In comparison to his previous team, former Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard is enduring a far different experience with the Heat. Miami currently sits at No. 3 in the Eastern Conference standings with a solid 24-9 record. Leonard, who was traded to the Heat in a package that netted the Blazers Hassan Whiteside, has started in all 33 contests this season.
Earlier this week, Leonard shared his thoughts on Miami’s success in an interview with CBS Sports. The former Blazers reserve made a point to colorfully highlight the Heat’s culture.
“Hell yeah we’re for real,” Meyers Leonard told CBS Sports. “Look around this locker room. We’ve got players, man. We’ve got Jimmy Butler, a superstar who’s getting everyone involved. We’ve got guys who can defend their ass off. We’ve got shooters. I think, too, this is an organization that brings the best out of people. Call it culture. Call it what you want. But this organization is one that expects discipline, work ethic, character, and competition.
“You have to compete here, man,” Leonard continued. “Every single day. And that brings out the best in guys. So I think there’s a lot of that, where you’re seeing the best that guys have to offer because of their own hard work, of course, but also because of the organization and the environment that brings that out. Again, look around. Tell me what this team doesn’t have.”
Leonard is averaging 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Along with those numbers, the former Illinois standout is shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from beyond the arc. On Sunday, Leonard will cross paths with his former team for the first time.
In regards to discipline and culture, Dion Waiters has yet to return to the Heat’s lineup following a team-issued 10-game suspension.
You can read the full story from Brad Botkin at CBS Sports.