Miami Heat: Willie Reed has another huge performance
Willie Reed puts up a huge stat line on a night that saw mostly everyone else struggle.
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.
For the second time this week, Willie Reed posted a monstrous stat line. Although it’s unfortunate that it came in a 127-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, he clearly wasn’t the problem.
Through all the losing that the Heat have experienced thus far, there have been a few positives this season. The continued growth of Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson, for example. The brilliant play of James Johnson, as well. And, most recently, the emergence of Willie Reed. With Hassan Whiteside out due to a nasty eye injury, Reed has started the past four games. And he has performed more than admirably.
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In those starts, Reed has averaged 13.5 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks per contest. All of that on 65 percent shooting. It appears the Heat may have found themselves their backup center of the future. Tonight, in an admittedly rough performance by the team as a whole, Reed scored 22 points, to go with 12 rebounds and three blocks. He made 10 of his 15 shot attempts.
Reed did almost all of his damage around the rim, which is my favorite part of his game. He understands his limitations, and doesn’t take shots he’s not supposed to.
Reed also did a great job of getting his team extra possessions. He had seven offensive rebounds, and is averaging four per game as a starter.
All in all though, it was a pretty rough night for the Heat. Besides James Johnson (who had 20 points), no one else scored over 16. Oh, and Goran Dragic got ejected after getting shoved in the back and challenged to a fight by the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson. Coach Erik Spoesltra was none too happy about it.
Video: Spoelstra's postgame rant about the referees' 'shameful, disgraceful' ejection of Dragic in loss to Lakers. https://t.co/BCYWzJI6il
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 7, 2017
The Heat get no time for respite, though. They spent the night in Los Angeles and face the Clippers Sunday at 3:30 pm ET.
Hassan Whiteside will be back though, meaning that Reed will be relegated to his backup role once more. Hopefully he can continue his strong run of form from the bench. Miami needs all the help they can get.