In his second real NBA season, Gabe Vincent (1m91, 25) is finally finding his bearings. In his last five games, he has set his season record three times, first at 13, then at 18 and finally at 20 points this Saturday against the Bulls.
A 25-year-old scorer, the Nigerian international is a real added value for the Heat coming off the bench. But it took patience for the former Santa Barbara, non-drafted in 2018.
“Gabe is healthy this year. I don’t think it was really fair to evaluate it last year ”, explains Erik Spoelstra in the Sun Sentinel. “He was just trying to hang on, even though he had given us good minutes anyway.” But after his knee surgery, he was not yet in great shape. He was trying to find his rhythm. “
Continuous progression behind the scenes
With his 5 points and 2 assists on average, Gabe Vincent is clearly not among the first options of Miami of the Florida workforce, which relies first on Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and other Tyler Herro. But precisely, with each absence of the latter, Gabe Vincent is a completely solid spare wheel for the Heat.
“He’s a guy who plays hard, who understands the game, who will make a few mistakes here and there, but his ability to take some shots and play with confidence, gives us an interesting dynamic”, note Kyle Lowry. “He’s taking advantage of his opportunity and I’m happy for him. “
Signed in January 2020 by the Heat for a “two-way contract”, after having set the G-League on fire and bloodshed at 3-points (with 23 points on average in 2019/20, with the trophy for best progress at the key), Gabe Vincent caught the eye of the Heat who took the time to mature his shooter backstage.
“During my time in G-League, I was known for my 3-points. But I was also a scorer. I have scored points in a lot of different ways. I had a few opportunities to show that too. Depending on who I play with, I am also on the field to facilitate the game. It depends on the situations in which I am placed. It’s different every night. I can show a different side of my game. “
With 7 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds on average over the month of November, Gabe Vincent produced his best career basketball. Better still, he won the respect of his teammates thanks to his work ethic and his shooting quality, quite simply. Jimmy Butler approves.
“Gabe is with us during the warm-ups too. I’m comfortable with the shots he takes because I see him take them day in and day out when we play one-on-one at the gym. [d’entraînement]. The kid has a ball! He is so confident and at ease. He does a lot of good things. And he knows where the ball needs to go. Besides, he’s a really great guy, a great teammate. He’s going to change games for us this year. “
Traveling firecracker out of the bench, Gabe Vincent is not afraid of anything. No shot seems too difficult for him, like his good series behind the arc at the start of the last quarter against the Bulls.
” I feel good. I worked a lot on my game and it’s good to be able to see the fruits of it on the big stage. But it was only a matter of time. I never lost faith in myself. I have known who I am since the start of my career and have always been able to shoot. It’s good to see my shots come in. It is to the credit of the staff and my teammates too because they have always believed in me ” he concludes thus.