LAS VEGAS – The Miami Heat will not leave Las Vegas winless.
The Heat defeated Utah, 98-90, Tuesday for their first victory in three games in Las Vegas. Miami is 3-3 in summer league, including two wins in Sacramento.
Miami now will move onto tournament play. Every team qualifies and is guaranteed at least two more games. The Heat face the Pelicans at 4 p.m. Friday. If they win they play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. If they lose they play at 4:30 p.m. Friday and are done. Miami lost to New Orleans, 110-84, on Saturday.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 24 points including going 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Adebayo, who was given off Sunday, played 24 minutes. He had nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
The Heat were without summer league leading scorer Derrick Jones Jr., who sprained his right ankle in Sunday’s loss to Charlotte.
First-round draft pick Grayson Allen of Duke scored 17 points for the Jazz.
Here are our three takeaways:
Bam is back: Adebayo was given off Sunday, a 94-90 loss to Charlotte, and returned well rested for Tuesday. Adebayo had his highest scoring game of summer league. He was active around the rim and aggressive going to the basket as his 16 free throws showed. Adebayo was 5-of-13 from the floor. The Heat would not say if they are shutting down Adebayo for their final two games.
“With my offseason work, that was something I had to get better at,” Adebayo said about drawing fouls. “The coaching staff helped me with that throughout the whole offseason, so y’ll are getting to see it all now.”
Miami, Sioux falls now Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood: Duncan Robinson became the newest member of the Heat organization when he signed his two-way contract Tuesday. Robinson’s strength is his 3-point shooting and he made his first attempt Tuesday before finishing 3-of-7 on threes. The 6-foot-8 forward joined the Heat summer league team after going undrafted out of Michigan. He has started all six Heat summer league games.
“I’m just excited, incredibly fortunate, unbelievable organization,” Robinson said. “Words can’t quite put it into perspective. It’s an incredible blessing.”
Heat find their touch: After scoring just 18 points in the first quarter, the Heat scored 29 and 30 points in the middle two quarters, shooting 7-of-17 on threes. Daryl Macon made both of his threes in the second and third quarters and Rashad Vaughn had two threes, including a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter that gave the Heat an 11-point lead.
“We finally put a game together offensively,” coach Eric Glass said . “When the ball’s moving everybody feels like they’re in rhythm. The shots are easier, they’re going through more of a flow. I just thought as a team we really moved the ball around. And we hit the boards when we were missing, so it was a full-package game again today.”
LAS VEGAS – The Heat’s summer league roster has 14 players. Just two are under contract and guaranteed a job this season – Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr.
If any other player winds up in the Heat’s camp, or any other team’s, coach Eric Glass will feel a sense of satisfaction.
“It’s the tough part about it, you can’t take every guy and even some of the guys we’ve had on our main teams that have developed and gone on elsewhere you want to see them be successful,” Glass said. “When you’re competing against them you don’t, but every other time you want them to feel like you were a part of helping them on their journey.”
The Heat face Utah at 4:30 p.m. today. Miami is 2-3 during summer league, including 0-2 in Las Vegas. Jones has played just 7 ½ minutes in the two games in Las Vegas, sitting the first and coming out of the second after spraining his right ankle. He will not play today and could miss Miami’s final two games.
Adebayo will return today after not playing in Miami’s loss to Charlotte on Sunday.
The Heat’s player development is not just about seeing their players succeed, but others that might have started in the Heat’s summer camp or even regular season camp and are on another roster. That is why the staff, whether it’s Glass’ during summer league or Erik Spoelstra’s during the regular season, spends so much time with every player.
“All 14 of them each day, they’re focus is developing themselves as individuals and that’s through film sessions, through games, through practices, through chalk talks,” Glass said about the players on the summer league roster.
“It’s just trying to pick up as much information as you can, learning how to be a professional and hopefully we can find these guys some jobs so they can start their careers.”
Others who have had their moments during the last week:
* Undrafted free agent Duncan Robinson out of Michigan, who has been the most impressive of the players not under contract. Robinson is averaging 12.4 points on 57.8 percent shooting (22 of 38), including 62.9 percent (17 of 27) on threes.
* Guard Daryl Macon, an undrafted free agent from Arkansas, had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists Sunday. Macon has 22 assists in four games including 11 in a win over the Lakers in Sacramento.
* Forward Yante Maten, the SEC’s player of the year from Georgia, had 25 points and 13 rebounds in the Heat’s two wins in Sacramento. He has struggled some in Las Vegas but had 10 rebounds in the two losses.
* Guard Rashad Vaughn, the 17th overall pick in the 2015 draft, has 27 points in the two games in Las Vegas. Vaughn, who has played for three NBA teams in his two seasons, played one season at UNLV before entering the draft.
* Center Landry Nnoko, the 2017-18 G League Defensive Player of the Year, had 12 points and 13 rebounds against Charlotte. Forward/center Jarrod Jones, who has played the last six seasons in Europe, had 15 points and 12 rebounds against New Orleans.
* Guard Derrick Walton Jr., who spent last year splitting time between the Heat and Sioux Falls while in a two-way contract, has struggled with his shot. In four games he is 9-of-42 from the field (.214) and 3-of-24 on threes (.125).
