Thursday, March 17, 2016

Where Hassan Whiteside's season ranks in blocks, defensive rating and dunks in Heat history

When I started working for The Miami Herald 21 years ago as a high school senior my first job on the desk was answering phones and compiling stats as a clerk.

So, I'm a numbers guy at heart and always will be.

Here are some interesting numbers regarding Hassan Whiteside's "sophomore season" with the Miami Heat and where he ranks all-time among the franchise leaders with 15 regular season games to go (FYI, I did all my research on Basketball-Reference.com).

Blocks Hassan-Zo
1. Alonzo Mourning* 294 (1999-00)
2. Hassan Whiteside 223 (2015-16, 1st NBA)
3. Alonzo Mourning* 189 (1995-96)
Alonzo Mourning* 189 (1996-97)
5. Alonzo Mourning* 186 (2001-02)
6. Alonzo Mourning* 180 (1998-99)
7. Alonzo Mourning* 178 (2006-07)
8. Alonzo Mourning* 173 (2005-06)
9. Shaquille O'Neal 171 (2004-05)
10. Alonzo Mourning* 130 (1997-98)

Blocks Per Game
1. Alonzo Mourning* 3.9 (1998-99)
2. Hassan Whiteside 3.8 (2015-16, 1st NBA)
3. Alonzo Mourning* 3.7 (1999-00)
4. Alonzo Mourning* 2.9 (1996-97)
5. Alonzo Mourning* 2.7 (1995-96)
6. Alonzo Mourning* 2.7 (2005-06)
7. Alonzo Mourning* 2.5 (2001-02)
8. Shaquille O'Neal 2.3 (2004-05)
9. Alonzo Mourning* 2.3 (2006-07)
10. Alonzo Mourning* 2.2 (1997-98

Defensive Rating
1. Alonzo Mourning* 92.9 (1998-99)
2. Hassan Whiteside 93.6 (2015-16, 1st NBA)
3. Alonzo Mourning* 95.3 (1996-97)
4. Alonzo Mourning* 96.0 (1999-00)
5. Brian Grant 96.9 (2000-01)
6. Alonzo Mourning* 97.1 (2001-02)
7. Eddie Jones 97.2 (2000-01)
8. LeBron James 97.4 (2011-12)
9. Anthony Mason 97.5 (2000-01)
10. Clarence Weatherspoon97.7 (1998-99)
11. P.J. Brown 97.7 (1998-99)

Dunks (Since 2000-01)
1. 255, Shaquille O'Neal (2004-05)
2. 203, Shaquille O'Neal (2005-06)
3. 152, Dwyane Wade (2005-06)
4. 144, LeBron James (2012-13)
5. 134, LeBron James (2013-14)
134, Alonzo Mourning (2001-02)
6. 128, Dwyane Wade (2008-09)
7. 119, Hassan Whiteside (2015-16)
8. 115, Dwyane Wade (2009-10)
9. 114, Dwyane Wade (2004-05)
10. 104, LeBron James (2011-12)
11. 102, Dwyane Wade (2010-11)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Required Reading? Riley's 'No Plan B'

It was difficult to know if Pat Riley was telling the truth or not. Pat Riley1

But there he sat Thursday, behind the microphone and in front of the print, radio and TV media in the family room at AmericanAirlines Arena for his official preseason press conference.

And the subject shifted to his deepest thoughts on those anxious nights after the July 1 start of free agency. Riley was specifically asked about his mindset the night he sat in his Chicago hotel room - hours after his visit with LeBron James in Cleveland and before he checked in again with Dwyane Wade.

At the time, Riley had heard reports that LeBron's camp had requested follow-up information from the New York Knicks. There were also rumors that James would be having dinner with close friend and Nets co-owner Jay Z and wife, Beyonce.

This was after the Heat had done its full-court press on James, complete with messages from Riley, owner Micky Arison, son Nick Arison, coach Erik Spoelstra, legend Alonzo Mourning and salary-cap guru Andy Elisburg. Riley talked Thursday about how empty of a feeling everyone had in their stomachs that moment.

LeBron, it appeared, had other plans. Dwyane, in reality, was headed into a second meeting with the Bulls, the team he grew up rooting for as a son of the Windy City.

The feelings Riley had at that moment would seem perfect for a made-for-TV drama. Instead, it might end up in the latest book he authors.

"I am going to write another book. I am," Riley said. "It's called 'No Plan B.' And when you have no Plan B during those moments, all of a sudden, your stomach starts to churn a little bit more and your mind begins to think in a different manner. But from July 1 until we got those guys to sign the contracts, I was waiting for some trap door and land mine to explode. But it didn't. Yeah, it was a lot of anxiety. I don't think there was any in-between."

Of course, we know how this drama plays out. At a moment when Riley was starting to fear losing everything he's built with this franchise, he came through with the jackpot.

As the following week played out, Chris Bosh told Dwyane Wade he wanted to come to Miami. Wade told Bosh he was willing to stay. And then the two closed the deal and convinced LeBron to follow his gut and take his "talents to South Beach." That's their stories, and they're sticking to it.

It sure beats the alternative for Riley, who otherwise would have been stuck with a boat-load of cap space to store in one of Arison's cruise ships. There would have been a massive rebuilding job neither Arison nor Riley would have really had the patience to endure at this stage of the game.

It's a good thing that book, 'When All Else Fails,' never had to be written by Riley. Instead, he gets to write a happy ending to his summer journey. Of course, it would only be a best seller if the Heat adds a championship epilogue.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Larger Than Life ... Or Zo, At Least

The fact that LeBron James brought a larger-than-life image to the Miami Heat when he decided to take  LeBron-Heat his  "talents to South Beach" came as no surprise to his new organization.

