It was a busy weekend for the Miami Heat. The front office was very active, signing both Kevin Love and Cody Zeller for the remainder of the season.
On February 20, Love shared some photos of him shooting around in the Heat’s practice facility to his Instagram page.
Star Heat center Bam Adebayo wasted no time ragging on his new teammate. He headed to the comments section and typed out a NSFW message for Love.
Adebayo wrote, “Better make some f***** shots.”
Love quickly clapped back at his new teammate, writing, “better create some f*cking space.”
The 2016 NBA champ will likely fit in well with Miami. His ability to knock down 3-pointers should make things a bit easier for Adebayo down low, and of course, championship experience is always valuable.
Kevin Love Decides to Join Heat
The news of Love taking his talents to South Beach broke on Sunday, when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnorowski first reported the signing.
“After clearing waivers, Kevin Love plans to sign with the Miami Heat, his agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Basketball tells ESPN,” Woj reported in a tweet.
Woj explained that the 2016 NBA champion was intrigued by Miami’s ability to give him a sizeable role.
Reports of Love’s interest in joining the Heat had been trickling out over the course of the last week.
On Saturday, February 18, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Heat were the “leaders” in the race to sign Love, after he was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“The Miami Heat have emerged as leaders to sign five-time All-Star Kevin Love after he completes buyout with Cleveland, league sources tell The Athletic,” Charania tweeted. “Interested teams believe Miami’s ability to offer a defined role and playoff positioning are leading factors.”
Back on February 16, Charania originally broke the news that Love was finalizing a contract buyout with the Cavs.
In the initial report, he labeled the Heat as suitors to land the five time All-Star.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love are finalizing a contract buyout, with the Miami Heat expected to emerge as a suitor for the five-time All-Star should the sides finalize parting ways, league sources tell The Athletic,” Charania wrote.
Love played in 41 games for Cleveland this season, before he fell out of the rotation in recent weeks. He averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 20 minutes per game. On the year, Love has shot 38.9% from the field and 35.4% from beyond the arc.
Nets Coach Issues Statement on Shutting Down Heat Offense
Miami will certainly welcome Love into the fold after the All-Star break. They’re currently riding a two-game losing streak, losing to both the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets.
The loss to Brooklyn was a tough one for the Heat. Miles Bridges hung a career-high 45 points on them. Plus, the Nets were able to make things difficult for Miami throughout the February 15 matchup. The Heat shot just 45.8% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in the loss.
Following his team’s well-rounded performance, Nets Head Coach Jacque Vaughn discussed his defensive philosophy against Miami, citing physicality as a main point-of-emphasis.
“We talked about being more physical, more physical in our switching, more physical on the off-ball screens. Just really getting our hands on people,” said via the Brooklyn Nets YouTube channel. “The referees are only can call a certain amount of fouls. So, we just wanted to be more aggressive. I thought we did that. You can see it, just from the dropped balls that they had, the deflections that we had. So, we were able to dictate some things in the second half for sure.”