What did the Heat’s young prospects show in their two wins in Sacramento?
The Miami Heat Summer League tipped-off in the Golden One Center this week, playing two games against the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday and against the Golden State Warriors Wednesday.
They beat the Lakers after two game-winning free throws from Omer Yurtseven (see below) and took Game 2 from the Warriors, 94-87.
Below, I looked at film for six Heat Summer League players — Yurtseven, Max Strus, Marcus Garrett, Tyson Carter, Micah Potter and Dru Smith — to see what they showcased and could potentially build upon in future Summer League outings, which begins Sunday, Aug. 8.
Let’s dive into it!
The Miami Heat signed Yurtseven to a non-guaranteed two-year contract in May, though he did not suit up with the squad at any point during the season.
Miami inked Yurtseven to a brand new two-year, $3.5 million standard contract Friday. Though it’s a small sample of games, after his performance in the California Classic alone: It was deserved.
Truthfully, Yurtseven did whatever he wanted offensively in these two games. He posted a 27-point, 19-rebound effort in their opener. On Wednesday, he tallied 25 points, including 17 points in the first half, with eight rebounds and three blocks.
He had a mixed bag of shots: Against the Lakers, he hit three 3s (on seven attempts) and flashed a lot of pick-and-pop flashes; Against the Warriors, he established deep post positioning against Golden State’s smaller defenders, taking just four 3s.
27 PTS & 19 REB
Omer Yurtseven powers the @MiamiHEAT to the win at the California Classic! #NBASummer pic.twitter.com/hJgLfP6eot
— NBA (@NBA) August 4, 2021
BREAKING: @OmerYurtseven5 couldn’t be stopped again
25 points & 8 rebounds vs the Warriors pic.twitter.com/UiEvl8vPOy
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 5, 2021
Heat are giving Omer Yurtseven a $873 billion contract. Or they should, anyway.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 4, 2021
Defensively is where trouble arose for Yurtseven. He was foul-prone, recording nine combined fouls across the two games — although learning NBA officiating plus adapting to the physicality will be a learning process. He also had a difficult time with turnovers — but in fairness, a lot of the defensive attention was focused on him.
In a roster stacked with combo guards, Garrett — the 2019-20 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year — was unquestionably Miami’s best perimeter defender across its two Summer League affairs.
Just like he was at Kansas, Garrett was ruthless at the point-of-attack, pickpocketing opponents and mucking up possessions before they even begin. He finished with 10 combined steals, including six in Game 1.
A laugh-out-loud sequence from Marcus Garrett. There’s a reason why he was named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20. #HEATTwitter #NBA pic.twitter.com/4K4SNxLhs4
— Matt Hanifan (@mph_824_) August 4, 2021
Offensively, Garrett’s play displayed the opposite: A calm, collective demeanor.
Garrett was able to get to his spots in the paint and finished through contact. When he received on-ball reps in the half-court, Garrett also flashed his pass-first playmaking ability, notching five combined assists in the two contests.
He was Miami’s most effective rebounder in the second game, tallying a team-high 10 rebounds — four offensive — that added to onto his 11 points and four steals. Garrett’s trip to Sacramento was a tremendous all-around display of his gritty skillset — one that the Heat should be monitoring for a two-way spot.
Smith started both games and was oftentimes the lead ballhandler. In the half-court, he initiated the offense and got Miami into its sets. Despite the faster pace-of-play in Summer League (compared to college), Smith didn’t look sped up.
He calmly made the proper reads; he was smooth as a ballhandler and a passer. He combined for 10 assists compared to five turnovers — including a game-high six assists in Wednesday’s victory.
Similar to his All-Defensive showing in his senior season, Smith featured physicality and effort against bigger guards on the defensive end. He was a stunt-and-recover threat off-the-ball and left it all on the floor despite his lack of size.
Potter’s shot profile flashed a bit of everything across these two games, specifically 3-point shooting and low-post scoring. He didn’t dazzle the box score, tallying nine points on 4-of-6 shooting in the first game and eight points on 3-of-5 shooting against the Kings. But he set good screens and was active in Miami’s hand-off game above-the-break.
Defensively, Potter was much more mobile than Yurtseven. He played slightly higher on ball-screens and held his own when defending in-space. Though his playing time was hindered with Yurtseven and Brandon McCoy, Potter was one of Miami’s most stable backups.
Carter didn’t hit a shot in Tuesday’s game — missing all three of his field goal attempts. He was much more confident and efficient Wednesday, knocking down four of his first five attempts — including two triples — finishing with 11 points and five assists.
His two 3-point reps were spot-up attempts from the right wing and above the break. He also wasn’t afraid to take it to the cup either. Carter made sound reads in the pick-and-rolls and, like Smith and Garrett, looked poised offensively.
Strus was the only current Heat member to appear in the Summer League, playing in Wednesday’s game only.
He didn’t disappoint.
Strus finished with a game-high 27 points with five 3-pointers. He opened Wednesday’s game up with a long spot-up 2-pointer off a BLOB. He air-balled a couple of times in the first half, but didn’t lose confidence — knocking down the majority of his triples thereafter.
He was running off-screens and was routinely shooting on the move, opening up slashing opportunities for a couple of nifty rim finishes. Overall, Strus showcased the full package like he did with Miami last year.
Max Strus impressed in his #HEATSummer debut
game-high 27 (5 3’s) pic.twitter.com/3jO6fJ3R3K
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 5, 2021
The Heat’s next Summer League contest will be in Las Vegas, Nev., on Aug. 8 against the Denver Nuggets. It will begin at 10 p.m. EST on NBATV. Click here for the full Summer League schedule.
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