Miami Heat: It’s time to start talking about Josh Richardson

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 26: Josh Richardson
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 26: Josh Richardson /

Having flown under the radar long enough, it’s time to start talking about Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson.

Josh Richardson is playing his best basketball yet. In fact, lately he’s been looking like the Miami Heat’s best player. And still, outside of South Florida, he’s flying under the radar.

Despite averaging 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals a game in December. Even though he recorded 28 points in 36 minutes on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Nevermind the praise that head coach Erik Spoelstra has given him.

"“He’s becoming somebody new and more dangerous. His confidence is growing exponentially right now and I just want him to keep on fueling that. His menu is growing. He’s a point forward for us and he can get us organized as a point guard. He can play off the ball and is still taking the challenges of one through five. It’s too bad nobody notices around the league, but he’s playing at an All-NBA defensive level for sure.”"

They may not be noticing yet, but eventually they will. Soon, they’ll have no choice.

At 24, Richardson is steadily developing on both ends of the floor. Having averaged10.2 points in 53 games last season, his potential to become an offensive powerhouse was obvious. Especially when he was able to turn things up a notch in April, during the Heat’s playoff push, with performances like scoring 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And now, he’s showing out in a multitude of ways.

While he’s shooting 53.2 percent on jumpers this month, he’s going 60 percent inside the paint, 56.8 percent from mid-range looks and 54 percent from downtown. A sharp-shooter that can do it all.

His already impressive defense has turned elite too.

Richardson comes second in the league in field goal percentage defense against an opponent, limiting them to just 38.5 percent shooting.

So it’s safe to say Richardson is a threat on both ends of the floor.

Not bad for a No. 40 overall pick eh?

Many had questioned Miami management for giving the third-year a $42 million, four-year contract extension in September, but those people are now eating their words. Because even early in the season, it’s easy to see the front office absolutely did the right thing. And that Richardson is definitely the face of the Heat’s future.

The best part of all being that given how young the Oklahoma-native is, he hasn’t even started to reach his ceiling.

Next: Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat are still figuring out their rotations

It’s time for the entirety of the league and its fans to start noticing Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson.