Miami Heat: Wayne Ellington might be the key to success in 2018-19
Wayne Ellington seems to be a silent killer; the epitome of what this Miami Heat team is built from.
Wayne Ellington had spent time with six other teams before landing in South Florida.
Now he and the Miami Heat have clicked.
While other teams didn’t see the value of the shooting guard, Miami cashed out. Last season, Ellington played more games and averaged more minutes than he did with any other team.
In return, Ellington put up some of his best numbers.
Behind-the-arc is where he became lethal.
Ellington was a game changer at many points last season. The Man with the Golden Arm left some teams shook with his sharpshooting. He would send Miami on runs that changed the entire momentum of games.
You can’t help but compliment the player that dropped 32 points in the overtime win against Toronto in the regular season finale.
The shooting guard had a +/- over +10 in 19 games last season. In the 11 games he had over +15, the team was undefeated.
He’s a sharpshooter and that’s his value that we see.
But, there’s even more value where we don’t commonly look at.
Ellington has no problem getting his points whenever he wants. Yet, he’s not looking for his numbers, he looks out for what’s best for the team.
He might not need much separation to knock down a shot, but his movement is vital to the team’s success. When Ellington is on the floor, there are more options for the team.
Whether it’s Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson or even Dwyane Wade bringing the ball up the court, Ellington is a point guard’s best friend.
His key to success? Moving without the ball.
He might be the best at it. Ellington works so hard without the ball, trying to find ways to get open or even pull a defender from help-side, creating more space for the ball handler or someone else to be open.
While it looks like he’s doing the dirty work, in reality, all he is doing is playing basketball.
Forget the energizer bunny, when Ellington checks into the game, you know his matchup has to be deflated knowing he’s going to be chasing the shooting guard everywhere.
It’s not just Ellington that is made better while he is on the court either. Last season, the team’s assist percentage was up 6.3 percentage points.
When you look at the type of offense head coach Erik Spoelstra likes to run, especially with Dragic at the helm, he needs a player like Ellington. Maybe not so much up-tempo, but an offense that likes to push the ball and pass a lot only works if there is movement.
The game of basketball is a thing of beauty when you move well without the ball. Everyone benefits from it and it might be key to a successful season for Miami.