Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Here’s the Miami Herald with some off-court reporting:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who’s getting married to a former Heat dancer in July, has already upgraded his living quarters from his bachelor’s condo.

Spo, 45, just plunked down $2.6 million for a historic house in Coconut Grove, according to property records. He is set to get hitched to former cheerleader Nikki Sapp July 1…

Unlike his players, who often pay cash for their houses, Spoelstra got a mortgage just like the rest of us shleppers. Naples-based Florida Community Bank gave Spo a $1.95 million mortgage.

New Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Fizdale needs some assistants, and Keith Smart is reportedly in the running. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

The Miami Heat have granted permission to the Memphis Grizzlies to interview assistant coach Keith Smart for a position on the staff of former Heat assistant David Fizdale.

The Heat confirmed Thursday they have been contacted by Memphis since Fizdale took over as coach last week regarding Smart, who was added to Erik Spoelstra’s staff in 2014 on the recommendation of Fizdale. Fizdale and Smart previously had coached together with the Golden State Warriors.

Fizdale was denied permission to interview Heat assistant coach Dan Craig, who is expected to take an elevated position on Spoelstra’s staff next season after this past season coaching the Heat’s minor-league affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to the NBA Development League championship. Craig previously had served as a Heat assistant coach before the D-League assignment.

Game 7 of the Heat-Raptors series is Sunday afternoon. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on a key Heat coaching decision from the series:

Justise Winslow playing big role for Heat

Justise Winslow figures the last time he played center was in high school. Maybe even earlier.

But there he was on Friday night, during an elimination game in the Eastern Conference semifinals taking the opening jump for the Heat as they tried to keep their season alive against the Raptors.

And as he has throughout the season, the rookie showed the kind of moxie that has earned him praise from teammates and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who said he and Winslow shared a laugh after the coach opted not to play the former Duke standout in Game 3 of the series, a game Toronto won 95-91.

Since that decision, Winslow has responded with a 9-point, 4-rebound performance in Game 4, an 8-point, 7-rebound performance in Game 5, and then a 12-point, 3-rebound performance in Game 6, his first career postseason start and a game the Heat won 103-91 to force Sunday’s deciding Game 7.

Raptors win Game 3 vs Heat

Kyle Lowry got his game back at the perfect time for the Toronto Raptors.

And the Miami Heat are in all kinds of trouble.

Shaking off epic playoff struggles, Lowry scored 33 points - including five straight to break a late tie - in a duel with Dwyane Wade to lift the Raptors to a 95-91 victory over the Heat on Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Raptors lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is in Miami on Monday night.

“I felt like it was just a matter of time,” Lowry said.

He was a career 34 percent playoff shooter coming into Saturday, and was shooting 31 percent in these playoffs. But he connected on 11 of 19 shots, 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

– AP

Chris Bosh played 44 games for the Heat in the 2014-15 season, and 53 games this season. Major health concerns with the reason for the missed games. And those concerns mean he will not resume playing for the Heat during the 2016 NBA playoffs. Here’s a team statement:

The Miami HEAT and Chris Bosh announce that Chris will not be playing in the remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The HEAT, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible.

And here is ESPN.com reporting:

Chris Bosh will not make return during 2016 NBA playoffs

The announcement eases a degree of tension that was building between Bosh and the team over his status. Bosh and the Heat avoided acrimony, and he remained active with the team and traveled to road games on owner Micky Arison’s plane, but he appeared to be pushing for a resolution in recent days.

Last week Bosh and his wife, Adrienne, used social media to generate attention to his desire to return to the floor this season. On Tuesday, at Bosh’s request, the National Basketball Players Association asked for a meeting with the Heat to address the issue.

It is relevant that Bosh and the Heat released the statement together. Bosh released his own statement in March announcing that he did not have deep vein thrombosis, another name for blood clots in the leg, and said he was positive he would return this season. The Heat had not made a statement on Bosh since February, when an undisclosed medical condition forced Bosh to be ruled out indefinitely.

