Southeast Notes: Nunn, Williams, Hawks, Heat

Heat guard Kendrick Nunn is working to flip the narrative after a rough first experience in Orlando, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Nunn has received quality rotation minutes in the Finals so far, showing great effort on both ends despite playing scarcely in previous rounds. In Game 1, he finished with 18 points and five rebounds, playing 19 minutes off the bench. He followed that up with a 13-point, three-assist outing in Game 2, providing depth behind Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler.

“It has been an experience for me,” Nunn said. “Obviously I had some pretty rough days. Now it’s getting better. It just comes from sticking with it every day, putting in work, grinding, not making any excuses and just sticking to basically my routine and my style of play.”

The runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, Nunn contracted COVID-19 this summer, struggling to regain his footing and seeing his role change in the weeks that followed. With Goran Dragic (plantar fascia tear) still sidelined, the Heat will need Nunn to continue producing at a high level.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Marvin Williams has a standing offer to work for the Hornets in the future, his father, Marvin Williams Sr., told Spencer Davies of Williams retired from the league this year after spending 15 seasons as a player, with his next job immediately unclear. “He mentioned to me that he really likes the [Basketball Without Borders] program, but because of the COVID, that whole process may have changed,” Williams Sr. said. “I think that’s the avenue he would like to go down, but if not… he’s a kinda laid-back guy, so he’s like, ‘Dad, I could be content working with North Carolina, being a film guy for the basketball team, making $60-70K a year. I’d be content with that.’ Larry Jordan, Michael Jordan and them guys have told him — and sat down with me and told me — that if he wanted to come back and work for the [Charlotte] Hornets, he was more than welcome to. So he’s got some options, it’s just a matter of which one he chooses to pick.”
  • The Hawks ended their mini-camp five days early, Sarah Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, with the team choosing to halt activities on October 1. Spencer reports the team always planned to end early with a focus on injury prevention and keeping players engaged in voluntary workouts. “We wanted to maximize the opportunity that we had and to compete at the level that we’re doing, to be in a new environment and situation, we wanted to do what made most sense, and that’s why we’re ending today,” head coach Lloyd Pierce said.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic examines why the NBA should be rooting for the Heat to win the NBA Finals. Miami is known for promoting high-level competition and is strictly against rebuilding, Hollinger notes, a formula the league would love to see more of.
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