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Josh Richardson on the rise in a number of ways

Joe Johnson's arrival -- with a strong possibility that he plays Sunday night in New York -- will affect others in the Miami Heat rotation, notably Gerald Green, who hasn't scored in his last 71 minutes.

It should not impact rookie Josh Richardson much, however.

Richardson, forced into action because he was essentially the last guard left, has been revelation in the past two games, scoring 26 points in 56 minutes, while making 8-of-10 shots from the field and 7-of-8 attempts from the line. He also has three blocks and three steals, while often taking on two of the league's toughest assignments -- All-World shooter and handler Stephen Curry, and lightning quick Isaiah Thomas. 

"First of all, defense is just instinct," Richardson said. "It's just how I've always played. Everything else just kind of falls into place from there. I think the D-League definitely helped start my confidence in an upward fashion. So, going from that, and going out and getting minutes and do what I do has been great." 

He also hasn't looked hesitant on offense.

"Goran (Dragic) has told me, when I'm on the court, they need me to attack," Richardson said. "In college, I was used to carrying my team every game. So I know I can bring something to this team."

Dragic told Richardson in training camp to stay ready, because he remembered how he got his chance to play big minutes in Houston -- when Kyle Lowry was injured. So Richardson has waited and worked, whether he's been with the Heat or the Sioux Falls Skyforce. It can be a challenging transition, to go from a collegiate leader at Tennessee to one of the kids carrying the veterans' bags.

"It was tough at first, but now that I've kind of been forced into the backup point guard role, it's a leadership role again," Richardson said. "So I get to kind of be me again, and talk and direct traffic." 




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