Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose believes the Bulls have only one main rival — and it’s the Miami Heat, not the Indiana Pacers.

Rose made his feelings known before Friday night’s preseason contest against the Pacers.

While being respectful regarding Indiana’s recent success, Rose acknowledged that he believed any rivalry with the Pacers is a thing of the past.

“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” Rose said before scoring 32 points in the team’s 103-98 win against the Pacers. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.”

Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

Miami-Dade prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a drunken-driving charge against Tracy Wilson-Mourning, the wife of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning.

Police arrested Wilson-Mourning on a DUI charge in February after she was pulled over for speeding near Old Cutler Road and San Servano Avenue.

According to the arrest report, an officer said he saw Wilson-Mourning driving her 2010 Porsche Panamera at 48 mph in a 20 mph zone and making an improper right turn at about 3:40 a.m. Police also said Wilson-Mourning ran a flashing red light.

Reported by David Ovalle of the Miami Herald

Greg Oden continues his progress in Heat practices

“He fouled me twice,” LeBron James said with a smile.

It might have been two of the more enjoyable fouls of James’ career, especially in a practice setting.

The hits came from Greg Oden during the scrimmage portion of Monday’s Miami Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

It has been more than three seasons since Oden has appeared in an NBA game. Monday marked another step in his comeback from several gruesome knee injuries, even as coach Erik Spoelstra yet again downplayed the hulking center’s timetable.

“It felt good to be out there, get some up and down,” Oden said. “You see I’m a little frustrated in myself because I’m not as back as I want to be. But you know, it’s little steps. Today was another step, getting out there and doing some five on five.”

Teammates appreciated the moment.

“It’s a testament to him just keeping his composure, his believing in himself, his family believing in him,” James said. “He’s back where he belongs, and that’s in the NBA.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Shane Battier could lose minutes in Heat bench rotation

On paper, if it actually all works out, the reclamation of Michael Beasley would be just another brilliant brushstroke by Pat Riley in an ever-growing mural of managerial greatness. But here’s something important to consider before projecting Beasley into the Heat’s second rotation:

Who loses minutes?

One possible answer is Shane Battier, and that would be strangely ironic considering Battier’s steady demeanor, his attention to detail on defense and his importance to the Heat’s back-to-back championships. Battier was benched deep into the 2013 playoffs, sure, but he also redeemed himself in Game 7 and was a mainstay during Miami’s near-record winning streak of 27 games during the regular season.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

Miami Heat start preseason 3-0

heat

It has been nine years since the Heat had a winning preseason, dating to their 4-3 record in 2004-05. Of course the Heat also have won three NBA titles in the interim.

Still, Spoelstra said there is value in the 3-0 start to the eight-game preseason schedule.

“We’ve talked about our habits,” Spoelstra said. “We reveal our character every single night in different circumstances.”

Friday’s 82-75 victory in Kansas City over the Charlotte Bobcats completed a back-to-back sweep that opened with a Thursday road victory over the Detroit Pistons.

“We were a very good back-to-back team last year,” Spoelstra said.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Ray Allen

With James gradually shaking off the offseason rust to lead the way with 20 points, the Heat also got a combined 36 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists Friday off the bench from Norris Cole, Michael Beasley and Rashard Lewis. [Ray] Allen was also on the court with those three reserves during some of the more potent and cohesive moments of the game.

There was only one problem. That second unit for the Heat didn’t even include Shane Battier and Chris Andersen, who sat out Friday after playing in Thursday’s win in Detroit and will be vital members of the rotation in much the same fashion they were during last season’s championship run.

Add in the luxury of 11-year veteran Roger Mason Jr. and the possibilities that even a slightly effective Greg Oden can bring to the equation, and Spoelstra could be looking at the deepest and most challenging-to-manage rotation he’s had since Miami began its run of three straight Finals trips.

Spoelstra recounted Friday how the Heat ultimately didn’t have enough quality depth when they were eventually overwhelmed in six games by Dallas in the 2011 Finals. With James having slipped into a slump, the Heat had few reliable or healthy options beyond Wade and Bosh. That was a Miami team that relied at times during the season on the likes of Mike Bibby, Erick Dampier and Eddie House.

Reported by Michael Wallace of ESPN.com

James Jones letting it fly from outside

James Jones letting it fly from outside

James Jones wonders about the fuss. Given the opportunity, this is what he does.

A replacement starter for sidelined Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat’s exhibition opener, and with additional opportunities amid the limited minutes for the starters in Thursday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons, Jones went into Friday’s exhibition against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Sprint Center at 6 of 10 on 3-pointers in the preseason.

“It’s just from work with the shooters in the offseason,” the veteran swingman said. “Me and Ray [Allen], we get a lot of shots up. The routine, it pays off. And the consistency helps, especially when you get consistent minutes.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Michael Beasley is an enthusiastic player. He gets excited. Sometimes his energy helps, and other times, not so much. But a common general rule both on and off the basketball court that Beasley forgot last night is, it’s generally unhelpful to punch yourself in the head.

