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Yero’s Mailbag: Will Heat Struggle Making Big Time Shots Without Dion Waiters?

Creator: Al Diaz | Credit: [email protected]

Will we miss a guy that could just straight up get a bucket like Dion Waiters? Are Nunn and Herro able to fill that void right now — Marquis.

‘Waiters Island’ was definitely an exciting sight so see in 2017, helping Miami Heat fans keep their minds away from a disappointing start to the season. However, that time expired since the surge of Kendrick Nunn, who became a more reliable option for Miami’s current and future plans. Alongside the success of rookie Tyler Herro, there was just no place to put Waiters in the rotation.

Even if he stayed on the roster, it’s more likely to see Miami run a play for Jimmy Butler or Herro to hit a big-time shot. This season, Herro has hit 8-of-15 of his threes in the clutch, in addition to helping the Heat total a 15-0 record when he shoots 45 percent or higher. As for Butler, since 2014-2015 but prior to the 2019-20 season, Butler led the league in clutch points in the final 10 seconds of the game, shooting 7-14 for 25 points.

While Butler hasn’t had that same impact with the Heat, he’s created winning opportunities for his team, like his game-tying three-pointer to force overtime against the Atlanta Hawks, and an 8-0 run to help close a victory versus the Toronto Raptors on the road.

I spoke more about this in a past article (If It’s Down To The Wire, Who’s Taking The Last Second Shot For Miami?). I recommend you check it out!

More important player to HEAT success, Kendrick Nunn or Derrick Jones Jr.? — Yao.

If we’re basing this on the postseason, it’s a matter of who the Heat will be matched up against. Jones Jr. will likely be a standout player against Miami’s possible first-round foe, the Philadelphia 76ers. Jones Jr. has excelled against the Sixers, averaging 13.7 points and 5 rebounds on 60 percent shooting in 35.6 minutes per game in his three meetings against Philly this season.

Jones Jr. kept his opponents on lockdown, holding whoever he guarded to 12-of-41 shooting (29.3 percent) over those three games. Just to show you how much he impacted the game, Miami’s only loss to Philadelphia this season was a 27 point blowout in their first meeting, in which Jones Jr. didn’t play in. With the high flyer on the court, Miami won the last three games against the Sixers, including a 137-106 victory.

As for Nunn, having the 6-foot-2 guard can serve as an effective X-factor if he can remain consistent on the offensive side of the court. The ability to have an all-around shooter on a healthy Heat rotation is a recipe for success. Averaging 15.6 points per game this season, the Chicago native has had 13 20-plus point games through the first 43 games of his career with Miami, tied with Dwyane Wade. He’ll have the opportunity to extend that number in Miami’s eight “seeding” games, starting with an August 1 contest against the Denver Nuggets.

Who are the two other players with Covid? — Juan.

It was revealed on Friday that center Bam Adebayo and guard Kendrick Nunn were the two players who didn’t travel with the team to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Regardless, the Heat have yet to reveal which two players tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Derrick Jones Jr., who was the first Heat player to test positive for the virus, was cleared to travel with the team on Wednesday and is expected to be participating in Miami’s team practices.

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