After a successful first day of camp, the Miami HEAT got right back to work Wednesday morning at FAU Arena in Boca Raton. Below are some tidbits you need to know from Day 2 of Training Camp Presented by Baptist Health South Florida.
That’s My Best Friend, That’s My Best Friend
It’s no secret that shared experiences can bring people closer together. Although Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow have been friends since the “Rook 1” and “Rook 2” days, it seems as though adversity from last season has brought them even closer together.
“[Our relationship is] great. He’s…my best friend on the team, so it’s kind of special when you come into the league with somebody and you get to grow with them,” Richardson said. “We both went through a lot of stuff, too. We both have been injured, we both played great at stretches, so we’ve helped each other the whole way.”
Speaking of injuries, Richardson said that taking care of his body and staying in the gym have been important both over the summer and during camp. In turn, that has led to some highly competitive moments in practice.
“We got a team full of guys that know how to be ultra competitive, but still try to help each other, still try to have each other’s best interests in mind,” Richardson said. “Like Tyler [Johnson] and I got tangled up on the floor, like rolling on the floor, and we just got up, slapped fives and walked off. It’s just very competitive, but we keep it the right way.”
McGruder Giving Back
Perhaps nobody loves competition more than Rodney McGruder. At this point last year, McGruder was fighting for a spot on the roster. Now, things are a little bit different.
[I’m] just helping give back to the other guys that are invited to camp who are new to this team,” McGruder said. “Just trying to help fast track them because we’re brothers. We all have to be on the same page, so I’m comfortable in that aspect just giving back.”
In addition to grooming some of the new guys during camp, McGruder has one simple goal in mind for the season.
Olynyk Picking Things Up
Winning is something Kelly Olynyk did a lot of in Boston a year ago. Although he has to learn some different things, the big man is enjoying camp thus far.
“It’s been fun getting to know the system. Guys have been great. Everybody is working hard,”Olynyk said.
“For the most part, you’re just playing basketball. They don’t overcomplicate things [or] make guys think too much. They want their skills and basketball IQ to come out, and that’s what you see when you [simplify] the game down.”
Olynyk’s skills and basketball IQ should be on full display when Goran Dragić is on the floor thanks to his ability to run the pick-and-pop to perfection. After working together on Day 2, Dragić had some high praise for the 26-year-old forward.
“It’s so easy playing with him because he’s such a unique player,” Dragić said. “He’s a good passer, he puts you from one situation to another and [is] a great shooter, so I don’t think we’re going to have a problem at all.”
Staying in the System
With all the established players Miami has, you could forget there are some developmental guys on the roster as well. In past years, the team was put in a difficult position when it had to cut guys, but things are easier now thanks to two-way contracts and a continued solid foundation in Sioux Falls.
“The other guys are in our system, that’s what I like about this training camp. This is the first time that no one will officially get cut,” Erik Spoelstra said.
“The guys know we’re investing our time, our resources in them. I’m sure that they would love to have an opportunity to make our squad, that’s understandable, but the bigger, more important factor is we’re here to develop them.”