Take That For Data: Miami Heat Finding Its Rhythm In Road Trip

Insight

The Miami Heat are on a two-game winning streak to begin their west coast road trip, with victories against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers over the weekend. Our resident statistician, Christian Hernandez (@TheMapleRick), pieced together his biggest takeaways for Miami in a series we’re calling, “Take That For Data.”


Justise Better Now

First, let’s start here:

Now that you’re in the right mindset, let me explain to you how. Justise has always been a very polarizing player among both Heat fans and analysts because of the conflating facts that he has had trouble scoring both at the rim and from the perimeter early in his career, and that he’s also swiss army knife defensively that is only scratching the surface of his potential. Often it is very difficult to assess the true value of a young player who’s primary contributions don’t translate to the box score. At the same time, often that is an issue of circumstance and Justise, due to his swiss army like nature, has been played a lot this season in areas that don’t play to his strengths.

Lately, we’ve seen Winslow playing more of the position he was destined to play (point guard), and we’ve seen the incredible returns as of late. Over the last three games especially, we’ve seen Winslow’s play translate to the box score, averaging a team-leading 18.3 points and 5.7 assists while still collecting 6.3 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal, as well as shooting splits of 54 percent from the field, 47 percent on 3-pointers, and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

This is the player that Miami was hoping it drafted when they selected him ahead of talents like Devin Booker and Myles Turner. What’s been especially surprising about Winslow’s offensive turnaround is that his defense is improving right along with it. After a very slow start to the season defensively, Winslow is now Miami’s top-rated defender via Synergy Sports, ranking in the 89th percentile in overall defense.

I think it’s fair to say that our very own Justise Winslow continues to get better.

Udonis’ Eight Minutes Against The Clippers

The 16-year veteran finished 1-for-2 from the field, scoring his lone basket on a putback off a miss by Kelly Olynyk. For the most part, Udonis Haslem provided a stabilizing defensive presence in his longest action of the season.

The Heat had a 94.7 defensive rating while Haslem was on the court despite with spending most of his time matched up agasint the explosive Montrezl Harrell. Haslem allowed one field goal to Harrell but also forced a turnover on Danillo Gallinari. With the Heat especially short-handed on Saturday against the Clippers, it was great to see that Haslem can still provide some serviceable minutes should he be called upon in tight spots.


Take That For Data (Last 10 Games)

Player Net Ratings (minimum five games played and 15 minutes per game, via NBA Stats)

Player Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Kelly Olynyk 193 108.9 94.0 +14.9
Justise Winslow 284 104.8 90.6 +14.2
Bam Adebayo 236 106.8 95.7 +11.1
Dwyane Wade 231 106.9 101.8 +5.2
Rodney McGruder 305 102.8 103.2 -0.4
Josh Richardson 313 102.6 107.9 -5.3
James Johnson 207 103.6 114.0 -10.3
Hassan Whiteside 196 98.3 110.1 -11.8
Wayne Ellington 249 97.1 109.0 -11.9

Top 5-Man Lineups (minimum 10 minutes, via NBA Stats)

Lineup Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Wade-McGruder-Winslow-Olynyk-Adebayo 47 113.8 79.6 +34.1
Ellington-Richardson-Winslow-J.Johnson-Whiteside 17 102.8 69.4 +33.3
Wade-Richardson-Winslow-Olynyk-Adebayo 15 124.2 108.8 +15.4
Wade-T.Johnson-Winslow-Olynyk-Adebayo 13 92.3 80.0 +12.3
Dragic-McGruder-Richardson-J.Johnson-Adebayo 12 116.0 104.0 +12.0

Worst 5-Man Lineups (minimum 10 minutes, via NBA Stats)

Lineup Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-Jones-Whiteside 13 66.7 93.5 -26.9
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-J.Johnson-Whiteside 69 100.0 122.4 -22.4
Ellington-Wade-Richardson-J.Johnson-Whiteside 17 109.8 126.2 -16.4
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Whiteside 15 93.8 106.5 -12.7
Wade-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Adebayo 11 68.0 80.0 -12.0

Noteworthy Trends

Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo have the best defensive rating (87.1) of any two-man combination in the NBA during this stretch. They also have the third-best net rating (plus-20.6) during every team’s last 10 games.

Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, and Bam Adebayo have the best defensive rating (85.1) of any three-man combination in the NBA during this stretch. They also have the second-best net rating (plus-26.1) during every team’s last 10 games.

• Dwyane Wade, Rodney McGruder, Justise Winslow, and Bam Adebayo have the best defensive rating (78.1) for any four-man combination during this stretch. They also have the fifth-best net rating (plus-31.1) during every team’s last 10 games.

Justise Winslow has been Miami’s third leading scorer during this stretch, averaging 44 percent from the field, 45 percent on 3-pointers, and 72 percent on free throws while being a plus-82 (eighth-best in NBA) in his 120 minutes. He’s been Miami’s best 3-pointer shooter in this stretch for players who have taken at least 10 attempts, and he also shot 60 percent from the inside five feet, which has been a big area of concern for him.

Josh Richardson has seen his hot shooting from the start of the season fall off a bit in this stretch, as he’s only shooting 36 percent from the field and 31 percent on 3-pointers over the Heat’s last 10 games. His workload is still something to be worried about as he led the Heat in minutes during this stretch despite missing Miami’s last game against the Clippers. If his play on both sides of the ball continues be a concern for the team, a minutes reduction would be in order.


Season Update (updated as of Dec. 9, 2018)

Player Net Ratings (minimum 10 games played and 10 minutes per game, via NBA Stats)

Player Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Bam Adebayo 501 104.3 98.2 +6.2
Kelly Olynyk 473 105.7 100.6 +5.1
Goran Dragic 390 109.3 104.7 +4.6
Justise Winslow 597 104.3 100.9 +3.4
Josh Richardson 844 105.8 103.6 +2.2
Dwyane Wade 462 106.4 104.8 +1.6
Rodney McGruder 801 104.4 105.2 -0.8
Tyler Johnson 476 101.2 102.3 -1.2
Hassan Whiteside 591 104.4 107.7 -3.4
Derrick Jones Jr 218 99.0 104.6 -5.6
Wayne Ellington 421 97.5 107.8 -10.3
James Johnson 207 103.6 114.0 -10.3

Top 5-Man Lineups (minimum 15 minutes, via NBA Stats)

Lineup Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Dragic-T.Johnson-McGruder-Richardson-Whiteside 21 127.1 67.4 +59.7
Wade-McGruder-Winslow-Olynyk-Adebayo 47 113.8 79.6 +34.1
Ellington-Richardson-Winslow-J.Johnson-Whiteside 17 102.8 69.4 +33.3
Dragic-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Adebayo 31 110.3 86.6 +23.7
T.Johnson-Ellington-Richardson-Olynyk-Adebayo 34 105.3 82.7 +22.6

Worst 5-Man Lineups (minimum 15 minutes, via NBA Stats)

Lineup Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Wade-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Adebayo 15 55.6 82.9 -27.3
T.Johnson-Ellington-McGruder-Winslow-Whiteside 26 73.7 100.0 -26.3
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-J.Johnson-Whiteside 69 100.0 122.4 -22.4
Wade-Ellington-Richardson-J.Johnson-Whiteside 17 109.8 126.2 -16.4
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-Jones-Whiteside 15 76.5 91.2 -14.7

Most Used 5-Man Lineups

Lineup Minutes Offensive Rating Defensive Rating Net Rating
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-J.Johnson-Whiteside 69 100.0 122.4 -22.4
Dragic-McGruder-Richardson-Olynyk-Whiteside 61 110.3 98.5 +11.8
Dragic-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Whiteside 50 115.6 104.5 +11.1
Wade-McGruder-Winslow-Olynyk-Adebayo 47 113.8 79.6 +34.1
Ellington-McGruder-Richardson-Winslow-Whiteside 44 91.2 103.3 -12.1

The Heat continue their season tonight against the LeBron-led Lakers, who have been one of the hottest teams into the NBA going into Monday’s action.

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