The Miami Heat have been without guard Kyle Lowry the past four games while he deals with a personal issue.
No problem for the Heat, who have dealt with absences to nearly every key player this season. The latest is guard Gabe Vincent, who has filled in solidly for Lowry.
Vincent has averaged 12.7 points and 5.5 assists as Lowry's replacement. The Heat are 3-1 in those games. It's all just a part of Vincent's continued growth since arriving as a two-way player two seasons ago.
“He came in as a guard, but more of a two, one and just a gunslinger,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “A guy that can really get hot and ignitable, didn’t have to worry about ever making plays for anybody else. I have no idea what kind of defender he was in college, but nothing in his scouting report suggested he was that kind of player." But for us, it started with [assistant coach for player development Eric Glass]. He said that he had a lot of potential as kind of a pesky, physical defender."
Playing both ends has the most impressive aspect of Vincent's rise, espeically considering the circumstances he joined the team.
“Then when we got him late in the year and went into the bubble, we just said: ‘Hey, just based on the need of our roster, let’s see if we can just develop him into a 1, 2 and really embrace just being a defender and then see if he can be playmaker,"’ Spoelstra said. "He was open to it, but it was against a lot of his instincts.”