Miami Heat Getting Strong Contributions From Josh Richardson

The Miami Heat looked like their season was going to go down the drain a couple of weeks ago. With Chris Bosh sidelined indefinitely with another blood clot scare, the Heat also lost another guard shortly after in Beno Udrih. With Udrih joining Tyler Johnson on the sidelines more than likely for the remainder of the season, the Heat had very few options to turn to.

One of those options was rookie shooting guard Josh Richardson. Richardson was far from the Heat’s rotation for the majority of the season, but with injuries mounting, Erik Spoelstra had to turn to him off the bench. So far the decision has been a good one for the Heat, as Richardson has responded well to the playing time.

Richardson has been inserted into the Heat’s rotation for the past 12 games, taking over as the backup point guard despite not having played the position much previously. The Heat haven’t missed a beat though, as they have gone 8-3 since he was inserted into the lineup, scoring over 100 points in all but two of those games.

Richardson was not given much time to get up to speed either, as he played four minutes total in the nine previous games before getting minutes as the backup guard against the Atlanta Hawks in the Heat’s first game out of the All-Star break, a huge 115-111 victory.

He has not slowed down since, as he has averaged 27 minutes per game in six games in March. His size allows the Heat to interchange him with different players, as he plays point guard, shooting guard and has the size to play small forward if the Heat want to go small.

Richardson has also given the Heat a three-point threat, something that they have struggled to find throughout the season. Richardson is making 63.2 percent of his three-pointers in March, including 7-for-10 in his last two games. That includes a 4-of-6 performance against the Chicago Bulls in the Heat’s last game, which was a career night for Richardson.

 

 

In that game Richardson scored a career-high 22 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter. He also added four assists, two rebounds and one steal in the victory. It all helped the Heat blow out the Bulls 118-96, as they continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

The Heat took a risk placing their trust in Richardson as the backup point guard, and so far it has paid dividends. The Heat have struggled with injuries throughout the season, but Spoelstra has managed to patch the holes each time; he has done it once again with Richardson, who is thriving in his first extended NBA action.

 

By: Kenneth Teape, Hoops Habit

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