games. And the Heat will try to keep him in free agency. — Diego Quezada
Andre Iguodala: Iguodala has been a disappointment so far for the Heat. The former Finals MVP was the most touted part of the Justise Winslow/James Johnson/ trade, but just hasn’t shown enough at this point to merit the deal he’s on. I really like Andre, and think he can be a force (especially on defense) but this season he’s only averaging 4.4 points and 2 rebounds for the Heat, the lowest of his career. Hopefully with his Championship experience he’ll be able to have some big moments in the postseason, because the Heat defense could really use him at his best. - Brandon Di Perno
Chris Silva: After getting consistent backup big minutes early in the season, Silva fell out of the rotation. When the NBA season resumes, Silva will only have his number called in case of injury or foul trouble. If he’s on the court playing non-garbage time minutes, Silva will need to offer bursts of high-energy play. — Diego Quezada
Udonis Haslem: The Real OG. At this stage in his career Udonis’ value isn’t felt on the court, but instead in the locker room. He’s a player coach in all the best ways, and as the only remaining member of all three Heat championship squads, he will be the voice needed to get through this tough situation. I don’t expect Udonis to see the court much, unless there’s a blowout. But there’s zero doubt that the now oldest player in the NBA will be incredibly important in keeping Miami zeroed in and focused on the ultimate goal. - Brandon Di Perno
Gabe Vincent: One of the Heat players on a two-way contract, Vincent may get a crack at entering the rotation next season. If injuries or foul trouble to Miami’s guards — Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro — force Spoelstra to play Vincent, he’ll need to shoot the 3 ball with confidence. — Diego Quezada