Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Miami Heat free agency strategy

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Heat:

lebron james

As they chase free agents to join with their superstars, the Miami Heat are telling free agents they expect to have as much as $12 million in salary-cap space after hopefully getting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to re-sign, sources told ESPN.com.

With James demanding a maximum contract starting around $20.7 million, this indicates that Wade and Bosh are possibly willing to take drastic pay cuts to help the Heat add talent to the roster.

This has freed up the Heat to become a potential bidder for free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry, whom they have contacted but not yet set up a meeting or progressed talks with, sources said. Lowry, after talks with the Raptors and Rockets, was taking a day or two to mull his options, sources said Monday night.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top LeBron James plays of the 2013-14 season:

Pat Riley statement on Chris Bosh opting out of Heat contract

The following statement by Pat Riley was released today by the Miami Heat:

“Today we were notified of Chris’ intentions to opt-out of his contract. Chris is one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league, and he has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons. We look forward to meeting with Chris and his agent in the coming days to discuss keeping him in Miami for many years to come.”

miami heat

The following statement from Pat Riley was released by the Miami Heat this afternoon:

“Today we were notified of Dwyane’s intention to opt-out of his contract and Udonis’ intention to not opt into his contract, making both players free agents. Dwyane has been the cornerstone of our organization for over a decade, and we hope he remains a part of the Heat family for life. Udonis has been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years. He has sacrificed countless times to make this organization successful, and he is the epitome of what this organization stands for. We look forward to meeting with Dwyane and Udonis and their agent in the coming days to discuss our future together.”

InsideHoops.com note: Riley didn’t mention Chris Bosh, who may opt out as well. Perhaps that will be confirmed very soon.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have acquired the draft rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall) from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the draft rights to P.J. Hairston (26th overall) and Semaj Christon (55th overall), a 2019 second-round draft choice and cash considerations.

“Shabazz Napier is a winner, he’s a two-time NCAA champion and he’s one of the elite players in college basketball,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel very fortunate we were able to acquire him and we feel like he fits in extremely well. He has a high motor, high basketball IQ, is a great shooter and has great character.”

Napier, a two-time NCAA champion, appeared in a school-record 143 career games (98 starts) for the Huskies and averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 32.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. He totaled 1,959 points while dishing out 646 assists, becoming the only player in school history to total at least 1,500 points and 500 assists.

During his senior season, Napier helped lead UConn to the 2014 NCAA Championship after appearing in 40 games (all starts) and averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.83 steals and 35.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the foul line. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Additionally, he was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection and named to the AP All-American First Team. He led his team in points (720), rebounds (196), assists (195), steals (73), field goals made (213), three-point field goals made (87) and free throws made (207) while capping his senior season averaging 21.2 points during the NCAA tournament, earning the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

Pat Riley statement on LeBron James entering free agency

The following statement was released today from Pat Riley of the Miami Heat:

“I was informed this morning of his intentions. We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise. As I said at the press conference last week, players have a right to free agency and when they have these opportunities, the right to explore their options. The last four seasons have been historic and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra have led the Miami HEAT to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA. We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together. At the moment, we are preparing for the opportunities in the Draft and Free Agency as we continue with our goal of winning NBA Championships.”

LeBron James to become free agent

What would you do if you were LeBron James? Continue on with your Heat contract, hope that Dwyane Wade’s knees hold up, and hope the team adds a better bench? Opt out, test free agency, but perhaps wind up staying with the Heat? Or leave South Beach (well, Miami) and take your talents elsewhere? Here’s ESPN.com with news on this situation:

LeBron James’ agent, Richie Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement.

James had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with a Heat update:

Chris Andersen may opt out of Heat contract

Miami Heat center Chris “Birdman” Andersen will opt-out of his contract to become a free agent, according to Yahoo Sports.

Andersen will decline his $1.5 million player option for next season, according to the report.

Andersen, who turns 36 on July 7, has been a steal for the Heat since he joined the team in 2013. His 2013-14 salary was only $1.4 million.

The Spurs currently lead the Heat 3-1 in the 2014 NBA Finals. Miami is coming off a Thursday home loss. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the series and Heat star LeBron James:

LeBron James says he has been bothered by ankle for a few days

What started with LeBron James unable to even make his way off the court due to cramps could close with the Miami Heat forward limping to the finish of these NBA Finals.

In the wake of Thursday’s 107-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs that dropped the Heat to a 3-1 deficit in this best-of-seven series that continues Sunday at 8 p.m. at the AT&T Center, both James and coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged an ongoing ankle issue briefly took James off the court in the first quarter of Game 4.

