- Miami Heat traded Myers Leonard and future pick for Trevor Ariza.
- Ariza is a 3D striker who will add defensive versatility and pitch to Miami.
- Miami has the 4th best chance of winning the East by odds of +1200.
Miami Heat acquired swingman Trevor Ariza as part of an exchange with OKC Thunder. Miami gave up striker Myers Leonard and a 2027 second round pick to get the 16-year-old veteran.
OFFICIAL: Miami HEAT acquired striker Trevor Ariza in exchange for Meyers Leonard and his 2027 second round draft pick. https://t.co/UrHONxbn58
- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 17, 2021
Born in Miami, Arisa averages 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.49 steals per game over his career. He played nine games in the postseason and started all 23 games for the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers champion team.
Miami entered the game on Wednesday in Memphis with a five-game winning streak. They have only lost once in their last 12 games, have lost just four of 19 games since they kicked off 7-14 and have a 10-0 score since Jimmy Butler returned. From 22-18, Miami is at the top of the Southeast Division's team standings and is currently ranked fourth in the East.
They say the defense is winning the NBA title and the addition of 3 and D veterans like Ariza gives them hope for a Hit this year.
Active leaders in % theft
6) Trevor Arisa - 2,54%
7) Jimmy Butler - 2,47%
15) Andre Iguodala - 2.3%
Is Pat Riley preparing to defend the perimeter? pic.twitter.com/MqvBM67rqr
- NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 17, 2021
Protection was the key to Miami's resurgence. The Hit began the season with a 7-14 record after finishing 20th in the NBA with a defensive rating of 111.2 points per 100 possessions during that stretch.
Since then, The Heat have lagged 15-4 behind the best defense in the league during that period. In their last 19 games, Miami have lost 105.5 points per 100 possessions to the best in the league, two points better than second-best Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat also ranks in the NBA's top 10 for deviations with 15.2 per competition.
Ariza can defend multiple positions with a 7-2 wingspan. With its length and switchable ability, it adds another dimension to the Miami defense scheme, led by Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala and Bam Adebayo. On average, over the past three seasons, he made 1.4 interceptions per game, including 1.3 SPGs last year. With Ariza on board, Heat now has three players in the top 15 of the active NBA interception leader to provide them with perimeter protection.
Good floor spacer
Trevor Ariza's Hits Schedule in 2020 (via @statmuse)
Exactly what Heath needs, instead of helping Andre Iguodala in the corner, Ariza's man will have a not-so-fun choice of helping Jimmy drive or staying home on a good shooter pic.twitter.com/buZbHVxyoP
- Miami Heat Beat (@miaheatbeat) March 17, 2021
Aside from her defensive prowess, Ariza is a catch and shoot threat that can set the floor for Heath. Last season, 84.7% of his three-pointers were designed for catching and shooting, and 38.4% of them he shot down. He has knocked out 35.5% triplets over the past three seasons, including 40% in his last 21 games with the Blazers.
Ariza finished in the 74th percentile with 46% of his corner 3s last season. Since the 2011 season, Ariza has drained at least 39% of his triples in corners every season. This should work well with the Heat, who are 6th in the league with 10.6% of their total corners.
This three-point shot in the corner is exactly what the doctor ordered for Heath, because instead of helping Iguodala in the corner, Ariza's defender will have to make a difficult choice whether he's going to help Jimmy Butler's driver or stay at home a very good shooter in Aris.
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