It is also relevant that the statement indicated the intention for Bosh to return to the playing floor eventually.

By InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner

(Note: I am typing this entire blog entry on my cellphone while in a cab around 11:15pm Friday night and not editing this, so I insist that you forgive and ignore any typos)

Friday night in Charlotte the Miami Heat beat the Hornets 97-90 to tie their first round NBA playoff series at three games apiece.

A minor side story was “Purple Shirt Guy” — an unnamed fan (if he’s famous, we didn’t recognize him) with a great courtside seat, quickly nicknamed Purple Shirt Guy because, why not.

He was standing up and loudly taunting veteran Heat star Dwyane Wade, who responded with some huge clutch baskets.

My opinion is that while fans close to the court have a right to stand up and be enthusiastic, I’m not sure that SUSTAINED yelling by a fan as he is out of his seat at a player should be allowed, especially if the fan is courtside and therefore very close to the players.

I’m not sure exactly where the league should draw the line. Naturally they should err in favor of passionate fans. But in this sort of situation in the future, perhaps a security guard needs to encourage him/her to get back into their seat and stay there.

Tough call. But Purple Shirt Guy in Charlotte did, in my opinion, cross the line slightly. Players have to feel comfortable and protected.

The good news is, D-Wade sure appeared to feel fine as he suddenly drained key three-pointers and rose up like the star he’s been for many years.

Heat sign Dorell Wright

Heat sign Dorell Wright

The NBA playoffs start soon, and the Miami HEAT today added depth and experience with the signing of forward Dorell Wright.

Wright spent last season in Beijing, China with the North Control appearing in 37 games averaging 24.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.03 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three-point range and 84.8 percent from the foul line. He posted 13 30-point games, including six-straight to end the season, and tallied at least 40 points on four occasions, including a season-high 48 against the DongGuan Leopards on February 3. He has appeared in 549 career NBA games (222 starts) and averaged 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 22.4 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the foul line. He led the league in three-point field goals made (194) during the 2010-11 season and has appeared in 15 career postseason games averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game.

Wright, who spent his first six seasons in Miami, and was a member of the HEAT’s 2006 NBA Championship team, was originally drafted by the HEAT in the first round (19th overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft and appeared in 211 games (56 starts) with Miami averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 19.5 minutes while shooting 46.1 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three-point rage and 80.6 percent from the foul line.

Wright will wear number 11.

Miami Heat sign Briante Weber

The Miami Heat have signed guard Briante Weber. He will wear jersey number 12.

Originally signed by the HEAT earlier this season on October 19 and then waived on October 24, Weber appeared in 28 regular season games (nine starts) this season with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.11 steals and 28.8 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the foul line.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Although he recently completed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Weber is playoff eligible because 10-day contracts do not count against the ban on playoff eligibility for players with other NBA teams after March 1.”

Among NBA D-League leaders, he finished third in defensive rating (99.5) and fourth in steals per game. He recently helped the Skyforce complete the 2-0 series sweep of the Westchester Knicks in the first round of the NBA D-League playoffs after scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and recording five steals in a, 112-105, victory on April 8.

Earlier this season, he signed a 10-day contract with Memphis on March 11 and appeared in six games (four starts) with the Grizzlies averaging 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.7 minutes while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures twice and led the team in steals and blocks once each.

Weber played all four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth finishing 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.

josh richardson

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Richardson helped the Heat go 10-5 in March by ranking second among East rookies in scoring (12.0 ppg) and assists (2.1 apg), and leading the conference’s first-year players in field goal percentage (53.7), three-point field goal percentage (58.9) and steals (1.3 spg). He averaged 29.1 minutes for the month and scored in double figures in eight of 10 games from March 9-28. His versatility was on full display March 14, when Richardson posted 17 points (including 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range), four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals in a 124-119 win over the Denver Nuggets.

karl-anthony towns

Towns, the West winner for the fifth month in a row, ranked second among rookies in scoring (21.9 ppg) and led all first-year players in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.2). He scored in double figures in all 15 of Minnesota’s games and posted 11 games with 10 or more rebounds, adding to his franchise rookie record for double-doubles, which now stands at 48. On March 23, Towns accounted for 26 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks during a 113-104 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Toronto’s Norman Powell.

