Josh Richardson keeps brushing this off like it’s no big deal. He’s the only one saying that.
The rest of the Miami Heat can’t believe what they’re seeing from a second-round pick that the team originally planned to keep at the end of its bench for the season. With Tyler Johnson out and Beno Udrih gone, he has claimed his spot in the rotation and looks like he’ll be holding onto it no matter who walks into the locker room.
He started for Miami in Monday’s win over Brooklyn, taking the place of the ailing Goran Dragic, and put up 16 points and three assists with one turnover in 38 minutes.
“J-Rich just continues to develop and takes all the responsibilities and challenges in stride,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what it’s about. This league is about your opportunities. Every time he’s been given whatever, reserve minutes, plug minutes, developmental minutes in Sioux Falls, starter minutes, he’s made the most of all those opportunities.”
He’s also reached a point with his shooting that the Heat would be foolish not to trust him. He went 6 for 9 from the field Monday, making 3 of 4 3-pointers. Over his last three games he is 9 for 13 on 3s, and he is shooting an unbelievable 62.3 percent on them since the All-Star break.
“He works at it,” Dwyane Wade said. “His confidence in his shot is amazing right now. We want him to continue to have that confidence. He has all of our confidence that he can shoot it whenever. He’s knocking them down and playing well consistently. That’s what you look for from a young guy: How many times can you continue to do it? He’s been consistently putting some good games together.”