Josh Richardson‘s ability to play both guard positions may help him earn playing time with the Heat, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Responding to a question in his weekly mailbag, Winderman said Richardson’s flexibility may help him stay in Miami rather than be sent to the D-League. The columnist expects Richardson to get more playing time in the Heat’s next two games to show if he belongs in the NBA.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Magic rookie Mario Hezonja is quickly developing a reputation for toughness, Winderman writes in a separate story. During last week’s game with Miami, the Croatian stood up to veteran Amar’e Stoudemire when the veteran objected to a screen that Hezonja set. “I’m not allowing anybody to be offensive with my teammates and especially not with me,” Hezonja said afterward.
- Even though the Magic traded for Shabazz Napier over the summer, he’s not a lock to make the team, according to John Denton of Magic.com. Miami shipped the second-year player to Orlando in a cost-cutting move, and now Napier is battling for a roster spot. He and Keith Appling are both hoping to become the third-string point guard behind Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson. However, with a wealth of perimeter players who can initiate the offense, Denton speculates that the team could keep an extra big man and let Napier and Appling go. “Shabazz has a slight frame,” said coach Scott Skiles said. “It’s not that he’s not tough. There are bigger bodies. He’s always going to have that [size disadvantage]. So he’s just got to make up for it with his ability to shoot.”