2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Team: Power rankings for guards
#4 Josh Richardson
The Heat have shaken off a rusty start to the season amidst injuries to a number of key rotation players, including Goran Dragic. Having started 7-13 in their first 20 games of the season, they have now clawed their way back into playoff berths, and currently sit at the 6th seed with a 21-21 record. Their defense, which is usually their calling card, has again been stellar irrespective of whatever nba team defensive stat you use to classify them.
Their resurgence has much to do with the drastic improvements wing duo J-Rich and Justise Winslow have made this season. While Richardson was playing at All-Defensive team caliber last season as well, he has been able to maintain his lockdown defense while dedicating extra energy to offense.
Richardson is averaging 17.6 points per game while making 37.2% of his 6.6 3-point attempts per game, all while guarding the opposition team's best perimeter scorer. If the MIP discussion is a bit of a stretch, people still have to take note of his impact on the Heat's defense, for which he's a net positive despite lining up alongside some of the team's more porous defenders during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of games.