The Miami Heat clobbered the Boston Celtics on Sunday night to claim a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Leading the way was undrafted free agent Gabe Vincent, who poured in a playoff career-high 29 points on 78.5% shooting:

Vincent was undrafted coming out of UC Santa Barbara in 2018, a relatively unheralded Gaucho. He spent two years in the G League before getting a two-way deal with Miami and is now on the doorstep of being a starter in the NBA Finals.

It’s pretty wild when you look at this Heat roster and think about how they put it together. Their main group of playoff guys includes:

  • UDFA Gabe Vincent
  • UDFA Max Strus, who also came to Miami from elsewhere and got a two-way deal
  • UDFA Caleb Martin, who began with, you guessed it: a two-way contract
  • 33 year old Jimmy Butler
  • 14th-overall pick Bam Adebayo
  • 34 year old Kevin Love
  • 37 year old Kyle Lowry
  • UDFA Duncan Robinson
  • backup big and 10-year veteran Cody Zeller

Then you’ve got former Sixers two-way player Haywood Highsmith getting some spot playoff minutes as well, alongside first round 2022 draft pick Nikola Jovic and UDFA Omer Yurtseven.

The wild thing is that they’re doing this without Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro, both top-six scorers who are done for the season with a knee and hand injury, respectively. Erik Spoelstra should be NBA Coach of the Century.

When you back and look at the list though, it’s just impressive how they’ve pulled players in through various avenues. They have a couple of solid veterans. There are some Miami draft picks in there to go along with reclamation projects and undrafted free agents. They’ve really made use of their two-way contracts and scanned the G League for talent. They just have a knack for identifying these under-the-radar players who can hit a shot and play some defense on the other end.

For the Sixers and the NBA at large, maybe the idea of development needs to come back around. Maybe Daryl Morey gives serious consideration to a guy like Jaden Springer or establishes a real connection with the Blue Coats team that just won the G League. Maybe the player personnel department focuses on unearthing diamonds in the rough. It would be one thing if Miami struck gold on just one of these guys, but they’ve got two UDFAs in the starting lineup and two coming off the bench, and all four of them are solid NBA players.