Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra calls Haywood Highsmith’s confidence an all-time high

Miami Heat forward Haywood Highsmith has made great strides over the past two yearsw

What impresses Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is how Haywood Highsmith moves forward and always stays positive.

Highsmith has had his ups and downs over the past two years, but has persevered.

The finished product is what the Heat are seeing these days from another of their developmental projects turned rotation player.

“There have been incremental improvements and it’s not linear,” Spoelstra said.

“There are days that are great, days that aren’t great, days that you have to get through.”

He simply has great strength of mind. Like a lot of other guys we’ve developed, you have to have it.

If you don’t have it, you probably won’t make it. The talent level is always quite comparable. It is the force that causes separation. He has. He has always been consistent in his work.”

Highsmith had 15 points, three rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Heat played without Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin. It gives Highsmith a chance to show he’s come a long way since his two-way contract days.

“I think it lasted through the regular season, with some good moments and into the playoffs,” Spoelstra said.

“It was really in his head… Players get to that point and all of a sudden they know. He got to that point this summer.”

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Shandel has covered the NBA since 2010, with previous stops at The Athletic and the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.

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