Tyler Johnson’s Heat teammates help him refocus and not mope about missing shots

 

 

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez tries to block a shot by Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson during the Heat's win Friday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez tries to block a shot by Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson during the Heat’s win Friday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK – Tyler Johnson needed a hug, and a wake up call.

He got it from his teammates.

The Heat’s guard has been slumping lately, unable to find a rhythm from outside and even failing to convert near the basket on puts backs and drives.

And Johnson’s body language painted the picture of a player in a funk early in Miami’s 108-99 win at Brooklyn on Friday.

“I’ve been a little bit frustrated over the last couple of games just not making shots,” Johnson said. “They made me understand that, of course I score, but that’s not what I do anyway. I’m a player that can affect a game in many different ways. They made sure I got back to that because I was starting to get back to that just focusing on how poorly I was shooting it.”

So after starting making just three of his first 11 shots, Johnson made the shot that pulled the Heat back into a tie with 23 seconds remaining, their first since early in the second quarter on an offensive rebound and put back.

The basket seemed to light a fire. Johnson was aggressive and all over the floor in the fourth quarter. He played all 12 minutes and scored six points on 2-of-4 shooting as Miami held off the Nets for its 13th consecutive win. He finished with 18 points.

“There’s ups and downs in this game,” Johnson said. “I’m lucky to have good teammates to come in and put me back in my place.”

Johnson’s slump actually dates back six games, or since returning from a five-game absence because of a shoulder injury.

During that stretch he is shooting .349 (22-of-63) and just .133 (2-of-15) on 3s. In the first 40 games he was shooting .431 and .379 from distance.

To his credit, though, Johnson is not even thinking about using rust as an excuse.

“The shot’s not falling,” he said. “I missed some chippies. I think every player goes through that in the league. A lot of guys make excuses for it. Mentally I got to stay in it and my teammates do a great job of making sure we’re all grounded and we understand it’s bigger than whether we’re making or missing shot.”

[Marcus Georges-Hunt should fit right in with the Heat: ‘My main focus is defense’]

[A look at some of the Miami Heat’s most valuable trade chips as trade deadline nears]

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Could endless turmoil in Chicago be pushing Wade (and Butler) closer to the Heat?

 

 

The drama continues to mount for the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
The drama continues to mount for the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS – Dwyane Wade’s homecoming has not been all warm and fuzzy like he expected.

Wade and Jimmy Butler ripping their teammates’ effort and desire; a scathing rebuttal by Rajon Rondo questioning Wade’s and Butler’s leadership; a city that really hasn’t embraced their native son like many believed; a below-.500 (25-26) record; and now this – reports that Butler believes assistant coach Randy Brown is a management mole in the locker room.

Now the question: Is all the drama, the bickering, the accusations, pushing Wade (and possibly Butler) closer to Miami?

The latest: According to a report last week in the Chicago Sun-Times, Butler told teammates not to criticize management in front of assistant coach Randy Brown suggesting that Brown was acting as a spy for general manager Gar Forman and snitching on players. His reports would help the Bulls build cases against their players during contract negotiations.

And although on the day after he and Butler threw every one of their teammates under the bus Wade insisted he would not change his decision – “Since I’ve come here, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been happy,” he said – many remain skeptical.

[With Okaro White, Derrick Williams on team plane to Minnesota, Heat must make move by Monday]

[Hassan Whiteside continues ‘building’ in first season as NBA max-contract player]

[With Miami Heat back in the playoff race, team takes ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ mantra on the road]

Last summer, Wade bolted Miami after 13 seasons, signing a two-year, $47 million contract that includes a player option of $23.8 million for the 2017-18 season. Wade already said he would consider walking away from that option if the Bulls decide to tear it down and start over and many believe the organization is  hoping he does to free up that money.

The one thing that would virtually guarantee Wade does not return is if the Bulls trade Butler.

And Butler’s latest claim could push management closer to moving the player that they decided to build around last summer.

The 6-foot-7 Butler is an elite small forward in the league and will be starting the All-Star game in New Orleans in less than two weeks. But he has developed a reputation as a Diva and a meddler into management’s business. If the Bulls are inclined to blow it up you know Pat Riley and the Heat will at least kick the tires on a deal. And if Miami somehow acquired Butler, Wade certainly would look to return considering how close he and Butler have become.

But so much has changed in the last three weeks for the Heat. Miami (21-30) enters tonight game at Minnesota having won 10 in a row and just two games out of a playoff spot. And one of the biggest reasons is the play of Dion Waiters, the man signed late in the free agency game last summer with the sole purpose of replacing Wade.