Mike Beasley punches himself in head during game

Beasley also did something a little odd after one offensive play. Upset with himself over missing a shot, Beasley started punching himself in the head while running back on defense. He punched himself so hard that he needed treatment after the game from the Heat’s trainer. Steel compresses (like the ones cut doctors use in boxing) were applied to Beasley’s brow in the locker room.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald (Blog)

The good news is, the Heat don’t need much from Beasley. Just solid scoring off the bench, in-control play in the limited minutes he plays, and no more self-punching, and all will go pretty well.

Rashard Lewis may have bigger role this season for Heat

Take one look at Lewis these days and it’s clear he’s feeling healthier, moving better and playing with more confidence than he has in quite some time. Now the task as the Heat begins the preseason is maintaining his range of motion and, in particular, keeping his knees happy.

After using its amnesty clause on Mike Miller this offseason to shave millions off the team’s books, the Heat is hoping Lewis can step in and contribute minutes when called upon. He’ll be battling with James Jones, Roger Mason Jr. and others for playing time, but that Lewis is even in the fight at this point is a positive sign.

“We’ll see how it plays out, but our guys all understand that at some point they’re all going to get an opportunity,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It has happened consistently over the last three years, and they’re pros enough to understand that there’s a sacrifice involved, but there is opportunity also available right now.”

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

Miami Heat exercise option on Norris Cole for 2014-15 season

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have exercised their team option on guard Norris Cole for the 2014-15 season.

Cole has appeared in 145 career games (six starts) and averaged 6.1 points, 2.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 19.7 minutes while shooting 40.7 percent from the field. Last season, he led the Miami reserves in assists 37 times, steals on 29 occasions, points 12 times and in rebounds and minutes six times each. In his two seasons with the HEAT, Cole has helped Miami capture back-to-back NBA championships, appearing in 40 postseason games while averaging 4.1 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes of action.

Cole was originally drafted by Minnesota in the first round (28th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft before his draft rights were acquired by the HEAT in a draft night trade.

Norris Cole

Miami Heat guard Norris Cole will leave the speculation to the media.

His only focus is on becoming a better player as he enters his third NBA season. The chatter about him possibly being on the trading block is secondary.

“I can’t control that,” Cole said. “The only thing I can do is control what I can control and that’s to make sure I’m in the best shape, make sure I’m ready to perform and make sure when I get out there I show what I can do. Anything else, I can’t control that, so I don’t worry my mind about that.”

Cole said he heard of the recent Fox Sports report the Heat may have dangled his name in trade offers. He will leave those decisions to management, but he remains comfortable in Miami.

Reported by Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Mayweather was a surprise guest at Heat practice Sunday morning, sitting courtside with team president Pat Riley, managing general partner Micky Arison and other members of the franchise’s brain trust. It’s rare for any outsider to get invited into Heat practice, though Mayweather’s resume - unbeaten in 45 fights and generally considered the best fighter of his era - certainly earned him the ultra-VIP access.

”We’re trying to defend two titles. He’s been defending for a long time,” Heat star LeBron James said. ”He definitely knows where we’re coming from. It’s exciting at the end of the day to have someone, one of the greatest of all-time, to be in the presence. It’s something you can talk about years from now. … We’re honored and blessed to have him in the building.”

Mayweather, who left just as practice was ending, gave the Heat a brief speech, reminding the two-time defending NBA champions about the need for hard work and dedication.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

LeBron James

The Heat has an endorsement deal with the Bahamas, and the team did its part to attract attention to these beautiful islands and its wonderful people, but from the perspective of players and coaches, the trip was valuable time spent building team chemistry.

When the players weren’t sweating on makeshift courts in an enormous ballroom, they were lounging together by the pool or palling around together in the resort’s casino. Unlike the trip to China last year, families and friends of players and coaches weren’t invited to the Bahamas.

“To come down here, just us, it gives us a great time to bond and have some camaraderie both on and off the floor,” James said. “We worked our tails off for five practices and to be able to have down times in the afternoons to just chill around the pool, we had a lot of laughs.”

Dwyane Wade called it the best training camp of his 11-year career despite most of the practice time being dedicated to defensive fundamentals. The Heat’s defense performed below its normal standards to begin the 2012-13 season and time was spent in the Bahamas to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

lebron james

Thursday proved to be about rigor and reward for the Miami Heat on the third day of training camp at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort.

Perhaps fittingly, coach Erik Spoelstra threw a blowout at the ballroom-turned-court in the resort’s conference center, pushing his players through an unrelenting 90-minute morning session. The reward was cancellation of the afternoon session, meaning two-a-days are over, with a single session planned here Friday before a return flight to Miami.

“Just intense work,” guard Dwyane Wade said.

“We got at it right from the beginning,” forward LeBron James said.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dwight Howard

Howard wants to take James’ and the Miami Heat’s title, but confesses to finding comfort in the redemption of the best player on the planet. For Howard, another scorned star, James’ redemption represents the light in the distance.

