During a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson reacts.
The Miami Heat had many of the characteristics of a championship team as they headed into postseason play. They had just returned from the NBA Finals two years prior, had a roster full of veteran players and All-Star talent, and a defense capable of wreaking havoc in a playoff setting.
Miami’s mediocre offense, on the other hand, wasn’t enough to get them out of the Eastern Conference. It actually got worse as the games became more important.
The Heat had a bottom-half offense with 110.7 points per 100 possessions after scoring 113 points per 100 possessions during the regular season, which was 12th in the league. Playoffs are underway. Furthermore, their three-point completion rate fell to 31.3% from 37.9%.
If Erik Spoelstra’s team is to return to the NCAA tournament next season, changes must be made.
Here’s one possible trade that could boost the Heat’s offensive attack, particularly in the frontcourt, in order to address the scoring shortfall and give them a better chance to compete for a championship in 2022-23.
Trade With Rockets Nets Playmaking Big Man
Christian Wood OFFICIALLY STARTS PLAY! Washington Wizards vs Houston Rockets – Full Game Highlights | March 21, 2022 | 2021-22 NBA Season SHOP OUR MERCH: hoh.world Follow our Instagram: instagram.com/houseofhighlights Follow our TikTok: tiktok.com/@houseofhighlights Follow our Facebook: facebook.com/houseofhighlights #HoHoH2022-03-22T02:27:16Z #HoH2022-03-2
Bam Adebayo’s inability to act as a viable offensive threat in the pivot has been a source of criticism throughout the postseason. Even as he improved as a screener and post distributor — and despite averaging nearly 15 points per game on 59.4% shooting in the playoffs — he was constantly chastised on social media.
The Heat’s offensive problems were primarily due to a lack of weapons with which to keep up with their opponents. They lacked players who could combine size and a variety of offensive skill sets, in particular.
Wishing Adebayo could be someone he isn’t isn’t going to help. Instead, the Heat should focus on what he does well — on both sides of the ball — and then fill in the gaps by pairing him with a second big who can provide more than PJ Tucker, who is 37 years old.
The following trade would accomplish just that:
Wood was linked to the Heat before the trade deadline, with the belief that Houston was overpaying for him. The realization that he could walk for free after next season has to hit him at some point. The time is running out if they want to get anything out of him.
A Robinson-Wood trade was rumored to have been discussed in the past, and despite a down year, the former remains an elite floor-spacer and future trade chip. Meanwhile, with Yurtseven as a nice prospect/asset and a moderately protected first-rounder, the pot is sweetened here.
To be sure, the Heat are sacrificing a lot, but by taking on Robinson’s contract, the Rockets are also doing them a huge favor. He and Yurtseven were also not in Spoelstra’s playoff rotation. So, if you’re in a hurry to win, you can live with losing them and a pick.
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Wood Brings a Ton to the Table
Wood averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and a blocked shot per game last season, which was a career high. In the meantime, as a 6-foot-10 big man, he made 39% of his 4.9 three-point attempts per night. Kelly Olynyk was the last Heat player of that size/rate who could take and make triples.
So, it’s definitely been a minute.
But Wood is more than just a three-point shooter. Nearly a third of his field-goal attempts last season came within three feet of the hoop, and he converted 73.7% of them. He was also better at putting the ball on the floor than most ballers his size, attempting 4.4 drives per game on average.
He may not be a lockdown ace on defense, but he has the size and length to bother opponents, as well as underappreciated skills as a help-side shot-blocker and the ability to finish possessions — according to Basketball Reference, he was ninth in the league with a defensive rebounding percentage of 30.4% this past season.