Waiters has been one of the best two guards in the league of late, seemingly turning the corner offensively while continuing to excel defensively. And he was rewarded a week ago by being named the Eastern Conference player of the week. Now it’s starting to look like Waiters, at 25 and 10 years younger than Wade, just might be a much better option to sign long term than giving Wade a couple of years or signing any other of the available wings from what will be a mediocre free-agent class.

During the winning streak Waiters is averaging 21.5 points, 4.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field and 53 percent on 3s.

During the same span Wade is averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 43 percent, 25 percent on 3s.

And acquiring Butler and signing Wade likely would require the Heat using about $33 million of their projected $40 to $55 million in cap space (the latter number of Miami trades Goran Dragic), including $18.7 million for Butler, who is in the second year of a $92.3 million contract.

So who is the better option for the Heat next season at shooting guard? Waiters or Wade?

And would Heat fans like to see the Heat go after Butler?

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The NBA will name the All-Star Game reserves today; but first our picks

 

all-star-weekend-new-orleans-2017

The NBA revealed the 10 starters for the All-Star Game a week ago and today the league will fill out the rosters by naming seven reserves from each side.

Our Miami Heat beat writers, Anthony Chiang and Tom D’Angelo gave you their picks for the starters a week ago and now they list the seven players from each conference who they believe should round out the rosters for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans.

First here are the starters as voted in by a combination of the fans, players and media:

Eastern Conference – Guards: DeMar DeRozan, Raptors; Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers. Frontcourt: LeBron James, Cavaliers; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks; Jimmy Butler, Bulls.

Western Conference – Guards: Stephen Curry, Warriors; James Harden Rockets. Forwards: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs; Kevin Durant, Warriors; Anthony Davis, Pelicans.

Tom’s All-Star reserves …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics guard: The biggest snub among the starters in the East, Thomas is second in the league in scoring and on an amazing run averaging 34.2 ppg and on 40 percent  shooting his last 11 games. Oh, and he is 5-9. This is a no-brainer.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors guard: Another easy choice. Although DeRozan leads Toronto in scoring, he takes more than six more shots per game than Lowry. And Lowry leads in assists and steals.

John Wall, Wizards guard: Wall has been an All-Star the last three years and he is having his best season with career highs in points (23.1) and steals while still averaging around 10 assists.

Kemba Walker, Hornets guard: Walker is having his breakout year with 23 points per game and he has the Hornets once again in playoff contention. He deserves to finally break through and be an All-Star.

Kevin Love, Cavaliers frontcourt: Love was not chosen his first two years in Cleveland, but understandably as it took time for him to get comfortable. But his numbers are on the rise this year and he is one of five players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Paul George, Pacers frontcourt:  The Pacers have been a disappointment but George continues to thrive in the second stage of his NBA career since returning from his broken leg. He is one of four players averaging at least 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals.

Joel Embid, 76ers frontcourt: The toughest choice with the Hawks’ Paul Millsap and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside in the mix. But Embid has been a great comeback story and is carrying the 76ers up the standings lately. He is on the verge of becoming a true star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Russell Westbrook, Thunder guard: This pick requires no explanation. The man averaging a triple-double and having one of the transcendental seasons of all time should be a starter.

Klay Thompson, Warriors guard: Thompson had a rough start trying to figure out out his role with Kevin Durant in the mix but he has adapted nicely and now is back to the player he has been the last two years starting with a 60-point game in early December.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers guard: Lillard was snubbed last year and responded by having a great second half. He is averaging 26 points and six assists. Don’t let it happen again.

DeMarcus Cousins Kings frontcourt: One of the game’s more puzzling players. Cousins has all the talent in the world but continually shows his immaturity. Still, he and Anthony Davis are the only two averaging at least 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies frontcourt: In his ninth NBA season, Gasol is thriving under first-year coach David Fizdale. He is averaging more than 20 points per game while grabbing about six rebounds and Memphis firmly is in the playoff picture, bunched in that fifth through seventh spot.

Gordon Hayward, Jazz frontcourt: Hayward is having a breakout season and is going to cash in this summer with a mega-bucks contract. But first he’s in line to make his first All-Star game. He will have competition for one of the frontcourt spots from teammate Rudy Gobert.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves frontcourt: My toughest pick in the West with Gobert and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan also deserving. But Towns is a double-double machine, trailing only Harden and Westbrook, and should start a long-run of being selected to the All-Star Game.

Anthony’s All-Star reserves …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

John Wall, Wizards guard: Washington has won nine of its past 11 games and is currently in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Wall is a big reason for the Wizards’ success this season, averaging a career-high 23.1 points on a career-best 46.4 percent shooting.