LAS VEGAS – For 7 ½ minutes, the Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. entertained the Cox Pavillion crowd Sunday with an assortment of dunks – either attacking the basket with the ball in his hands or by throwing down teammate’s miss on the put back.
But late in the first quarter those “oohs” and “aahs” turned to cringes after Jones rolled his ankle and was helped off the court.
The early diagnoses is a sprained right ankle and Jones did not return for the Heat’s 94-90 loss to the Hornets. Jones likely will not play again in summer league.
Jones was injured when he went up to block a shot and landed on somebody’s foot. He emerged from the locker room following the game with just a brace on his ankle. He said he still felt pain but was never concerned it was anything worse.
“It’s not something that I can’t tolerate,” he said. “Ankle sprains happen. It’s the game of basketball. So you’ve got to do what you can do.”
Coach Eric Glass was disappointed, especially after Jones’ start. He made all four of his shots including three dunks and a 3-pointer.
“He was on his way to a game, so it’s sort of disappointing,” Glass said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Jones has been Miami’s best player during their first week of summer league games after signing a two-year contract on June 30. He averaged 21.3 points on 22-of-42 shooting in the three games in Sacramento, adding 22 rebounds, six steals and four blocks. He did not in the Heat’s first game in Las Vegas, a 110-84 loss to the Pelicans on Saturday.
Jones’ athletic ability was a big hit with the crowds in both cities with several highlight reel dunks that brought the fans out of their seats. One of those to see a big improvement is his Heat teammate, Josh Richardson.
“He’s been aggressive, attacking the rim,” said Richardson, who has been at Miami’s two games in Las Vegas. “His jump shot looks a lot better. He’s been knocking threes down. I’m proud of the work he’s put in.”
Daryl Macon led the Heat with 17 points Sunday as Glass gave Bam Adebayo the game off. Adebayo had played in four straight games.
“We had an overall presence on the court,” he said. “We had much better connection. We had much, much better communication. Our effort was better.
“It’s never going to be perfect, especially in summer league. There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of new things. But that was a Miami Heat performance tonight. The last game I don’t know what that was.”
Landry Nnoko had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat. Rashad Vaughn added 16 points.
The Heat (2-3 in summer league, 0-2 in Las Vegas) are off Monday. They return to action at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday against Utah.
SACRAMENTO – The Miami Heat had a tough time scoring in their summer league opener. That certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday in Game 2.
Miami came out firing and ran the Lakers off the Golden 1 Center court in an 89-74 victory, evening their record to 1-1 in the California Classic.
Miami struggled in their 79-68 loss to the Warriors in the opener, shooting just 29.3 percent. Against the Lakers, the Heat led by 19 at the half, opened a 31 points lead, and had 79 points after three quarters before cooling off in the fourth quarter. They finished shooting 45.2 percent from the floor, 46.4 percent on 3-pointers.
“I thought it was character building as a team, and as individuals,” Heat coach Eric Glass said. “You get up 20 in the first half you don’t let it go, you just keep grinding and you keep playing each possession like it’s your last. All the clichés that you hear but our guys really started to take it to another level in the second half and I was really happy with that.”
Derrick Jones Jr. led the Heat in scoring for the second straight night, scoring 21 points in 22 minutes. Bam Adebayo had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Here are our three takeaways:
Robinson raining threes: Heat coaches were impressed with undrafted rookie Duncan Robinson even before the former Michigan star showed off his perimeter game Tuesday. Robinson came out smoking, making three early threes and setting the tone for Miami’s night. Robinson, a player the Heat could consider for a two-way contract, finished with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including making all but one of his six 3-point attempts. The 6-foot-8 Robinson, who shot 41.9 percent on threes during his three-year college career, not only showed off his range but his first two-point field goal was a thundering baseline dunk.
“We made some early so we kind of got some confidence early on, which always helps,” Robinson said. “But I thought the ball just moved a little bit better. (Monday) was our first time playing with each other in a game. So it takes a second to kind of get that feel and I feel like we were a lot better.”
Jones continues to impress: Jones is looking more and more like a bargain after signing a minimum standard contract Saturday. Jones impressed for a second consecutive night. He was 8-of-14 from the floor and had five rebounds, three steals and four blocks. Jones, who had 24 points on Monday, is 15-of-28 from the floor, including 5-of-9 on threes. Jones’ confidence is growing and if he continues at this pace he could push for a spot in the Heat rotation this season. The only thing Jones hasn’t done well is shoot free throws. He is 10-of-19 from the line.
“Just seeing a guy like that, just pure athleticism he thinks is normal,” Adebayo said. “He makes inspiring plays. He goes out there plays his heart out. … I feel like Derrick is a Heat guy. He never got discouraged. He just kept working you you’re seeing the finished product of Derrick right now.”
Heat share the ball: The Heat finished with 27 assists on 33 field goals, quite an improvement from Monday when they had 12 assists on 22 baskets. Daryl Macon, an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, started after not playing on Monday and lead all players with 11 assists. Macon finished sixth in the SEC last season with 3.9 assists per game.
