Tyler Johnson at ease shifting back to natural role

Tyler Johnson transitioned back to his regular role and was key in Miami's win over the Bulls. (Getty Images)
Tyler Johnson transitioned back to his regular role and was key in Miami’s win over the Bulls. (Getty Images)

Tyler Johnson was willing to step into the starting point guard spot with Goran Dragic and Beno Udrih injured, but it pulled him into an unfamiliar role.

With Udrih back for Monday’s game at Chicago, an 89-84 Heat victory, Johnson got back to his regular job sparking the bench. He had been playing 35.3 minutes per game with the other point guards out, but was able to give a more concentrated effort in 27 minutes against the Bulls.

“Not only have we been in different spots, we’re playing extended minutes,” he said. “My big thing is playing with energy, and 40 minutes of kamikaze is hard to maintain. I felt a lot more comfortable today getting back into my role, and with Goran coming back soon and things go back to normal, you’ll see the chemistry come back.

“Sometimes I was getting fatigued, but (tonight) I was able to go in for bursts and come out knowing I had a guy like Beno who can run everything the right way and get everybody in the right spots.”

Udrih’s return also shifted Johnson back to his usual perspective of absorbing the first few minutes of each half from the bench and plotting his strategy.

“I like to sit back and see what’s going on in the game before I get out there, so yeah, getting back to my role definitely helped mentally,” he said.

Johnson hit 3 of 5 shots for six points to go with three assists and three rebounds. Nothing spectacular, but effective. The Heat outscored Chicago by 21 points in his minutes (the best plus-minus on the team), and coach Erik Spoelstra kept him on the court for the final 4:15 with Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng as Miami pulled out the comeback.

[Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade combine for big game, big plays late to beat Chicago Bulls]

[Shorthanded Heat’s mantra: “F— it. Go in there and give them hell.”]

[Miami Heat go from title hopes to just hoping everyone gets healthy and wondering if that’s enough]

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