Air Jordan: Heat big man Jordan Mickey stays ready, it pays off against Hornets

 

Miami Heat’s Jordan Mickey dunks on Charlotte Hornets’ Frank Kaminsky during Miami’s victory Friday in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Wayne Ellington couldn’t wait for the question from Fox Sports Florida’s Jason Jackson.

“And I want to say something about Jordan Mickey,” Ellington said while talking about the contributions of the Miami Heat bench during Friday’s win at Charlotte.

“How often do we see him in a game. … and he’s ready. That’s the ultimate compliment and that’s a pure professional right there to not play and then all of a sudden you get into a game and you contribute the way he did.”

With Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo in foul trouble, Mickey entered the game with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter. The 6-foot-8 big man had played in just six games this season, including a total of 17 minutes since starting two games the first week of the season.

Mickey remained on the floor for the rest of the half, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds an assist and a steal in 15:38 while shooting 4-of-6. Olynyk and Adebayo picked up one foul each the final three quarters so Mickey did not return. But his contribution was not overlooked.

Coach Erik Spoelstra called the 23-year-old a “Miami Heat type guy.”

“Behind the scenes only us have seen it,” Spoelstra said. “That’s a big-time credit to Jordan Mickey and his character. He develops, he works, all I see behind the scenes is him spending so much time with Juwan Howard and working on skill development, working on understanding our system, staying in unbelievable shape.”

Spoelstra said Mickey’s conditioning peaked this week.

“All of his testing has been phenomenal. That’s what you want in your young players. You never know when you’re going to get an opportunity. Sometimes it’s weeks. But when you do get your opportunity you have to make the most of it. And he was prepared.”

Mickey, Olynyk and Adebayo gave the Heat a solid center rotation (although Olynyk and Adebayo were on the court together for more than seven minutes of the second half) with Hassan Whiteside still nursing a bruised left knee. The three combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds on 13-of-21 shooting, more than enough to offset Dwight Howard and the Hornets’ big men. Howard finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Mickey credited Heat coaches for the time they spend with him during practice.

“I’ve been doing stuff off the court, running with the strength and conditioning coach, trying to stay ready, just stay in shape for this opportunity,” he said following the game. “It all paid off today.

“Everything is different than game reps. But they do a great job of trying to simulate it when I work out with other players.”

Mickey knew once Adebayo picked up his second foul – after replacing Olynyk who was whistled for two quick ones – his time was coming.

“When both of them got in foul trouble usually it’s going to be me or Udonis (Haslem). He called my name,” Mickey said. “I have the mindset to always be ready. It paid off. My teammates fed confidence into me. They trusted me they got me some pretty good looks I played defense, so I’m happy.”

[Should Heat make a play for Paul George if Thunder blow up their Big Three?]

[MRI on Justise Winslow’s left knee negative, Heat  confirm; no timetable on return]

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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Chris Bosh: ‘It’s strange. You see him and it’s like you go back to 2012 just like that’

Chris Bosh and his wife, Adrienne, at the Heat’s game Saturday in Mexico City. (Photo Adrienne Bosh Twitter)

MEXICO CITY – For one night it was like old times for Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat.

Bosh, in Mexico City for the NBA games on a promotional tour with Marriott, embraced his former coach, Erik Spoelstra, before the Heat’s 101-89 victory over the Nets; was introduced as a Miami Heat legend during the game and following the game he video-bombed the postgame interview between Fox Sports Florida’s Jason Jackson and the Heat’s Justise Winslow.

Spoelstra, who said he keeps in contact with Bosh, appeared touched by the moment.

“He looks good,” Spoelstra said. “His family, his kids are doing well. I love CB. He’s Heat family for life but man it’s strange. You see him and it’s like you go back to 2012 just like that. You realize how fast times goes by in this league.”

Bosh received a loud ovation from the crowd of 19,777 at Arena Cuidad de Mexico Saturday when he was introduced along with Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice.

The Heat waived Bosh, 33, on July 4, after an NBA doctor ruled in the Heat’s favor and agreed with the organization’s belief that Bosh’s blood clot issues are considered a career-ending illness. The move cleared his contract from the Heat’s salary cap.

But Bosh, who has not played a game since Feb. 9, 2016, recently said on a podcast he is not ready to close the door on his NBA career just yet.

“That’s still there in front of me,” Bosh said on The Full 48 podcast. “The window is still open. Once I close the doors, it’s closed. I don’t open it back up. That’s kind of me as a human being. That’s just one of the things about me. … But yeah, for me, I don’t close anything until I’m officially done. So until that day, I will definitely let everybody know when that day comes, if it comes soon.

“I’m still, of course, work out and everything. I’m still doing work on the court. That’s very important to me. I’m still keeping my options open for the future. I know a lot of people don’t know that, but don’t write me off just yet.”

[Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says strong NBA presence in Mexico City led to academy coming to country]

[Video: After three days in Mexico City, Miami Heat looking for a high as road trip continues]

[Miami Heat balancing mixing business with pleasure in Mexico City]

 

The Miami Heat’s streak is historic, even if they don’t want to talk about it

Miami's Wayne Ellington (L) and Dion Waiters celebrate a victory in Brooklyn during the Heat's winning streak. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miami’s Wayne Ellington (L) and Dion Waiters celebrate a victory in Brooklyn during the Heat’s winning streak. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – It’s pretty hard to believe that the subject of an historic winning streak is not being discussed in the Miami Heat locker room.

Miami has won 12 straight following Wednesday’s relatively easy 106-88 victory at the reeling Bucks, surpassing by one game its win total in the first 41 games.

Additionally, the winning streak equals the third longest in team history, matches the longest in the NBA this season and sets the all-time NBA record for the longest winning streak for a team still holding a losing record.

To further the point: In the four-year history of the Big Three, just one time did Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh put together a winning streak better than the one in a year in which the Heat are ‘rebuilding,’ although that was a doozy, 27 in a row in 2012-13 season.

The Heat (23-30) have gone from having the second best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the draft to two games out of the final playoff spot and just three games behind No. 7 seed Chicago. They look to extend the streak Friday in Brooklyn.

Still, from Erik Spoelstra – who would not bite on a question from Jason Jackson on Fox Sports Sun after the win in Milwaukee insisting he finally has to acknowledge the streak in some fashion – to the players, everyone has gotten the memo.

“I’m not going to talk about the streak,” Spoelstra said, adding that maybe the media can get his players to talk about it but knowing full well he has taught them well.

So, we tried. … and failed.

James Johnson was asked if at least the team was taking some sense of pride in the streak. Basically he said: Don’t go there.

“I don’t think so, I honestly don’t,” he said. “We didn’t think about it when we were losing. We kept on working, we kept on plugging away. Our offense and defense was trending in the right direction at that time. And (even though) we were winning our offense was getting better and our defense was getting better.

“We have a lot more details to cover and a lot more to get better at instead of worrying about a win streak.”

Next up. … Rodney McGruder.

“We’re not even talking about it,” he said. “I feel like you get full of yourself when you talk about how good you are and that’s not something we’re going to do. We’re just trying to stay the course, stay in the moment and stay level headed.”

When Hassan Whiteside was asked about the streak he did exactly what any good soldier would do, praise Miami’s next two opponents – Brooklyn and Philadelphia – who own the worst and fourth-worst records in the league and are a combined 51 games under .500

“We got teams coming up that are really scrappy and we’re going to try to get this back to South Beach,” Whiteside said.

Believe me, this is historic, even if the players do not want to acknowledge it.

[After release from Heat, Derrick Williams to sign 10-day contract to join LeBron James in Cleveland]

[5 questions about the Chris Bosh situation with Heat now eligible to apply for salary-cap relief]

[Mike Fratello talks Heat, coaching and broadcasting in our Q&A]

 

2016 NBA playoffs: Josh Richardson crashes post-game show (video)

Josh Richardson had a nice game Wednesday, followed by a nice post-game. (Getty Images)
Josh Richardson had a nice game Wednesday, followed by a nice post-game. (Getty Images)

I’m inclined to think a live bear could wander into the Fox Sports Sun studio and Jason Jackson wouldn’t even pause.
Continue reading “2016 NBA playoffs: Josh Richardson crashes post-game show (video)”

DPOY voting: Eric Reid, Jason Jackson explain their ballots

Jackson (left) and Reid (right) got interesting reactions to their DPOY votes. Tony Fiorentino received award ballots, but did not have one for DPOY. (Getty Images)
Jackson (left) and Reid (right) got interesting reactions to their DPOY votes. Tony Fiorentino received award ballots, but did not have one for DPOY. (Getty Images)

The NBA Defensive Player of the Year award went to Kawhi Leonard on Monday, and Heat center Hassan Whiteside was angry about finishing third in the voting.

Some interesting conversations come up now that the league office makes all the ballots public, and two Heat TV broadcasters were among the voters: Play-by-play man Eric Reid and sideline reporter Jason Jackson. They found themselves in the crosshairs on Twitter, one for voting Whiteside and one for not voting him.
Continue reading “DPOY voting: Eric Reid, Jason Jackson explain their ballots”

“26 Bud Lights in 18 holes and did not miss a putt”

Craig Sager is in town for tonight's Heat-Bulls game. (Getty Images)
Craig Sager is in town for tonight’s Heat-Bulls game. (Getty Images)

There are few people I know who tell a story better than Fox Sports Sun’s Jason Jackson, and he has a good one about TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager.
Continue reading ““26 Bud Lights in 18 holes and did not miss a putt””