Though Highsmith has far less experience than Tucker, he seems quite confident that he can be the team’s new enforcer.
Now, Highsmith has doubled down on his assertion, and he even went so far as to explain why he thinks his game is similar to that of Tucker.
“I think me and P.J. have similar styles on defense,” Highsmith said to the Miami Herald. “We like to guard the ball, be physical and play hard and just play to win. On the offensive end, he’s a good three-point shooter in the corner, and I think I’m a good three-point shooter in the corner. I think I can do the stuff that he does on the dribble handoffs and the short roll, get into the pocket and making plays, shooting the floaters. I think just on both ends of the floor, I think we have a lot of similarities.”
Highsmith played for the Heat last season, but he didn’t see all that much time on the court. In 19 games during the 2021-22 regular season, he finished with averages of 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
Those numbers don’t inspire a ton of confidence when it comes to replacing Tucker’s production, but that clearly isn’t impacting Highsmith.
So far, the Heat have arguably gotten worse this offseason. Losing Tucker was a major blow to the team, and the front office hasn’t really made many moves to overcome that.
If the Heat can’t make a big move this offseason, they will likely enter the 2022-23 NBA regular season with a lot of doubters.