Former BYU big man Eric Mika returned to the Heat lineup for the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas summer league, and had his most productive outing in a 98-95 double-overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Mika got the start for the Heat – who were without first round pick Bam Adebayo and Okaro White – and produced accordingly. Even though he only played 16 minutes, Mika managed seven points on 2-for-3 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added a team-best eight rebounds, including two on the offensive end.
While used as mostly a screener in the pick-and-roll, he showed that he could score in a few different ways in the loss. He got to the free-throw line in the flow of the offense on the pick-and-roll and also drew contact on one of his few touches with his back to the basket.
He also showed he could put the ball on the floor as he attacked the basket and scored in traffic off the bounce with his left hand. It was an extra possession for the Heat that was created by some great hustle on the boards by Mika. His other basket also came thanks to his play on the offensive glass as he had a nice put back slam after he collected a missed shot from Jake Odum and flushed it home.
All told, Mika played in five of the 11 games for the Heat in Orlando and Las Vegas and had some nice moments in limited minutes even though Miami didn’t win a game that he played in. He averaged 5.4 points on 40 percent shooting from the floor and 83.3 percent from the foul line to go along with 3.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes.
What stood out the most was his ability to get to (and convert from) the foul line where he took 18 attempts in just 65.4 total minutes.
The other thing that was very noticeable was his work on the offensive glass. While he totaled only four offensive rebounds, he created a number of extra possessions for Miami by going to the boards in an aggressive manner and drawing fouls.
While his next stop is still up in the air, plenty in the know have an opinion on where he will end up this season. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla – who did the color commentary of the game against the Grizzlies, suggested that he could end up in Italy if he doesn’t make the Heat or end up in the G-League. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune had the same idea while also adding the possibility of a two-way contract.