“I went to go get re-taped, re-tape my ankle,” James said early Friday. “It’s been kind of bothering me for the last couple days, but I felt OK.”

With James unable to finish Game 1 due to cramps exacerbated by an air-conditioning malfunction at the AT&T Center, the Heat were unable to hold off the Spurs. Thursday, James appeared to be easing his way into Game 4, with both James and Spoelstra insisting that the other time James left the bench at the outset was because of a bathroom break.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on a rumor that would shake up the NBA would if it actually materialized:

Will Carmelo Anthony join Heat this summer?

Carmelo Anthony responded to reports that he will join LeBron James this summer and sign with the Miami Heat by saying “nothing is legit until a deal is signed.”

The celebrity website TMZ videotaped Anthony as the Knicks All Star was leaving Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills on Thursday, the day before he is scheduled to meet with Knicks president Phil Jackson, head coach, Derek Fisher and GM Steve Mills.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Garden Chairman James Dolan is scheduled to join the group as well. Dolan is on the West Coast with the Rangers who were playing Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Los Angeles.

Dolan’s role in Anthony’s free agency is compelling because Anthony represents Dolan’s biggest basketball transaction. It was Dolan who hijacked the Anthony trade talks from former Knicks president Donnie Walsh in 2010. Jackson recently mocked the deal when he addressed the possibility of pursuing Denver head coach Brian Shaw by reminding reporters the Nuggets have all of the Knicks assets.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on the Spurs-Heat NBA Finals. Game 3 is tonight in Miami:

The Spurs are back for Game 3 of the Finals on Tuesday, intent on forgetting as much as they can about the last time they were here on this stage.

“For me personally, I’m definitely not going to think about that the next two games,” San Antonio guard Tony Parker said after the Spurs fell, 98-96, in Game 2 on Sunday night. “I’m going to focus on what I can do to help the team win. Going to be big games coming up.”

The Heat and Spurs are in a similar spot to where they were last year, the series tied after two games. The difference is that the next two games will be in Miami as part of the new 2-2-1-1-1 series format instead of in San Antonio for three games as part of the old 2-3-2 alignment that ended last year.

It seemed pretty clear what fixes the Spurs needed to make after another unhappy ending doomed them in Game 2. They led by a point after Parker made a three-pointer with 2:26 remaining before their final four possessions went like this: missed Manu Ginobili three-pointer, Ginobili turnover, Ginobili missed jumper and meaningless Ginobili three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.

San Antonio’s demise was not solely a one-man operation, though.

The Spurs missed eight of 20 free throws in the game, including four in a row in the fourth quarter.

michael redd

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals.

The flop was easily visible even in real time, and became blatantly obvious when shown repeatedly in slow-motion replay.

The incident occurred with 4:09 remaining in the second quarter of Miami’s 98-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs last night at AT&T Center.

To view the play click on this link.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat and Spurs 2014 NBA Finals series:

Heat point guards not doing much in 2014 NBA Finals yet

Nine NBA Finals games between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat over the last two summers have shown us the stars need assistance to win the series, even if you’ve got the best player on the planet on your side.

The defending champs squeezed by the Spurs in a 98-96 Game 2 win on Sunday night, evening the series and avoiding their first two-game playoff losing streak in more than two years. But they did so without much help from two point guards that have been so valuable in years past.

Mario Chalmers scored five points and Norris Cole didn’t dent the scoreboard, but the team’s starting point guard said it hasn’t yet become a concern.

“Game 1, I was in foul trouble the whole time, but today I got into a little bit of a rhythm,” Chalmers said, dismissing the idea that playing the first two games on the road makes a difference. “But our job is really to contain Tony Parker and hit shots when we get shots.”

Sunday in San Antonio, the Miami Heat came to town, enjoyed proper arena air conditioning, and edged the Spurs 98-96 to tie the 2014 NBA Finals 1-1. LeBron James shot 14-of-22 in the win for 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Enjoy these LeBron video highlights:

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat, who are down 1-0 to the Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals. Game 2 is Sunday night in San Antonio:

The last time the Miami Heat lost consecutive playoff games, Ray Allen played for the opposition, Chris Bosh played off the bench, and James Jones was the first reserve off that bench.

Since then, since that June 5, 2012 Eastern Conference finals loss to the Boston Celtics, every Heat playoff loss has been followed with a victory. Every one.

While the sting remains from Thursday’s 110-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of these best-of-seven NBA Finals, the Heat go into Sunday’s Game 2 at the AT&T Center having followed up each of their last 12 playoff losses with a victory. It is the longest such streak in the NBA since the Chicago Bulls had a similar 12-victory run that ended in 1992.