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics guard: Many believe Thomas should have been voted into the All-Star game as a starter. The 5-foot-9 Thomas is having a career season, leading the Eastern Conference in scoring with 28.9 points per game.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors guard: Among all NBA guards averaging 20 or more points per game, Lowry ranks sixth in field goal percentage at 46.7 percent. The 30-year-old is also shooting a career-best 42.2 percent from 3-point range.

Paul George, Pacers frontcourt: George is one of four players in the NBA averaging 20 or more points on 45 percent or better shooting from the field, 38 percent or better shooting from 3-point land, and 90 percent or better shooting from the free throw line.

Kevin Love, Cavaliers frontcourt: This is Love’s best season in a Cavaliers uniform, as he’s averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Love hasn’t finished a season averaging a double-double since his final season with Minnesota in 2013-14.

Hassan Whiteside, Heat frontcourt: I know Miami is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but it’s hard to ignore the season Whiteside is having. The Heat’s $98 million center is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Paul Millsap, Hawks frontcourt: Atlanta is currently the fourth-best team, record-wise, in the Eastern Conference and Millsap is leading the way. He’s averaging a team-high 17.9 points to go with 8.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists this season.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Russell Westbrook, Thunder guard: It’s pretty amazing that Westbrook was not voted in as a starter. He’s averaging a triple-double. A TRIPLE-DOUBLE! On top of averaging a triple-double, he leads the NBA with 30.8 points per game.

Klay Thompson, Warriors guard: Even with the addition of Kevin Durant, Thompson has still found a way to be super productive. He’s averaging 21.1 points and shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range, while also serving as one of the most reliable perimeter defenders on Golden State’s roster.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers guard: The 26-year-old is putting together the best season of his NBA career, averaging a career-high 26.2 points on a career-best 44.5 percent shooting. He’s already scored 30 or more points in 14 games this season.

Gordon Hayward, Jazz frontcourt: Hayward’s career season paired with the Jazz’s success should get him into the All-Star game. The 26-year-old is averaging a career-high 21.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting and 39.9 percent from three.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings frontcourt: Cousins is averaging a career-high 28 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.4 percent shooting from 3-point land to go with 10.3 rebounds this season. Yes, he can be an issue off the court at times, but he’s an All-Star on the court.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves frontcourt: At 21 years old, it’s amazing how good Towns is already. He’s averaging 22.4 points, 11.9 rebounds and three assists per game in his second NBA season. Get this man to the All-Star game.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies frontcourt: Gasol has already earned two All-Star Game appearances over his NBA career. He should get his third trip this season, as he’s averaging a career-high 20.1 points and 4.2 assists per game.

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One national host calls Heat ‘a mess’ and ‘irrelevant,’ doubts they can rebuild quickly

 

Has LeBron James ruined the Heat because of his friendship with Dwyane Wade?
Has LeBron James ruined the Heat because of his friendship with Dwyane Wade?

Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd’s week got off to a rough start with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney calling him a fraud.

Now, the Miami Heat one day hope to echo Swinney’s statements.

Swinney was reacting to Cowherd saying Clemson was a fraud and was going to “get their ears boxed by whoever they play” in the postseason. After defeating Alabama in the national championship game, Swinney said, “the only fraud is that guy (Cowherd) because he didn’t do his homework. I hope ya’ll print that.”

With the Clemson thing not working out so well, Cowherd now is taking aim at the Heat.

Speaking on his show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1, Cowherd called the 11-29 Heat “a mess” and “irrelevant” and doubts they can rebuild in quick order.

And he blamed (credited?) LeBron James.

“Miami now is a mess,” Cowherd said. “That rebuild is going to take some time even with Miami. …

“LeBron has ruined the Miami Heat. They’re terrible now. They’re irrelevant.”

Cowherd was trying to make a point that LeBron is the greatest player ever because of his influence on other players and the way teams have “just collapsed” after he departed.

“This is why LeBron to me, big picture is greater than (Michael) Jordan,” he said. “When LeBron left Miami with Pat Riley he is so respected by players on business matters and your brand. … That he was able to get in D-Wade’s ear and chirp and chirp and say, ‘you do not take a pay cut.’

“And even for a smart player like Wade, LeBron had influence.”

The friendship between Wade and James is undeniable. The two were vacationing together last summer during much of the free agent frenzy. And it would be foolish to believe the two did not have discussions about all the wheeling and dealing going on while they were riding banana boats in Ibiza.

