Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, whose game was cut short on January 20 and just returned to action last night:

Hassan Whiteside happy to be back in action for Heat

It wasn’t about working back into a lather, again breaking into a sweat under the brightest lights. Those were the residuals. For Hassan Whiteside, getting back on the court meant the opportunity to again soak up what has transformed his life with the Miami Heat over the past year.

“I really missed playing basketball,” the shot-blocking, dunking-on-people center said after returning from a six-game injury absence in Wednesday night’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks. “A lot of times, you don’t realize how much you miss the game. I know I was just out for like a week and a half, I can’t imagine being out any longer.”

So he worked the coaching staff like he works the paint, essentially posting up coach Erik Spoelstra.

“I was expecting him to play in Charlotte,” Spoelstra said of Friday’s third and final stop of this three-game trip. “That was the plan.

“He really wanted to give it a go right now, so we gave him the green light.”

Dwyane Wade doing big things lately

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On Jan. 19, Heat guard Dwyane Wade scored two points in 21 minutes during a loss to Milwaukee, the second time in his career he had played that much and scored that little in a regular-season game. He missed the next game with shoulder soreness, a loss to Washington, Miami’s sixth defeat in seven games. Since then, however, Wade has gotten back on track — as has the Heat. Wade is averaging 23.6 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 6.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds in his last five games, lifting Miami to a 4-1 record and victories in its last four. Wade is now tied with Bernard King for 42nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (19,655 points). Miami (27-21), which trails Chicago (26-20) by percentage points for third place in the Eastern Conference, puts its season-high winning streak on the line Tuesday at Houston (8 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

Heat guard Tyler Johnson will undergo shoulder surgery

The HEAT announced today that guard Tyler Johnson will undergo rotator cuff surgery in his left shoulder. The procedure will take place this Wednesday, February 3 at Doctors Hospital in Miami and be performed by HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick.

Johnson has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 24.0 minutes while shooting 48.8 percent from the field.

Goran Dragic tech and ejection rescinded

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who is averaging a modest 11.3 points and 5.3 assists in 31.4 minutes per game this season:

Goran Dragic tech and ejection rescinded

The NBA confirmed Tuesday to the Sun Sentinel that the second of the two technical fouls called on Miami Heat Goran Dragic during Sunday’s victory over the Portland Trail Blazers has been rescinded.

Because of that decision, the league also confirmed that Dragic’s first career NBA ejection also has been rescinded, with that ejection the result of being called for two technical fouls in the same game.

Dragic was called for the first of his two Sunday technical fouls with 4:48 to play in the third quarter of the 116-109 victory over the Trail Blazers. He acknowledged that he used harsh language while disputing the officiating during that sequence. He then was called for his second technical foul with 1:37 to play in that quarter, which he contended was for asking referee James Williams, “What?”

Heat deny shopping Hassan Whiteside

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who is having a fantastic season as his value rises:

Heat deny shopping Hassan Whiteside

Heat officials firmly denied a report that Miami is shopping Hassan Whiteside in an effort to acquire Kings center DeMarcus Cousins or Rockets center Dwight Howard.

And although there have been cases during Pat Riley’s 21-year tenure that the team denied talks, and then a deal was consummated, this time it has good reason for citing a report as implausible.

Specifically, it relates to Whiteside’s contract, which is virtually worthless to an acquiring team, unless that team is trying to make a title run with him this season.

He’s making just $981,348 this season, meaning that Miami would need to include several other contracts just to get anywhere near the necessary salary for Howard ($22.8 million) or Cousins ($15.8 million).

And, as is the predicament for the Heat now, any team acquiring Whiteside would not have his “Bird Rights,” meaning that it would need to use salary cap space to re-sign him.

The 14-9 Miami Heat are getting 12.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and an amazing 4.04 blocks in 27.6 minutes per game this season. But free throw shooting is an issue. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog reporting:

Hassan Whiteside free throw shooting is an issue

In an ideal scenario, Hassan Whiteside would start hitting something close to 70 percent at the foul line, and he might get there eventually, but the Heat have to work with what they have at the moment.

Right now, Whiteside is a 48.6 percent free-throw shooter and that is a factor in his declining fourth-quarter playing time. But Erik Spoelstra can live Whiteside’s struggles under two conditions.

“As long as we’re getting a point per possession off of it and getting stops at the other end, it’s a plus for us,” Spoelstra said of other teams fouling Whiteside intentionally.

Tyler Johnson needs off-season surgery

The Miami Heat are 13-9 this season and getting 9.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game from backup guard Tyler Johnson. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog reporting an injury update:

Tyler Johnson needs off-season surgery

The good news for Tyler Johnson in the short term is that he expects to be back any day from his shoulder issue. The downside, though, is that he eventually needs surgery to repair it.

