After struggling throughout the season to make much of an impact, Miami Heat fans finally saw what Josh McRoberts is capable of doing in Thursday night’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In just under 19 minutes of action, McRoberts scored 12 points to go along with three rebounds and four assists. It was the first game this season that he has scored in double figures and this is the type of effort Heat fans were expecting when signing the 6-foot-10 power forward to a four year, $23 million contract.
In what was probably the biggest game of the season for the Heat, McRoberts really stepped up and showed why he belongs on this team. It was inspiring to see the Heat beat a true championship contender after losing at home to the Boston Celtics three nights prior and they could not have done it without McRoberts’ strong performance. Nights like these from McRoberts are exactly what the Heat need moving forward if they want to have a chance at competing for an NBA title.
Through the first 17 games of the season, McRoberts is averaging just three points, three rebounds and two assists per game. It has been a very disappointing start for McRoberts and he is too good of a player to be such a liability. However, he is a very smart player and brings a unique skill set to the team. Hopefully, he will build on his latest performance against the Thunder. The versatility McRoberts brings onto the court when Chris Bosh or Hassan Whiteside need a breather will hopefully prove to be vital the remainder of the season.
Last year was McRoberts first season with the Heat, but he only got to play in 17 games due to injury so it will take time for him to adapt to the culture coach Erik Spoelstra wants here in Miami. Once McRoberts feels comfortable playing with the personnel around him, it will make the Heat that much deeper. He has the capability of really stretching the floor and creating mismatches for his teammates. Even when Amar’e Stoudemire is back healthy, McRoberts should continue to log solid minutes and it is crucial for the Heat to have him playing at a high level once the playoffs comes around.
There are many new players on the Heat this season. Once McRoberts gets used to playing with his teammates, he will be part of the nucleus that makes a deep run in the playoffs.