Hassan Whiteside big for Heat off bench

The Miami Heat are 43-30 this season, which is the fourth best record in the Eastern conference, slightly ahead of the Boston Celtics. And the story of their season since the NBA All-Star break has been the fantastic play of center Hassan Whiteside. Here’s ESPN.com’s blog with more:

Hassan Whiteside doing big things for Heat off bench

Whiteside’s defense remained the focal point around the team, even on a night when he finished with just one block and struggled at times in his matchup with Nets center Brook Lopez, who countered with a team-high 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field but also had four turnovers. But it was Whiteside’s impact on the other side of the ball that more strongly resonated for the Heat (43-30), who have scored at least 100 points in 13 of their past 14 games and are 14-6 since the All-Star break.

A major component of Miami’s recent success has been Whiteside’s spike in production, which culminated Monday with the athletic 7-footer connecting on all seven of his shots from the field and scoring 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. Most of Whiteside’s baskets came on lob dunks, of which he has totaled 10 in the past two games.

In his 18 games since the All-Star break, Whiteside is averaging 18 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 60.5 percent from the field in 30.6 minutes — all off the bench. He started 40 games before he suffered a left hip injury in a Jan. 20 loss in Washington, but has since settled in as a reserve, although Whiteside often plays twice as many minutes as current starting center Amar’e Stoudemire.

Justise Winslow aiming for better 3-point shot

This can’t wait for the summer. Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow is adamantly working on his jumpshot with the hope of fine-tuning his form by the end of the season.

He’s had a tough rookie season shooting-wise after hitting 48.6 percent (including 41.8 percent on 3-pointers) in his one year at Duke. He is shooting 43 percent for the Heat, which isn’t terrible, but has made just 25.5 percent of his 3s.

“Whatever I need to change, I’m trying to do it right now,” Winslow said after staying late to take jumpers after practice today. “For me it’s just about trying to shoot every shot the same and shoot it with confidence.

– Palm Beach Post Blog

When Charles Barkley suggested that Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside could average 20 points per game, Chris Bosh scoffed at that, saying even 18 a game was unrealistic for Whiteside with a full roster. But since Bosh was sidelined by a blood clot, Whiteside is averaging 18.5 points since the NBA All-Star break, compared to 12.2 ppg since before the break.

That’s a byproduct of playing more minutes (31.4 since Bosh’s health scare, 28.2 before) and taking more shots (11.9 field-goal attempts per game after to 8.2 before). “My numbers went up because my role went up,” he said.

But it’s also the result of the development of his mid-range jumper. Though the Heat doesn’t want Whiteside taking his jumpshot early in the shot clock, he’s shooting 48 percent from 10 to 19 feet since the All-Star break, compared with 40.7 percent before (22 for 54).

Miami Herald

LeBron James not looking to explain Miami trip

LeBron James had no interest in justifying using consecutive off days for the Cleveland Cavaliers this week to fly to Miami and spend some of that time working out with former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.

“I don’t care,” James said after Cavs practice Thursday when asked about the perception of him spending time with a potential playoff foe during the season.

“What do I go there for? Go there ’cause I want to,” James said. “I would love to go to L.A., but I’ll take 2½ [hour flight] over 4½. I’ve got a house in L.A., but it makes more sense for me to go South than go West. But I go because I want to.”

– ESPN.com

All the Miami Heat did was put together the best shooting night in franchise history, an effort that matched the NBA’s top performance from the floor in the last 18 years.

This Joe Johnson move already looks like a winner.

The Heat shot 67.5 percent, set a season high for points and beat the Chicago Bulls 129-111 on Tuesday night. Hassan Whiteside scored a career-high 26 points and had 14 rebounds, and Johnson had 24 points in his Miami home debut.