But anything James said to Wade surely was self-serving. If James was attempting to steer Wade away from Miami, it was to join him in Cleveland. Wade eventually signed with his hometown team, the Bulls, for two-years and $47 million, turning down Miami’s two-year, $40 million offer.

And if James was in Wade’s ear about not taking a pay cut, he surely would have pushed his buddy into taking less money to sign with the Cavaliers.

[Stat of the Week: Miami Heat’s core five effective when on court together this season]

[Pat Riley is starting to take inventory on who can help the Miami Heat moving forward, we breakdown his options]

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Tyler Johnson, at least for now, is earning his big contract with Heat

Tyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson

One of the biggest stories of the Miami Heat offseason revolved around Miami’s decision to match the Brooklyn Nets’ four-year, $50 million dollar offer sheet to guard Tyler Johnson.

Johnson, who had started only seven games and appeared in 68 over his first two NBA seasons, drew the attention of several teams as a restricted free agent, forcing the Heat to be proactive in their desire to retain him. The 24-year-old had averaged 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game over those two years, causing some to question whether Johnson can live up to the value of his large contract.

In the first year of his new deal, Johnson is earning his $5.6 million salary, particularly when his statistics are viewed alongside players that are making the same (or a similar) salary. This season, the former Fresno State star has appeared in 37 games, averaging 31 minutes per contest. Despite having yet to start a game, Johnson has seen a sizable improvement in several statistical categories. His per-game scoring average has jumped from 8.7 in his sophomore season to 13.9 this year, a jump of 5.2. Johnson has also increased his rebounding, jumping from 3.0 boards to 4.5, and his 3.2 assists this season represent a one-assist-a-game improvement from the previous year.

Johnson’s advanced statistics also indicate that the third-year guard is making major strides. Despite a nearly five-percent drop from his 57.9 percent true-shooting percentage in 2015-16 and a drop in offensive rebound percentage, Johnson has improved in nearly every other category. He has seen an increase from 13.8 to 16 in PER, from 7.2 to 7.9 in rebound percentage, 13.9 to 16.5 in assist percentage, 2.0 to 2.9 in overall win shares and has also cut his turnover percentage in half, dropping from 14.8 in 2015-16 to 7.4 this season.

Two players in the league currently make the same amount of money as Tyler Johnson, Jared Sullinger of the Toronto Raptors and Wesley Johnson of the Los Angeles Clippers. Sullinger, who is the same age as Tyler Johnson, has yet to play this season after having surgery on his foot. Johnson, on the other hand, has started three of the 34 games he has appeared in for the Clippers and is averaging 3.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in 13.4 minutes, all numbers that significantly trail Tyler Johnson’s totals. He also trails Miami’s guard in PER, true shooting percentage, turnover percentage, win shares, assist percentage and steal percentage.

Two other notable NBA veterans, Tony Allen from the Grizzlies and Nick Young of the Lakers, make just under what Tyler Johnson is making this season. Johnson’s numbers compare favorably to both Allen’s and Young’s season statistics, with Johnson sporting a higher PER than both players.

In an effort to dissuade Miami from matching Brooklyn’s contract offer, Johnson’s contract was constructed under the league’s “poison pill” provision, meaning that his salary will jump to a staggering $18.9 million in the third year of the deal, and $19.6 million the following season. NBA players with similar annual salaries include Paul Millsap, Ryan Anderson, Allen Crabbe, Paul George and Luol Deng. Though it is hard to envision Johnson producing at the same rate as George or Millsap, the case can be made that he is already outperforming Anderson, Crabbe and Deng.

With clear signs of improvement and the potential for an expanded role in the future, early returns indicate that Miami, at least for two seasons, will get good value out of Tyler Johnson’s contract.

Dwyane Wade returns to Miami: What we wrote about his departure when he left

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls looks to the scoreboard during the first half of a game against the Boston Celtics at the United Center on October 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls looks to the scoreboard during the first half of a game against the Boston Celtics at the United Center on October 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

We compiled the story below when Dwyane Wade first returned to Miami as a member of the Chicago Bulls in November of 2016. Today, it’s being reported that he’s coming back to South Florida full time.

We’ll have more shortly on the Heat’s latest move to bring Wade back. But for those of you who enjoyed the first go-round, here’s a trip down memory lane.


He’s back.

Well, at least for one night.

Dwyane Wade is set to return with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night to the city he played in for the first 13 years of his illustrious career. And the Heat will be ready.

But as part of the celebration-to-be, we thought it would be useful to look back at the stories we wrote about Wade’s departure over the summer.

Take a look back with us, won’t you?

