Following an impressive breakout season, here’s a look back at the 2017-18 campaign for Miami Heat swingman Josh Richardson.
Josh Richardson entered the 2017-18 season with a point to prove.
Coming off an injury interrupted campaign in which he played just 53 games, Richardson was hoping to rediscover the form he demonstrated as a rookie with the Miami Heat, where his ability to impact the game at both ends of the floor became a trademark for the product of Tennessee.
However, things didn’t quite go as planned to kick off the season. Over his first 19 games of the season, Richardson struggled to make an impact in averaging 8.2 points in 32.8 minutes per game, which featured the shooting splits of 35.3 percent from the field and 25.3 percent from long range.
To Richardson’s considerable credit, the 24-year-old turned things around significantly, with his ensuing 37 games representing the most impressive overall stretch of his career. Over this span, Richardson averaged 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in 35.0 minutes per game. Richardson was the Heat’s leading scorer during this stretch, which featured the third-year swingman shooting at a 45.4 percent clip from 3-point range.
With defensive swingman Rodney McGruder sidelined for the majority of the season, and fellow third-year player Justise Winslow being utilized as a key piece coming off the bench, Richardson started the majority of the season at the small forward slot. This was the case despite what team president Pat Riley stated at the conclusion of the season:
“Is Josh a small forward? Is he a two? I think he’s probably more of a two, but in today’s game and also how we play and the fact that we’re guard-oriented, perimeter-oriented in a lot of ways, Josh is pushed over to the three most of the time.”
With the Heat’s considerable depth at the shooting guard spot, it’s a credit to Richardson that he was able to make such an impact while playing slightly out of position over the course of the season.
As Richardson commences his offseason, here’s a more in-depth look at what he achieved in 2017-18.