Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem spent the past few days counseling rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson about the type of intensity to expect in the playoffs.
Both seemed thoroughly prepared, and hardly overwhelmed, by the moment, in Game 1 against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
“We need them to not play like rookies and the special ones don’t,” Dwyane Wade said. “These guys have been locked into what they have to do and they’ve been doing it.”
Winslow had eight points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, drew a charge and was a plus-18 in 27 minutes. He outperformed Charlotte’s Frank Kaminsky, the player who was selected ninth, one spot ahead of him in last June’s draft. Kaminsky was scoreless in 18 minutes.
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Hornets coach Steve Clifford explained earlier this season that Charlotte’s decision to take Kaminsky over Winslow “was difficult, because Justise is a good player. But so much of it is need.”
Winslow and Kaminsky posted similar numbers this season. Kaminsky averaged more points (7.5 to 6.4), Winslow more rebounds (5.2 to 4.1) and Winslow shot narrowly better (42.2 to 41.0). Winslow played 2,232 minutes, Kaminsky 1,708, with both players appearing in at least 78 games.
During one neat moment Sunday, Winslow made a Eurostep move, which Wade has perfected, and Winslow pointed to acknowledge Wade.
“The moment was perfect to give him a salute,” Winslow said. “I did the move facing our bench. It was cool to pay tribute, to pay respect for the mentorship we had the past six months.”
Wade said Winslow “is a student of the game. That’s my guy. I love that rook.”
As for Richardson, he shot just 3 for 11 but hit two threes, scored eight points, had five rebounds and three assists and was a plus 22 in 34 minutes. Richardson led the league in three-point shooting since the All-Star break at 53.3 percent (48 for 90).
THIS AND THAT
▪ In his 100th playoff game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra won for the 64th time. That’s the fifth-most wins by a coach in his first 100 playoff games. Pat Riley and Phil Jackson own the record with 71. Chuck Daly had 66 and Billy Cunningham 65.
▪ The Heat has gone on to win 16 of the previous 20 playoff series in which it won the first game, including 14 of the past 15, dating back to Wade’s first postseason.
▪ The Heat has won 12 consecutive first-round playoff games at home, dating back to a 2010 loss to Boston… Miami has scored 100 points or more in 16 consecutive home games.
▪ Besides setting a franchise-record scoring mark, the Heat’s 41 first-quarter points tied for its most in any quarter of a playoff game in franchise history. The Heat also scored 41 in 2006 against the Nets.
▪ The 32-point margin of victory is tied for the fourth-highest in franchise postseason history. The largest: A 37-point win against Chicago in 2013.
▪ Wade scored 16 points and moved past Kobe Bryant for second-most postseason points since 2004 (with 3,497). Only LeBron James (5,044) has scored more in the playoffs since then.
▪ The Hornets have lost 11 postseason games in a row, third longest in NBA history and just two behind the Knicks’ record (13 playoff losses in a row from 2001 through 2012).
▪ Dorell Wright, appearing in a game for the Heat for the first time since April 2010, scored eight points in the final four minutes.