How will Dwyane Wade be received by Miami Heat fans Thursday night?
(Nov. 10, 2016)

Miami Heat say key to stopping Dwyane Wade is keeping him out of paint
(Nov. 10, 2016)

Dwyane Wade says he has not spoken to Pat Riley ‘since the season ended’
(Nov. 9, 2016)

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat looking forward to Thursday’s reunion
(Nov. 8, 2016)

Dwyane Wade tracker: How is Wade playing as he prepares to make return to Miami?
(Nov. 8, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s former trainer believes he “will finish his career in Miami”
(Oct. 26, 2016)

Pat Riley says Dwyane Wade exit was his fault
(July 16, 2016)

Heat’s full-page Dwyane Wade ad in today’s Palm Beach Post
(July 8, 2016)

When Dwyane Wade joined Miami Heat, South Florida sports scene was much different
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat not the only messy breakup in South Florida sports history
(July 7, 2016)

Five of Dwyane Wade’s greatest plays for the Miami Heat
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade: By the numbers
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s letter to Heat fans: ‘It has been truly incredible’
(July 7, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s top five Miami Heat highlights
(July 6, 2016)

Dwyane Wade leaving Heat for Chicago Bulls
(July 6, 2016)

Dwyane Wade’s former trainer believes he “will finish his career in Miami”

(Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade (Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade has yet to suit up for his first regular-season game with the Chicago Bulls, but that hasn’t stopped the conversations over where Wade will ultimately end his career.

This summer, after spending 13 years as a fixture in Miami, Wade headed north to join Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler on his hometown team in Chicago. The move was shocking to a South Florida sports community that had become accustomed to seeing the regular cat-and-mouse games that were Wade and the Heat’s contract negotiations be resolved in due time.

Following his departure, several reports cited an erosion in the relationship between Pat Riley and Wade, a claim that, regardless of truth, both parties have been diplomatic about.

Wade raised some eyebrows last week when he declined the opportunity to close the door on a Miami Heat return, telling Sports Illustrated that “anything is possible.”

Wade’s former trainer, Tim Grover, fueled further speculation about an eventual reunion for Wade and the Heat while making an appearance on FS1’s “UNDISPUTED” on Oct. 19.

While discussing several NBA topics with Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless, Grover expressed his belief that Wade will end up coming back to the Heat. Grover made it clear that he hasn’t had any discussions with Wade or Riley, but stated that he has “a gut feeling” that Wade “will finish his career in Miami.”

He went on to mention that he expects Wade to be successful in Chicago and that Wade is “not looking to be the man” on his new team, a sentiment that Wade has echoed.

While Heat fans are undoubtedly a long way from even potentially seeing Wade return, little has been said this offseason to dampen their optimism.

Heat look at trip to Houston to avoid Hurricane Matthew as ‘extended training camp’

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra looks on during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra looks on during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Hurricane Matthew changed the Heat’s travel plans, but it didn’t change their practice schedule.

After flying back to Miami following Tuesday night’s win over the Wizards to open the preseason, the Heat got back on a plane just a few hours later and flew to Houston on Wednesday evening to escape the potential effects of Hurricane Matthew. The Heat held two days of practices, which were previously scheduled to take place in Miami, at the Rockets’ facility Thursday and Friday in advance of Saturday’s preseason game against the Timberwolves in Kansas City. Continue reading “Heat look at trip to Houston to avoid Hurricane Matthew as ‘extended training camp’”

Beno Udrih reveals why he accepted buyout from Miami Heat last season

Beno Udrih #19 of the Miami Heat drives on Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Beno Udrih #19 of the Miami Heat drives on Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NASSAU, Bahamas — Beno Udrih did the Heat a favor last season.

After suffering a season-ending foot injury that required surgery, Udrih accepted a contract buyout from the Heat in February to keep Miami from paying the luxury tax after Joe Johnson was signed. Udrih gave up a portion of his $2.17 million contract to accept the buyout and seemingly had little incentive to accept the buyout, outside of helping the Heat with their tax situation.

The point guard revealed the backstory of the buyout after Wednesday morning’s practice. Continue reading “Beno Udrih reveals why he accepted buyout from Miami Heat last season”

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson enters next phase of recovery from knee injury

Josh Richardson (Getty Images)
Josh Richardson (Getty Images)

MIAMI — Josh Richardson is making progress.

The 23-year-old guard suffered a partially torn MCL in his right knee in a voluntary workout on Sept. 9 and said he expected the injury to keep him out for six to eight weeks. Richardson is now entering the next phase of his recovery, as he had his knee brace removed Friday just in time to travel to Knoxville to watch Tennessee, his alma mater, defeat the Gators on Saturday. Continue reading “Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson enters next phase of recovery from knee injury”