The Miami HEAT kept grinding away Thursday morning at FAU Arena in Boca Raton. Below are some tidbits you need to know from Day 3 of Training Camp Presented by Baptist Health South Florida.
Learning From One of the Best
If you watched any HEAT Summer League action from Orlando or Vegas, you should be familiar with Matt Williams Jr. The 6-foot-5 guard out of UCF shot 45 percent from downtown in six starts in Vegas and proved to be a bonafide sharpshooter. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that he’s been picking Wayne Ellington’s brain in camp.
“I watch him a lot, especially now [that] I get to see him in person,” Williams Jr. said. “So after practice I ask him about opponents…I ask him how to set my footwork up in certain ways, things like that, and he’s always helping me. After practice, he tells me everyday to come shoot with him. He always gives me different hints and different pointers, so that’s very helpful.”
While shooting is Williams Jr.’s forte, he stated his ability to put the ball on the floor is an underrated aspect to his game.
Another guy that played for Miami in Summer League was A.J. Hammons. The 7-footer, who was acquired by the team in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks on July 7, showed some flashes in Vegas as a big man who can stretch the floor. Hammons said that playing for the HEAT in Vegas helped him get adjusted and get to know the coaches.
Hammons is currently getting to know Hall of Famer and HEAT legend, Alonzo Mourning.
“Preseason is starting kind of fast, so [I’m] really just trying to focus on just getting better everyday like [Zo] just told me, ‘Get better everyday. It doesn’t matter what it is, but just don’t walk off the court unless you…felt like you did something that got you better that day’”, Hammons said.
“So today my main thing was to stick with my teammates and just keeping talking to them throughout the whole thing…trying to make sure my team stayed into it.”
A Life-Changing Experience
One of the guys on Hammons’ team on Thursday was Larry Drew II. After playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in Summer League, the 27-year-old guard helped the United States Men’s National Basketball Team win the FIBA AmeriCup. He has since given his gold medal to his mom.
“Honestly, it was a life-changing experience for me,” Drew II said. “I felt like it took my game to another level, but also it took me to another level mentally, competitively, spiritually as an athlete. And I think it was great for me, especially coming into training camp. I just felt like I got a lot of momentum, and I’m still riding that wave.”