Miami Heat: Derrick Jones Jr. has arrived and more

The Miami Heat earned themselves an 100-97 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

The Miami Heat started their weekend off right.

On Friday night, they came out victorious 100-97 over the Memphis Grizzlies, bringing their current Western Conference road trip record to 3-2; while the team earned wins against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, they then fell short to the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz.

Much like the rest of their season so far, their journey out West has been marked by inconsistency, but as always, yesterday’s matchup highlighted a few things that fans should certainly feel good about, moving forward.

Up, up and away

Before this year, it’s a safe assumption that most people outside of Heat Nation, had never heard of Derrick Jones Jr. Heck, that may still be the case right now.

But it won’t remain that way for long.

Because lately, the 21-year-old has been showing out.

Jones Jr. finished last night’s game with 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field (including a rare 3-pointer), eight rebounds, one assist and two blocks, in 23 minutes of play. He scored nine points (going 4-of-6 from the floor) in the fourth quarter alone, helping Miami seal the deal.

Airplane Mode was definitely cleared for takeoff.

(Can you hear the rim rattle?)

It wasn’t just his offense that kept the Heat alive either; his defensive prowess ended up being as important, with the forward using his insane length to try and limit Memphis’ good looks.

With guys continuing to be in and out of the lineup due to injury (or rest), it feels good to know that head coach Erik Spoelstra can count on Jones Jr. to hold things down on both ends of the court.

Welcome back

There’s no denying it: Josh Richardson had hit a bit of a slump recently.

Although he started off 2018-19 play off with a hot hand, December had not been too kind to the swingman, at least offensively. For example, on December 4 against the Orlando Magic, he shot just 2-for-14, including going 1-of-7 from downtown.

However, Friday may have marked the end of his rough patch.

(Fingers crossed, anyways.)

On Friday, Richardson recorded 18 points in 37 minutes, going 7-for-17 from the field, alongside five rebounds, seven assists and a steal.

He was clearly feeling himself too, throwing down a monster dunk with under three minutes left in the fourth.

Although the 25-year-old never stopped being a major asset to this roster, even while his shots weren’t falling, it’s comforting to once again be able to rely on him as a go-to scorer.

Shake it off

After missing four games due to the birth of his son, Jayden Legend Whiteside, Hassan Whiteside rejoined the group in Memphis.

(Can we go over what a great name that is?)

Unfortunately though, his first performance back wasn’t exactly memorable, short of a slam.

The big man saw just 22 minutes of tick, and recorded a mere six points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

But he wasn’t the only 7-footer that had trouble getting things done; Bam Adebayo finished with four points, nine rebounds and two blocks of his own in 26 minutes, although did also dish out five assists.

After a lackluster 2017-18 run, Whiteside needs to find his footing once again, as he previously had at the start of this year.

The Miami Heat will face the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow at 7 PM ET.