Last summer, the Miami Heat landed Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal. They got the starting point guard they wanted and needed. However, there were questions about the Heat’s backup plan for the position. Who will back up Lowry? Who will fill in should he miss any time? The Heat had an opportunity to land a backup point guard like Jeff Teague, who was an unrestricted free agent. But in the end, Miami decided against the move and went with their young guard Gabe Vincent.
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After a slow start to the season, Vincent became the backup point guard the Heat needed. He showed improvement as a playmaker and as a shooter. When Vincent was first brought in, he was labeled as a three-point specialist. We didn’t see much of that last year but did see a lot of that this year. He went from shooting 30.9 percent last season to 36.8 percent this season. A lot of the shooting improvement had to do with Vincent changing his shooting stroke. Miami depended on him a lot this season as a defender, playmaker, and 3-point specialist. And Vincent answered every call. Now, the young Heat guard is looking for more.
“I think I’ve shown I can be a rotational player in this league,” he said this past week, in the Heat’s season ending press conference. “So, obviously, yes, I’d love to play every game. But as much as I would like to play, that’s not always necessarily how the games go.”
Filling in as a Starter
Vincent certainly proved he can be a key rotational player. He served as a quality replacement for Lowry whenever the Heat starting guard missed time. He’s not the floor general that Lowry is but Vincent has done well on the offensive end. Vincent can hit the open three-pointer, shoot the mid-range jumper, and run the offense at times. He doesn’t hit the pitch ahead passes like Lowry does but has made some nice reads off the pick-and-roll. In the playoffs, there were moments when Miami couldn’t get off a shot and Vincent would score off the dribble. Losing Lowry is not ideal but it’s good to see that Vincent can be dependable in those moments. Miami went 7-1 in the playoffs with him as a starter.
There recently have been rumors about the Heat being interested in Patrick Beverley. But the Heat have a cheaper option in Vincent. For all the talk about Vincent’s offense, his defense has been just as impressive. Vincent will guard the opposing team’s best ball-handler full court and give him fits. If you disagree, just ask Trae Young. In the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, Vincent gave Young fits throughout the whole series. He played physical defense on Young and barely gave him any space to shoot it. The only thing you can knock against Vincent is his size. He struggles against bigger players whenever he’s switched onto one. Still, his ability to pick up a player full-court is certainly valuable to the team.
Y’all better find a way to put Gabe Vincent up here too lol fr though https://t.co/6AKruBgDux
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 13, 2022
Overall, it was a good season for Vincent. He took on a lot of roles this season and stay prepared for all of them. Vincent has been a starter, a reserve, and also had moments where didn’t play at times. But, he stayed ready for the moments when his number was called. He developed into a floor spacer and a great defender. There are still areas he needs improvement on but Miami now has their backup point guard of the future.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
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