“He really showed some nice things,” Glass said. “He can defend, he can shoot the ball and he can get in that gap and make plays. That’s not an easy thing to get in that sweet spot make plays.”
MIAMI – With the 2018 draft completed, NBA teams are focusing on filling their summer league rosters.
The Miami Heat revealed their 14-man roster today for the Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. The Heat begin play Monday in Sacramento and will play three games in four days. The team will hold three practices in Sacramento before the games begin. Miami then heads to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where its first game is scheduled for July 7. The team will play a tournament style schedule with the championship game July 17. Each team will play at least five games in Las Vegas.
The Heat roster was completed with additions of center Landry Nnoko of Clemson who played in Grand Rapids last season, guard Rashad Vaughn of UNLV and guard Tai Webster of Nebraska who played in Germany last season. The roster includes the franchise’s No. 1 pick in the 2017-18 draft, Bam Adebayo along with Derrick Jones Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr., the Heat’s two two-way players last season.
Bam Adebayo, 6-10, C, Kentucky/Heat: Adebayo showed plenty of promise his rookie year both offensively and defensively and the Heat just want him to get more experience after playing in 69 games, including 19 starts. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent.
Dikembe Dixson, 6-7, F, University Illinois-Chicago: Dixson, an undrafted free agent, started all 72 games he played at UIC. He was the unanimous choice as the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2016. After suffering a torn ACL in UIC’s 10th game two years ago he led the team with 14.2 ppg last season.
Matt Farrell, 6-0, G, Notre Dame: An undrafted free agent, Farrell played four years at Notre Dame, increasing his scoring, rebounding and assists every year. He started every game his junior and season seasons and averaged 16.3 points and 5.3 assists last season.
Derrick Jones Jr., 6-7, G/F, UNLV/Heat: Jones has played 52 NBA games, 20 for the Heat (eight starts) last season and 32 for Phoenix (eight starts) in 2016-17. Last season, he averaged 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds for Miami and played in 29 G League games with Sioux Falls and Northern Arizona, averaging 17.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Jarrod Jones, F, 6-9, Ball State/Turkey: Jones, 28, has spent the last six seasons playing professionally in Europe. He averaged 19.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in the top level Italian League two years ago and was in Turkey last season. He played at Ball State from 2008-12 and finished his career third on the school’s all-time rebound and blocks list.
Daryl Macon, 6-3, G, Arkansas: Macon, who was not drafted, played two seasons for the Razorbacks and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the media and second team by the coaches last season. He averaged 16.8 points and a team-high 3.9 assists as a senior. He played two years at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss.
Yante Maten, 6-8, F, Georgia: An undrafted free agent, Maten was the SEC Player of the Year last season after averaging 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds and a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. He played four seasons for the Bulldogs.
Landry Nnoko, 6-10, C, Clemson/Grand Rapids: Nnoko, 24, was the G League’s defensive player of the year while playing for Grand Rapids last season and averaged 14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. He is from Cameroon and played professionally in Italy after going undrafted out of Clemson in 2016. Nnoko attended the Pistons training camp in 2017 before being cut and joining Grand Rapids.
Ike Nwamu, 6-5, G, UNLV/Sioux Falls: Nwamu, 25, has spent the last two seasons with the Heat’s developmental team. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 2016-17 and 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season while leading the Skyforce with 47 games played.
Duncan Robinson, 6-8, G/F, Michigan: Robinson went undrafted after playing three seasons for the Wolverines. He made a team-high 38 threes last season – averaging 9.2 points while starting 19 games – and shot 41.9 percent on 3 pointers in his career. Robinson transferred to Michigan after leading Williams Ephs to the 2014 NCAA Division III championship game. He was the 2014 Division III Rookie of the Year.
Justin Tillman, 6-8, F, VCU: Tillman went undrafted after averaging 18.9 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting .557 as a senior at VCU. He was named to All-Atlantic 10 first team and was an All-Defensive Team selection. He led the A-10 in rebounding. Tillman had an impressive Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 18.3 points and 13.0 rebounds.
Rashad Vaughn, 6-6, G, UNLV: Vaughn, 21, was the 17th overall pick by the Bucks in 2015 after one year at UNLV. He has played parts of three seasons in the NBA, including more than two years for the Bucks and a handful of games for the Magic and Nets. In 139 career games, including eight starts, he is averaging 3.0 points in 12.0 minutes. He was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year in his only season at UNLV, averaging 17.8 points.
Derrick Walton Jr., 6-1, G, Michigan/Heat: Walton spilt time last season between the Heat and the Skyforce. He played in 16 games for Miami, averaging 1.8 points in 9.2 minutes. He played 27 games for Sioux Falls averaging 16.1 points and 7.0 assists.
Tai Webster, 6-2, G, Germany/Nebraska: Webster, 23, is a New Zealand native who played four years at Nebraska where he averaged 17.0 points as a senior before going undrafted in 2017. He played last season for Frankfurt in the German league and played professionally in Australia and New Zealand before going to Nebraska. Webster played for the Warriors summer league team a year ago.