Their fi fth rookie, guard Kendrick Nunn, was signed by the club
on the fi nal day of the 2019 season.
“I’m defi nitely a shooter,” Herro said following his selection in
the draft. “I think I can play in pick-and-rolls. I can create a little
bit more than people think. Offensively, I think I’m defi nitely a
complete player on that side with a lot of things to, obviously,
improve on. But I think I’m much more than a shooter.”
These young newcomers joined a talented core that features
Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk,
Derrick Jones Jr., Duncan Robinson, James Johnson, Dion Waiters,
and Udonis Haslem, who is in his franchise-record 17th season
with the club.
Miami’s rotation features a bevy of perimeter marksmen
and versatile defenders to provide the club with a balance of
offensive and defensive effi ciency that will be necessary in an
increasingly analytics-driven and perimeter-oriented league.
Furthermore, players such as Butler, Winslow, Nunn, Dragic,
and even big men like Adebayo and Olynyk will be tasked
with bringing the ball up court and initiating the offense.
This egalitarian system is contingent on sharing the ball
and letting outside shots fl y, something the club feels it is
equipped to do.
“The guys are unselfi sh,” HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“It starts with your best players subscribing to that. And they’re
having fun sharing the ball and enjoying somebody else scoring.
That’s really diffi cult to get to in this league.”
Perhaps the biggest key to unlocking Miami’s passing and
defensive potential will be Adebayo, the third-year big man out
of Kentucky. Adebayo spent the fi rst half of last season coming
off the bench, but was awarded the starting center position in
late February and put up averages of 11.6 points, 9.2 rebounds,
3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game over 22 starts.
Now as the full-time starter, Bam is expected to make an even
bigger leap with his ability to read defenses on the mid-post
and use his uncommon lateral quickness and athleticism to
guard just about any kind of player.
“The perfect word for Bam Adebayo is dynamic,” HEAT center
Meyers Leonard told Sports Illustrated. “He does everything we
could possibly ask of him.”
“Offensively, we’re running the offense through Adebayo
more and more,” Spoelstra said. “We started that process
last year, but the last three months of the season, he’s really
improved his playmaking and his passing. ...It seems like every
month I can give him something more on his plate and he’s
been able to take on all of that.”
With an Eastern Conference that has seen a reshuffl ing of
stars, there’s plenty of reason to believe Miami will be in the
heart of the chase. They now have a deep, youthful roster
centered around a proven star with the blue-collar attitude to
do whatever it takes to secure victories.
“We’ve got some dogs,” Butler said. “We’ve got some
guys that have something to prove every single day.
Not just in a game, but out here in practice. Guys that
are competing, not scared of anybody in a HEAT jersey,
not scared of anybody that’s not in a HEAT jersey.
That’s what I love about it. You know each and every
day, each and every game, we’re going to fi ght, man.
And I’m proud of that. I’m happy about that.”