Johnson has an impingement in his left shoulder (his shooting shoulder) and has missed the last two games. The Heat are uncertain whether they will have him tonight at Atlanta.

“It just got a little bit irritated, so we’re trying to calm it down,” he said Sunday. “I’ll be a game-time decision (Monday), but no later than Wednesday. I’ll for sure play on Wednesday (at Brooklyn).”

The Memphis Grizzlies visit the Miami Heat Sunday (6 p.m. ET), and the matchup brings Grizzlies backup guard Mario Chalmers (averaging a career-high 11.1 ppg this season) back to Miami and the arena he used to call home. Expect love for Chalmers from fans. As for players? Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Mario Chalmers plays on road in Miami Sunday

Chris Bosh plans to keep it simple.

“I’ll probably yell at him during the game for old-time’s sake,” he said.

Dwyane Wade also envisions a basic welcome.

“I’m taking him into the post,” he said. “He going to foul me.”

Both laughed, mostly because of the countless times that Mario Chalmers made them smile.

At a time when both teams are struggling to gain their footing, Sunday’s game between the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies at AmericanAirlines Arena will be about more than the moment.

It will be about the moments Chalmers helped create for the Heat, especially during that run to four consecutive NBA Finals and two NBA championships.

Through Tuesday’s games, the Miami Heat are 6-4. A perfectly respectable record at this early point in the season. But veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade, after an excellent start to the season, has cooled off in a big way. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

D-Wade struggling after fast start to season

The first five game were a statement, an I’m-back statement, with Dwyane Wade scoring at least 20 points in each outing. Since then, though, the Miami Heat shooting guard has not scored more than 12, shooting 18 of 55 over his four subsequent appearances.

Tuesday’s 103-91 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves included another uneven performance, this time 5 of 13 from the field for 10 points, with six assists and five turnovers.

“My opportunities are different,” Wade said, as the Heat turned their attention to Thursday’s fifth game on this season-longest seven-game homestand, against the Sacramento Kings at AmericanAirlines Arena. “The first five games were a little different. I’m not really worried about scoring. I’m just trying to be aggressive, sometimes to make plays, sometimes to score.”

Wade has not attempted more than four free throws in any of his past four appearances, including none Tuesday night. Some of that is opposing teams daring him to take his jumper; some of it is the Heat this season playing both Hassan Whiteside and Chris Bosh in the post.

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The Miami HEAT announced today that they have acquired guard Beno Udrih and forward Jarnell Stokes from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Mario Chalmers and forward James Ennis.

“This is an tough day for myself and the organization in trading Mario Chalmers and James Ennis,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “Mario was a part of two championships with us and Ennis is a solid young player, but it is part of the business and it was a move necessary to make because of our crowded backcourt. We feel that it is in the best interest of Mario and we want him to be successful and be a part of a good team. We wish them nothing but the best. We would also like to welcome Beno Udrih, an accomplished veteran and someone that has playoff and championship experience, and the addition of Jarnell Stokes, a young player that we would like to develop.”

grizzlies

Udrih, entering his 12th NBA season, has appeared in 756 career games (267 starts) and averaged 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.1 rebounds and 22.5 minutes while shooting 46.3 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three-point range and 82.9 percent from the foul line. The Slovenian guard scored a season-high 13 points at Indiana on October 29 and has dished out a season-high six assists on two separate occasions this season. The two-time NBA champion has appeared in 53 postseason games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.2 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 11.3 minutes while shooting 38.8 percent from the field and 80.4 percent from the foul line.

Stokes, drafted by the Utah Jazz in the second round (35th overall) in the 2014 NBA Draft, has appeared in 21 career NBA games (two starts) and averaged 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 6.2 minutes while shooting 56.8 percent from the field. He appeared in 23 games (14 starts) with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League last season and averaged 15.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 32.0 minutes while shooting 61.7 percent from the field. Stokes appeared in 87 games while at Tennessee (84 starts) and averaged 13.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.08 blocks and 29.7 minutes while shooting 62.8 percent. He finished his collegiate career first in offensive rebounds, fourth in double-doubles, eighth in total rebounds and 14th in blocks on the school’s all-time list.

Chalmers has appeared in 525 career games with the HEAT (383 starts) and averaged 8.8 points, 3.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.51 steals and 27.8 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 77.6 percent from the foul line. He finished among Miami’s all-time leaders in steals (2nd), assists (3rd), games played (4th), three-point field goals made (4th), minutes played (6th), starts (6th), points (11th), free throw percentage (11th), double-figure scoring efforts (12th), field goals made (13th), free throws made (13th), rebounds (15th), field goal percentage (19th) and three-point field goal percentage (20th). Chalmers was the starting guard on two HEAT championship teams, appearing in 99 career postseason games (73 starts) and averaged 8.8 points, 3.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.19 steals and 29.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point range and 74.2 percent from the foul line.

