How Darius Garland could have a Steve Nash-like impact under Erik Spoelstra

If the Cleveland Cavaliers are shopping Darius Garland, the Miami Heat need to pick up the phone.
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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What would Darius Garland bring to the Miami Heat?

You're mistaken if you think you'll win the championship with a pedestrian offense in 2024. That's what the Heat have had these last few seasons. Garland wouldn't fix as many of Miami's issues as Mitchell, but he would be easier to obtain and is the superior passer.

The Heat desperately needs to acquire a supreme bucket-getter, but a floor general is still a significant need, even if it's on the low side of the priorities. This is where Garland could be a home-run addition, as he could reach his full potential under Erik Spoelstra.

Like Steve Nash, Garland made an All-Star game early in his career before he truly blossomed, and the team he made a name for himself for may be looking to trade him. It wasn't until Nash linked up with Mike D'Antoni that he became an MVP-level player. He always had the talent, as he led the Dallas Mavericks to multiple number-one offenses during his tenure there, but his coach aided him in reaching a new level.

In Miami, Garland would get to do what he was born to do: run the show. In this hypothetical, another small guard wouldn't be looking to split the ball-handling duties, as Herro and Rozier could be in a Garland deal. 

The flamethrower out of Vanderbilt has always shot better off the bounce. Garland creates a ton of space with his infinite move set. He doesn't play with his food, either. After the defender suffers at his mercy, he shoots. There's no dancing to the point where the defender can recover. 

Garland is a laser-accurate shooter who's shot 39% from three on six attempts over the last four seasons. As the lead floor general, he'll be able to call the shots, dictate when he shoots or passes, and work on improving the Heat's 21st-ranked offense. 

His shot attempts would increase in Miami as they'd need to capitalize on his in-the-gym range. I envision him in a playoff Nash role in South Beach. Many pundits shunned Nash for not shooting the ball enough during his playing days, but he always turned it up a notch in the playoffs. Nash averaged 24 a night with a 60 TS% in the 2005 playoffs. At his peak, under Spo, Garland could do this.

When you study the film, Garland is clearly inspired by Nash. He "Nashes" all over the floor, and many individuals criticized him during these playoffs for not shooting some of the attempts around the basket. 

He didn't have a good playoff run this year, that's a fact, but his patience with the ball in his hands wasn't why he struggled. Keeping your dribble alive and looking to make something out of nothing would give life to so many dry Heat possessions. Ben Taylor from "Thinking Basketball" touches on Garland's probing ability here. 

The Nash-Stoudimire pairing was a chef's kiss in Phoenix—they collaborated on many rim-rocking lobs that put defenders on Top 10 plays lists. With Darius Garland's excellent passing ability and Bam Adebayo's catch radius, they could have similar successes like Nash/Stoudemire. Defensive hounds like Jimmy Butler and Haywood Highsmith could hide Garland on defense like Shawn Marion did for Nash all those years back. 

Darius Garland is not Steve Nash, but they have some noticeable similarities. If Garland can find his Mike D'Antoni in Erik Spoelstra, he may be unlocked and part of the squad that sends Miami back to Title Town. 

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