Gabe Vincent provided some answers to Heat, but questions remain – The Denver Post

Gabe Vincent has learned to live in the moment, including those moments as a starting point guard over the past six weeks for the Miami Heat.

But he also knows what awaits him, to enter free agency in July.

So yes, also an eye to the future, a future that in last season’s playoffs emerged with a big win, earning spontaneous praise from Trae Young, but a future now somewhat clouded by an uneven season, including scoring just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in Saturday night’s road loss to the Chicago Bulls.

“I think if someone told you they were in this situation and they didn’t think about it, they would be lying to you,” Vincent said, with the Heat wrapping up Sunday night’s two-game road trip against the Pistons from Detroit at Little Caesars arena. “So it’s something that pops into your head and thinks about it. But I don’t think it’s something that has impacted my game, per se.

Like many on the roster, there has been a series of ups and downs for the fourth-year point guard, with Saturday being one of the low points.

“We played different brands of basketball throughout the season,” Vincent said. “I think anyone watching the game can see it. And there’s been different sets of guys who have succeeded and who haven’t, and I think maybe the style of play can have an effect not just on myself, but on a number of other guys who can play a part in this team.

“So it’s been a year of ups and downs for a number of guys and for this team in general. So I think it’s just a product of that too.

Having not been drafted from UC-Santa Barbara in 2018, Vincent makes it clear that he takes nothing for granted.

“Obviously being a guy who’s been through the G League and had a different journey than probably the majority of the NBA, that chip on my shoulder, wanting to prove himself, I guess it’s not going away never really,” he said. “But I feel like I’ve established myself in this league and shown everyone, all 30 teams, that I can play and I can help a team win.

“So in terms of stressing about that, I’m going to leave that to my agent and let him handle it and do what I can to help the Miami Heat the rest of this year.”

For now, actually six weeks of moments, that has meant stepping in as the starting point guard, as Kyle Lowry slowly returns from a 15-game absence with knee pain, with Lowry sitting out Saturday in Chicago. .

“I think it’s something that this team and this organization have trusted me time and time again, whether it’s Kyle out now or he’s injured and hasn’t been able to play for a while. in the playoffs last year,” said Vincent, 26. “So I think I’ve earned their respect from them and the trust from them and my teammates to be able to step into that role.

“I know I can do it. So their support means the world to me and I just try to go out there and help my teammates and help my team win.

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been an adjustment.

“I think it’s different when you start the game against their starters,” he said. “I think most of my NBA career, per se, has been off the bench, and a lot of that goes against a hot starting unit or a cold second unit. Either I’ll come into the field before their second unit arrives or I’ll come after their second unit has been on and got a little warm and I’m a cool body.

“So in that respect it’s a bit different, coming off the bench and trying to be a bit of a spark and changing the pace of the game. And as a starter you try to set the tone. So that’s a slightly different approach, but obviously you still want the same result.

It is expected that at some point before the start of the playoffs, coach Erik Spoelstra will bring Lowry back into the starting lineup.

“I’m all about winning,” Vincent said. “I’m all about winning, and I think I’ve shown that by wearing different hats throughout my time here. So it would be obvious to me as a coach, there would be no response, no repression, nothing. I think I would still have all the respect and trust of my teammates. So I think it would be fine, whatever he thinks is best.


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