Ennis, drafted by the HEAT in the second round (50th overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft, has appeared in 65 career games with the HEAT (three starts) and averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from the foul line.

Report: Mario Chalmers to Grizzlies

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Heat, who will soon send guard Mario Chalmers to Memphis:

Report: Mario Chalmers to Grizzlies

The Miami Heat has agreed to trade veteran backup guard Mario Chalmers and 2013 second round pick James Ennis to the Memphis Grizzlies for 33-year-old backup guard Beno Udrih and 6-9, 263-pound backup power forward Jarnell Stokes.

The league has yet to confirm the trade first reported by Yahoo! Sports, but an independent source told the Miami Herald that the trade has been agreed to and the players are being informed.

The move would save the Heat, who have the fourth-highest payroll in the NBA at $93.3 million, about $2 million in roster space and help trim the luxury tax by roughly $6 million at the end of the year. Chalmers, 29, is making $4.3 million this season and Ennis is making $845K. Udrih is making $2.17 million and Stokes is making $980K.

In Miami, eyes on Hassan Whiteside

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside. Playing alongside multiple proven veterans, eyes will be on the talented big-man as he continues to improve:

In Miami, eyes on Hassan Whiteside

Was it fact or flash, what Whiteside offered over the second half of last season? Can it be replicated over the course of an entire season now that the double-teams, hard fouls and scouting reports are about to enter the equation?

Why does Whiteside’s at-the-rim game matter so much? Because look at the rest of the power rotation, where Bosh is hoisting 3-pointers, Josh McRoberts is passing out of the high post, Amar’e Stoudemire is shooting baseline jumpers, Chris Andersen is saving his 37-year-old legs for the defensive end and Udonis Haslem’s lift has almost been extinguished.

No single player impacts the Heat on both ends of the court as much as Whiteside. He has to pick up where he left off.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived center Keith Benson, guards Tre Kelley, John Lucas III and Briante Weber and forward Greg Whittington. With these moves the HEAT roster now stands at 15 players.

Benson, who was signed as a free agent on Aug. 25, appeared in five preseason contests (one start) with the HEAT and averaged 5.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 11.8 minutes.

Kelley, who was signed as a free agent on Sept. 28, came off the bench in both games in which he appeared this preseason and averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 assists and 13.8 minutes.

Lucas III, a seven-year NBA veteran who was signed as a free agent on Sept. 28, appeared in one game and was scoreless with two rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes.

Whittington, who played on the HEAT’s summer league team this year and was signed as an undrafted free agent on Sept. 3, came off the bench in all four games in which he appeared and averaged 2.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 16.1 minutes.

Weber, who was signed as an undrafted free agent on Oct. 19, did not appear in a preseason game.

Heat sign Briante Weber, waive Corey Hawkins

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Briante Weber and waived guard Corey Hawkins.

Weber played all four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth, appearing in 127 games (65 starts) and averaged 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.94 steals and 23.4 minutes while shooting 42.6 percent from the field. He finished as VCU’s all-time career steals leader (374), shattering the previous 29-year old record by 117, capping his career third on the NCAA’s steals list, just 12 shy from becoming the all-time career leader before missing the final 10 games of his senior season due to injury. He became the first player in conference history to be named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons, including his senior, junior and sophomore seasons, and also set a program record with a recorded 45.5-inch vertical leap.

As a senior, Weber appeared in 20 games (19 starts) and averaged 8.1 points, 4.3 assists, 3.90 steals, 3.7 rebounds and 26.5 minutes while shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three-point range. Despite missing the last 10 games of the season, he led the team in steals (78) and finished second in assists (85). Additionally, he dished out a career-high 10 assists against Oregon on November 25 and recorded a season-high nine steals vs. Toledo on November 18.

Weber will wear number 25.

Hawkins appeared in two games with the HEAT this preseason totaling six points, two rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes of action.

Heat starting lineup finally healthy

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Heat, whose starting lineup finally got a chance to actually play basketball together. A very helpful thing in the chemistry-development department.

This is what you would term a tease. It lasted just three minutes and 22 seconds, in the opening quarter of an open scrimmage with a running clock, a scrimmage significant mostly for the cause — breast cancer research and awareness. But this small slice of time, resulting in just four points, still represented the most promising stretch of the Heat’s preseason thus far.

That’s because it was the first time Miami’s projected starters were on the floor together in a competitive setting — Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Goran Dragic and now, center Hassan Whiteside, who, after rehabbing a calf injury for roughly three weeks, had been cleared after completing the morning practice.