“He got hated for a lot of reasons,” Howard told Yahoo. “I was really, really happy when LeBron finally won. I was unhappy that it wasn’t me up there, but I was glad to see him get through that whole thing.

“I knew exactly how he felt. People putting you down, saying bad things about your character, who you are as a person. It doesn’t sit well with you. When you go out on the court, you want to show them, ‘Hey, this isn’t who I am.’

“Here’s a guy who’s a great basketball player. He did something that was for him, and he did it in front of the whole world. I realized then that our issues, our problems, our flaws are out there for the world to see. You can’t run from it. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward.”

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

LeBron James
LeBron James
Athletic

LeBron James is bringing back the pregame powder.

The Miami Heat star says he’s decided to resume his one-time tradition of tossing powder into the air just before the start of games. He’s depicted doing exactly that on the cover of the NBA 2K14 video game that was released this week, that image almost serving as a teaser of what was to come this season.

James got away from the pregame powder salute a couple of seasons ago.

Reported by the Associated Press

Greg Oden participates in an NBA practice for first time in years

Tuesday was a bit surreal for Miami Heat center Greg Oden.

Not only was he going through his first NBA practice in four years, but it was taking place in the middle of a hotel ballroom on a tropical island.

The Heat opened training camp with a standard, defensive drill-oriented workout in a warehouse-like conference center at the Atlantis Resort. Oden took part in about half of the practice, but that still was a significant step forward as he attempts a long-shot comeback after not playing since December 2009 because of chronic knee problems.

“It felt good just being out there,” Oden said. “First time in a while, I’m happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I’ve got to take steps.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Miami Heat reward coach Erik Spoelstra with contract extension

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed a multiyear extension to his contract Sunday, the team announced.

Spoelstra was entering the last season of his contract after leading the Heat to three consecutive NBA Finals, including back-to-back titles. The Heat begins work for its three-peat bid Tuesday with the start of training camp. The first four days of camp are being held at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

With the Heat’s core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all facing contract decisions after this season, solidifying Spoelstra’s future was a significant first step toward bringing stability to the equation.

James, Wade and Bosh can all opt out of their contracts after this season.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

Miami Heat announce front office promotions

The Miami Heat really enjoy having Juwan Howard around. And will continue to do so, though nobody has to pretend that Howard might actually play in a game anymore.

The Heat announced today several front office promotions, including Andy Elisburg to Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager, Adam Simon to Assistant General Manager/General Manager Sioux Falls Skyforce, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Player Development, Chad Kammerer to Director of NBA Scouting/Advance Scout, Keith Askins to Director of College and Pro Scouting and the hiring of Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach/Player Development.

Elisburg, a Heat original employee of 25 years, will serve as Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager. His duties will include assisting CEO Nick Arison and President Pat Riley in the management of all aspects of the Heat’s basketball organization including salary cap administration, talent acquisition, league compliance and the day-to-day business of basketball operations.

Simon has been named Assistant General Manager/General Manger Sioux Falls Skyforce. He will assist Andy Elisburg in all areas of the Heat’s basketball operations department as well as heading the basketball operations department of the Heat’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Craig, entering his 11th season with the Heat, has been named Assistant Coach/Player Development and will continue to spend numerous hours on the court with individual players developing their game.

Kammerer has been named Director of NBA Scouting/Advance Scout after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach. His responsibilities will include providing scouting reports and player evaluations to assist the Heat coaching staff in their game preparations and the team’s personal department on player acquisitions.

Askins, who has spent his entire professional career with the Heat, enters the 2013-14 season as Director of College and Pro Scouting as he will work with Chet Kammerer and Adam Simon overseeing all aspects of the Heat’s scouting department after serving 14 years as a full-time assistant coach.

Howard, a 19-year NBA veteran, will make the transition to the coaching staff after being named Assistant Coach/Player Development. He will be assisting in the areas of player development and other duties assigned by Head Coach Erik Spoelstra.

Additionally, the Heat also named Rich Fernando to Executive Assistant to the Coaches, Eric Glass to Video Coordinator and Tim Hardaway to Scout/Community & Corporate Liaison.

Miami Heat sign Roger Mason Jr

Miami Heat sign Roger Mason Jr

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed guard Roger Mason Jr.

Mason, a nine-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 493 career NBA games (101 starts) and averaged 6.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 18.0 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 38.4 percent from three-point range and 86.3 percent from the foul line. Additionally, Mason has appeared in 24 career postseason NBA games (three starts) and averaged 5.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 17.1 minutes while shooting 36.8 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 76.5 percent from the foul line.

Last season, he appeared in 69 games (13 starts) with New Orleans and averaged 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 17.7 minutes while shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from three-point range and 90.7 percent from the foul line. He led the team in three-point field goal percentage while finishing second in free throw percentage and third in three-point field goals made (66).

Mason will wear number 21.

The Heat’s roster now stands at 19.

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