Heat in 5: Tyler Herro's patience, Lowry and Highsmith playing their roles, and more

It's the first edition of Heat in 5, a weekly space where I discuss five things I liked and disliked about the Heat from their recent slate. I will start on the optimistic side, with four things I liked from the Heat's last two games and only one thing that is not working.
Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat
Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
5 of 5

5️⃣ The Richardson and Bryant disconnect

Nov 3, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) talks to forward Duncan
Nov 3, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) talks to forward Duncan / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat's newest additions haven't had the best start. Although Richardson is not totally new to the Heat, his first few games have been a disappointment. He's shooting 18.8% from 3 and 30.3% from the field, looking a bit slow and hesitant at times.

Thomas Bryant, on the other hand, had a good preseason but hasn't been able to produce in the way the Heat were hoping. Miami has a negative net rating when either of them is on the floor (by more than 10 points). The Heat have a plus-19.4 net rating when both are off the floor.

The first two clips show attempts at a combination of the two. Richardson has a loose dribble and lacks confidence getting to the rim. He's attempting passes way too early, but also exposing Bryant's struggles at securing the ball.

In the third one, a more confident Bryant probably pulls up when he catches the ball, but he tries to drive around Biyombo and loses his footing. The last one shows Richardson's difficulties accelerating and getting past a defender. He has the advantage on the closeout, but goes around the defender and chooses to pull up instead of attacking a smaller defender.

The defense hasn't been better and, although we expected some of that from Bryant, Richardson hasn't been up to his standards. In the first clip, Richardson is glued to the floor and reacts way too late to Russell's drive, allowing an easy layup.

The next two clips are consecutive plays where Bryant is guarding Davis. In the first one, he allows an easy spin to the baseline without offering much resistance. Next time down, Bryant tries to take away an easy entry pass but takes too much time getting around Davis, allowing an easier entry pass. The last play is a miscommunication by Richardson. He's pointing to Aldama, signaling for someone to pick him up, but he's the last man. Highsmith has picked up the ball handler and, for some reason, Richardson leaves Aldama alone.

It's early in the season and there's room for improvement, but they will have to give more. Richardson, with Herro's injury, will have to step up in a big way, especially with ball-handling duties. When Herro returns, Richardson's role is to provide a defensive spark and some relief buckets. Both will be key for a team that lost Gabe Vincent and Max Strus. For Bryant, there is more competition within the roster, with Orlando Robinson and Kevin Love waiting their turn. The Heat have struggled when Bam sits for a few years now and Bryant has to do more, even if it's just on the offensive end.

Next. Next. 3 Players the Heat might replace Kyle Lowry with by the trade deadline. dark