“I think this team, when we are faced with those situations, being in this so many times before, it brings out the best in us,” center Chris Bosh said before Saturday’s practice at the Spurs’ practice facility. “We’ve been in this position many times before, so we know how to handle it.”

Three times during last year’s Finals against the Spurs the Heat responded from losses with victories in winning their second consecutive championship, including such a response after losing their first road game of that series at the AT&T Center.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Thursday’s Finals Game 1, where the Spurs beat the Heat:

Mario Chalmers struggles in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Mario Chalmers said his ball-handling responsibilities — always less than the traditional point guard — have been reduced somewhat in these playoffs, to the point where he is “just trying to figure out where I fit in right now.”

Regardless, the Heat needs a more efficient, productive Chalmers than the one who was turnover- and foul-prone in Game 1 of the Finals.

“Everybody knew I was frustrated with the foul trouble I got into early,” Chalmers said Friday. “When I got back in the game, I was trying to press too much. I’ve got to be more patient in my pick and rolls, and try to find more gaps.”

Limited to 17 minutes by foul trouble, Chalmers committed five turnovers and finished with one assist and three points. Tony Parker, who was outscored by Chalmers in the final two games of last year’s Finals, thoroughly outplayed him Thursday, with 19 points and twice as many assists (eight) as turnovers.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals:

LeBron James definitely expects to play NBA Finals Game 2

The flair for the dramatic was back, even if it temporarily might have stopped the hearts of Miami Heat teammates still reeling from the impact of his Thursday departure.

“If I had to say today,” LeBron James told a packed press conference Friday at the San Antonio Spurs’ practice facility, “I would probably be out on Sunday. I probably won’t play.”

He paused. Some gasped. Then he smiled.

“No, I’ll be all right,” he continued. “I’ll be in uniform on Sunday. I should be 100 percent on Sunday.”

With treatment ongoing for the cramping that sidelined the All-Star forward for the decisive latter stages of the Heat’s 110-95 Thursday loss to the Spurs at the AT&T Center in Game 1 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals, James said extensive overnight hydration, round-the-clock therapy and a return to air-conditioned confines had him in a far better place than those sweltering and debilitation hours when he attempted to play through the air-conditioning malfunction at the Spurs’ arena.

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Heat NBA Finals Game 1. Played in San Antonio Thursday night, the Spurs won, 110-95

Some top 2014 NBA Finals storylines

RETURN TRIP: A Finals rematch is a rare treat. This will be the first time since 1997 and 1998 two teams will square off in consecutive years. Further adding to the anticipation, it’s the first time in 25 years that two teams played a seven-game Finals and repeated as conference champions the following season.

SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE: Six Finals appearances in 16 seasons and 15 consecutive 50+ win seasons have established the Spurs as the NBA’s model for long-term success. Is this the team’s last run for a championship? When you’re the Spurs, the answer to that question can never be yes.

COACHING UP: Only four coaches in the history of the NBA (Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley and John Kundla) have won five or more titles. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hopes to join this elite club in 2014. On the other sideline, Erik Spoelstra is aiming to become only the fourth coach (Auerbach, Kundla and Jackson) in NBA history to win three straight Finals.

DOING IT WITH DEPTH: The Spurs’ depth has been one of the largest reasons for their return to The Finals. San Antonio is the first team since the NBA/ABA merger (1976) to not have a single player average 30 minutes. The Spurs had nine players average at least 8.0 points this season — the first team to hold that distinction and make The Finals since the 1965-66 Celtics. San Antonio’s reserves finished the regular season with the highest scoring average in Spurs franchise history and in this season’s playoffs, the reserves have accounted for a league-high 42.2 points per game.

DIFFERENT PATH, SIMILAR RESULTS: The Spurs and Heat were built in different ways, with different types of players. After Tim Duncan, who was the top pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, the next highest Spurs draft pick is Kawhi Leonard (15th overall pick). Their roster boasts five second-rounders and one undrafted player. The Heat, on the other hand, features six top 10 picks on its star-studded roster.

– NBA News

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Heat backup guard Norris Cole:

Young Norris Cole living in NBA Finals with Heat

Norris Cole isn’t ready to assess his place in history, not at 25, not in just his third season in the league.

But he appreciates the uniqueness of his NBA reality, having now made it to the Finals in each of his first three seasons, with championships in each of his first two.

With this best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs, the reserve point guard becomes the first player to appear in the NBA Finals in his first three seasons since Scott Williams did it with the Chicago Bulls from 1991 to 1993.

Beyond being the first player to do that in more than two decades, Cole entered these Finals having appeared in 55 playoff games, the fourth highest total over a player’s first three seasons.

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