Miami’s 52-for-77 shooting was the best since Utah shot exactly that on Feb. 27, 2010, and no team has done better from the field since the Los Angeles Clippers connected on 69.3 percent of their shots on March 13, 1998.

– Associated Press

Heat waive Beno Udrih

Heat waive Beno Udrih

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived guard Beno Udrih. It was a contract buyout, as agreed to by the player and the team.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “the amount of Udrih’s buyout agreement is believed to be enough just to accommodate Johnson’s contract, a nominal amount, in the $50,000 range. However, if Udrih is claimed off waivers, the Heat then would immediately gain enough room below the luxury-tax ceiling to add at least one more player.”

Udrih appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season and averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 88.2 percent from the foul line. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

The Miami Heat (33-26) were getting 4.4 points and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per game from backup guard Beno Udrih before he suffered a season-ending injury. Now, the Heat and Udrih may agree to part ways. Here’s a report from The Vertical:

Heat, Beno Udrih may agree to contract buyout

The Miami Heat are nearing agreement with guard Beno Udrih on a contract buyout to offset the salary and luxury-tax implications of signing Joe Johnson, league sources told The Vertical.

The Heat approached Udrih’s representatives late last week about a possible buyout and discussions progressed over the weekend, sources said. Ultimately, the choice to settle for a buyout or be released outright rests with Udrih.

Heat sign Joe Johnson

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson.

Johnson is one of only five players in NBA history to record at least 18,000 points, 4,500 assists, 4,000 rebounds and 1,500 made three-point field goals. With his addition to the HEAT roster, Miami now features 38 total All-Star appearances, the most in the NBA.

Johnson has appeared in 1,119 career games (1,049 starts) and averaged 17.0 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range and 80.1 percent from the foul line. Earlier this season, he hit the game-winning three-point shot in a 105-104 win vs. Denver on February 8, and has now hit the game-tying or game-winning shot nine different times in his career (with one second or less remaining), the third-most by any player since he entered the league, fourth on that list is Dwyane Wade with seven. Additionally, Johnson and Wade now become the only active players in the league to each score at least 18,500 career points on the same roster.

Johnson appeared in 57 games (all starts) with the Brooklyn Nets this season averaging 11.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 33.9 minutes while shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range and 85.2 percent from the foul line. He led the team in three-point field goals made (85) and finished second in three-point field goal percentage. The 15-year veteran has appeared in the playoffs 10 times over his career, totaling 87 postseason games (81 starts) averaging 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the foul line.

Joe Johnson will reportedly join Heat

Small forward Joe Johnson averaged just 11.8 points on 40.6% shooting this season for the Brooklyn Nets, plus 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per outing. His career is winding down. Still, he’d make a terrific addition to just about any team that wants him as a member of the supporting cast. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Joe Johnson will reportedly join Heat

Six years later, the Cavaliers have reportedly lost out on another free agent to the Miami Heat. This one, however, doesn’t sting nearly as much.

Joe Johnson will join the Miami Heat after he clears waivers Saturday night, according to multiple reports. The soon-to-be free agent guard was considering the Cavs, but has chosen South Beach instead. Yahoo Sports reported Johnson chose the Heat for the chance to start and play meaningful minutes.

LeBron James, who also spurned Cleveland for Miami in 2010, confirmed earlier Friday the Cavs had interest in Johnson, but stopped short of saying he would reach out to him.

Beno Udrih out three months after foot surgery

Miami Heat guard Beno Udrih underwent surgery to repair a torn plantar plate in his right foot. The one hour, 45-minute procedure was performed by HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick and Dr. Thomas San Giovanni at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital. He is expected to miss three months.

Udrih has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

Beno Udrih needs foot surgery, out three months

Miami Heat guard Beno Udrih will undergo surgery for a torn plantar plate in his right foot and is expected to miss three months.

Udrih has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

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