Josh Richardson had his best performance of the season in the Miami Heat’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Welcome to the Hot Hand, where after every Miami Heat game win or loss we recognize the player who best put his stamp on the game.
Another night, another game in which the Miami Heat were missing a plethora of key players. Along with the usual suspects, tonight the Heat were also without their leading scorer in Goran Dragic. He sat out the game with back spasms.
Without two starters, to go along with Dion Waiters also still nursing a groin injury, Miami had no answer for Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game ended 106-94 in OKC’s favor, and it never even felt that close. Westbrook had yet another triple-double, scoring 29 points while bringing down an obscene 17 boards, and dishing out 11 assists. It’s been a few years since the Heat had a guy who could do anything remotely resembling that, so the performance was quite frankly jarring to witness.
But enough with the negative. Time for the lone positive of the night for the Heat. And that’s that combo guard Josh Richardson had his best game of the season. He scored 22, to go with five rebounds and three assists. He was just two-for-six from three-point range, but an efficient nine-of-16 overall.
Recently, Richardson had commented on his sore wrist, and how it’s been effecting his shooting. Which would explain his dip in efficiency this season.
But tonight, that didn’t seem to be a problem. He was hitting shots from all over the floor, even despite the fact that he had to cover Westbrook on the other end. It was a promising showing by Richardson, and one that Heat fans had been waiting on all season.
The team fell to 10-22 tonight, and hope is all but lost on sneaking into the playoffs. It’s time to think about the future. I hate to look for moral victories, but nights like this in which one of the team’s young core (Richardson, Tyler Johnson, or Justise Winslow) have a big game, it makes the loss sting just a little less.