4 Miami Heat players who need a monster second half to save their job

Here are four players who need to step up to help propel the Miami Heat up the East standings and potentially save their jobs.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
Washington Wizards v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Haywood Highsmith

Haywood Highsmith
Houston Rockets v Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages

A Look at Highsmith's 2023-24 NBA season stats:

  • 5.9 points
  • 2.9 rebounds
  • 1.1 assists
  • 42.1 FG%

Power forward Haywood Highsmith has demonstrated his value as a significant discovery as an undrafted player. Despite irregular playing time, he's a perimeter defending star with an evolving shooting technique, who has made a meaningful impact. In the previous season, Highsmith played in 54 games, where he maintained averages of 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.9 minutes. His shooting numbers have shown improvements this season, and improving offense has been Haywood's goal.

Nevertheless, Highsmith's defensive prowess and playmaking skills were particularly notable during the playoffs last season. In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, he achieved a career-best 15 points (including shooting 3 of 4 from 3-point range) and secured two steals. Subsequently, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, he recorded 18 points and two steals.

Highsmith has garnered the admiration of the coaching staff for his ability to effectively defend positions 1 through 4, as well as protect the paint and 3-point line. He is a robust and agile forward, a commendable rebounder for his stature, and exhibits tenacious ball-handling defense. With further enhancement in his 3-point shooting, Highsmith has the potential to be a significant contributor on the wing in the second half of this season.

Similar to teammate Caleb Martin, Highsmith is an undersized forward, but that doesn't stop him. He possesses the potential to become a formidable presence on the court if his offense improves and he becomes more well-rounded with his game. Highsmith is a versatile athlete capable of defending, shooting, and rebounding, and being more of a role player when provided with the opportunity to play.