This is the group Pat Riley envisioned since February, when he acquired Dragic, only to see Bosh’s season officially end that same day. Then, after a harrowing summer, in which Miami sweated Bosh’s recovery, Deng’s opt-in decision and Dragic and Wade’s contract negotiations, Whiteside’s injury delayed the process again.

Now Whiteside is back.

The Heat can finally move forward.

Heat sign John Lucas III and Trey Kelley

Heat sign John Lucas III and Trey Kelley

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guards John Lucas III and Tre Kelley. We assume these are non-guaranteed deals for training camp.

Lucas, a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 237 career NBA games (eight starts) and averaged 4.8 points, 1.5 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 12.3 minutes while shooting 38.4 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point range and 76.8 percent from the foul line. He split last season between the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. He appeared in 28 games with the Fujian Sturgeons and averaged 26.3 points, 7.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.25 steals and 43.5 minutes while shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 89.5 percent from the foul line. He recorded double-figure assists five times and recorded eleven 30-point games, including a season-high 42 points against Chongqing FD on January 25. He appeared in 21 games with Detroit and averaged 4.7 points and 2.9 assists in 13.0 minutes of action while shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and a perfect 5-of-5 from the foul line. He dished out a season-high six assists on three separate occasions and scored in double-digits twice. Lucas previously was a member of the HEAT during the 2009 preseason before being waived on Oct. 22, 2009.

Kelley, who previously participated in training camp with the HEAT in 2008, has appeared in 103 NBA Development League games (63 starts) and averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.02 steals and 31.5 minutes while shooting 45.8 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he has appeared in nine NBA D-League postseason games (all starts) and averaged 16.8 points, 6.8 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.00 steals and 37.5 minutes while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the foul line. Kelley split last season between Pertevniyal of the Turkish Basketball League and Sigma Barcellona of the Italian Serie A2 League, appearing in 31 total games (all starts) and averaged 15.9 points, 5.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.19 steals and 33.0 minutes while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 20.

Dan Craig to coach Sioux Falls Skyforce

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting some Heat-related coaching developments:

The Miami Heat coaching staff again will be reshuffled this season, with assistant coach Dan Craig taking over as coach of the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, an NBA source confirmed Sunday to the Sun Sentinel.

Craig, who has guided the Heat’s summer-league teams in recent seasons, takes over for Phil Weber, who guided the Skyforce to the NBDL playoffs last season before joining the New Orleans Pelicans staff of former Heat coach Alvin Gentry.

With the move, Chris Quinn, who served as an assistant coach last season with the Skyforce will move to a permanent role on Erik Spoelstra’s Heat staff.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Miami Heat, who have players that want to win like anyone else but also need to think about themselves and not just the team because many of them are in a contract year. It also presumably means the team could look very different in a year.

When the Miami Heat regroup for training camp in just over a week, a singular goal will be a return to the playoffs. But the question is whether other singular goals will be in play, as well.

For as much work as Pat Riley and his staff put into attempting to prevent a lottery repeat, there also was a forward-thinking approach with the roster, one that provides flexibility for what some expect to be a free-agency free-for-all next July, when the entire league will be flush with cap cash.

As a result, three-fifths of the Heat’s anticipated starting lineup will be playing in the final (or lone) year of their contracts, when counting Hassan Whiteside, Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade, with only Chris Bosh and Goran Dragic under contract beyond 2015-16.

Beyond that, prime reserves such as Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green, Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen, and even Udonis Haslem and Tyler Johnson will be in the final seasons of their contracts.

That presents a roster that both wants to win . . . and wants to get paid.

Miami Heat sign Greg Whittington

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Greg Whittington.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Whittington to Heat training camp.

Whittington appeared in nine total games (six starts) with the HEAT during Summer League play in both Orlando and Las Vegas this summer and averaged 9.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.44 steals and 1.33 blocks while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from three-point range and a perfect 13-of-13 from the foul line. During Las Vegas Summer League play, he led the team in points (65), rebounds (41), blocks (8) and three-point field goals made (8).

Whittington spent two seasons at Georgetown University appearing in 46 games (13 starts) averaging 6.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 24.4 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the field. He scored a career-high 25 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds against West Carolina on December 15, 2012 and posted three double-figure rebounding games as a sophomore, including a career-high 15-rebound effort against Duquesne on November 11, 2012.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 18.

LeBron James sells Miami home

In case you just woke up from a year-long coma, LeBron James left the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014 and returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And now his Miami home reportedly has a new owner. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

LeBron James sells Miami home

LeBron James took his talents to Miami, and now he’s taking his money out of it.

James, who played with the Heat for four seasons before returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, sold his Miami home Tuesday for $13.4 million, a source confirmed to ESPN.com.

James paid $9 million in 2010 for the home, which has six bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms. He sold it to Timo and Nathalia Kipp, who are married Florida real estate investors.

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