When the Miami Heat discovered Hassan Whiteside out of the D-League, it was like finding a diamond in the rough.
Whiteside has become one of the most dominant centers in the league, and that is in large part to the Heat actually giving the 7-foot center an opportunity on the court. Well, the same situation seems to be occurring again with the Heat signing an undrafted guard out of college, and this player has been an absolute menace off the bench all season long.
Tyler Johnson is proving his value is far more than just a mere one-game fluke. Johnson has become the Heat’s most reliable guard off the bench, and that is over both Mario Chalmers and Gerald Green. Outside of averaging 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steal per game, Johnson has the fifth highest PER on the team at 18.8. The only other guard with a higher PER on the team is Dwyane Wade, which speaks volumes to Johnson’s overall abilities this season.
With Green out and Chalmers consistently subjected to trade rumors, Johnson has been heavily relied on in the rotation, but even with both players making their returns, Coach Erik Spoelstra might not have another choice but to keep playing Johnson based on defensive tenacity and the fact he can score at will from almost anywhere on the court. Johnson is averaging 59 percent shooting from the field and 56 percent from beyond the arc. Those are ridiculous numbers for a player no other team in the NBA would even give a chance off their bench. Once again, the Heat have seemingly struck gold.