But seeing how LeBron stacks up - literally - around AmericanAirlines Arena these days was enough to leave Heat president Pat Riley astonished. And if you've been around Poker-face Pat long enough, you'd understand just how difficult it is to leave this man awestruck.

LeBron might not actually be bigger than life. But he's apparently just as large as Alonzo Mourning - both in image and mass - according to Riley.

During his conference call with select local beat writers entering the weekend, Riley could do nothing but gush over the physical presence of LeBron when he arrived at the arena for a recent workout.

"We just weighed him the other day, and we were even more surprised than other people," Riley said. "He's 6-9, two hundred and - no, 6-9 and 333 pounds, and six percent body fat. He's got a power forward's body. He's standing next to Zo the other day, and he's the same size as Zo. Same length. And there's a guy that's probably going to play point guard for us, but is also going to play (power forward)."

That "Zo" is the same Alonzo Mourning who was listed at 6-10 and 261 pounds during his playing days. It's almost sick to imagine someone his size and weight pushing the ball at point guard. But that's what seems to be in store for the Heat.

Riley, of course, was kidding about James weighing 333 pounds. We think. You'd be getting into Shaq territory then. But there's no doubt that LeBron is built like the Incredible Hulk of the hardwood. He's a guy you can put at any position and create a highly favorable mismatch.

At guard, LeBron is too big and powerful to defend.

At forward, James is too skilled for defenders to contend.

And at center, he wouldn't even have to pretend.

Bron-Bron (or is it Bam-Bam) is strong enough to bang defensively for limited stretches, and can practically do whatever he wants in the post against most centers outside of Los Angeles, Orlando and Boston.

So Riley isn't just dreaming big, he's seeing big - right in front of his eyes.

LeBron's presence is impacting the organization in numerous other ways, too. Importing LeBron is unlike incorporating any other player in the NBA. He's his own entity as an employment stimulus package.

The Heat is making room on its training staff for LeBron's conditioning guy. The team also is beefing up its security structure, which will include LeBron's personal overseer. And there's even discussions to bulk up the organization's public relations and marketing departments because of the demands associated with this man, his team and what this new-look Big 3 of Wade, Bosh and Bron represents.

Riley has agreed to similar arrangements in the past, most notably bring in Shaq's personal support team and also adding Tim Grover, Wade's fitness guru of choice, as a consultant.

"We're going to beef up the security part of this thing, because we feel like there might be a lot of attention with our guys," Riley said. "We have to staff up in some areas."

WadeOlympics Riley joked he also must alter his personal moniker for Dwyane Wade. During Wade's remarkable run to an Olympic Gold medal two years ago, followed by an MVP-worthy season in 2008-09, Riley used to text Wade with the message: B.I.W.

"(Wade) asked me what that meant one night," Riley said. "And I said, 'Best in the World.' But I just can't say that randomly anymore. When you're talking about conceivably the best player in the world, we can have a debate with Dwyane also."

LeBron has yet to get through his first practice with the Heat. But his larger-than-life presence alone already has carved out territory alongside the greatest players in franchise history.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Riley Fires Back at Heat Critics

The start of the Miami Heat's 2010-11 training camp is still a couple of weeks away. PatRiley

But team president Pat Riley was in intense playoff mode Friday while finally firing back at those who took painful shots at his team's free agency coup to lure LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade.

Speaking to select local beat writers during a 42-minute conference call, Riley addressed several issues facing the team entering the Sept. 27 start of training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena. But none of the subjects he addressed revealed more of his true feelings than his response to TNT's Charles Barkley, Orlando GM Otis Smith and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.

All three had plenty to say about the Heat and some of its players after James and Bosh shook up the NBA's landscape and joined forces with Wade in Miami. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and several current and former players also launched shots at how this version of the Heat came together.

Big 3 Hype  "I think all these people should get a life. I really do." Riley said of the general, league-wide backlash aimed at the Heat. "Most of it has been silly, absolutely silly. But I understand. We live in a different world now. I can't even relate to it. I take a little bit of umbrage to some of the things that came from people in our game that all of a sudden have become the moral conscious or moral authority on the decision every team or some individual might make."

And that set the stage for some pretty direct points from Riley.

He was a bit offended by Smith, the Orlando GM, who raised questions about LeBron's competitiveness for deciding to leave a solid title contender in Cleveland to latch on with Wade and Bosh in Miami.

"When Otis Smith made a point about LeBron's competitiveness because he didn't stay in Cleveland, I thought it was an absolutely stupid remark," Riley said Friday. "He never made any kind of comment like  that when he signed (forward) Rashard Lewis, and brought him down from Seattle to a $128 million Pat and Stan contract."

And then there were the comments from Van Gundy, a former Heat head coach and Riley understudy before his controversial departure from Miami in 2005. It was Stan Van Gundy who was quoted in referring to Bosh as a "lapdog" to Wade in Miami.

"I don't know what happened to some of these guys along the way," Riley said.

But the best came when Riley turned his attention to Barkley, who referred to James' treatment of Cleveland and the decision to go to Miami as "punk moves." Barkley also didn't like the way the Heat celebrated the signings by putting on a fireworks show and rock concert-type performance at the arena in July.

"Charles Barkley, to me, went way over the top. Way, way, way over the top," Riley said. "For some reason (the media) and the network he works for has given this guy literary license to say whatever he  wants to say whenever he wants to say it. I think Charles is the only guy in the league who can get away Barkley with what he gets away with ... and we all let him get away with it again. I can guarantee a couple of guys don't like that, being called that. LeBron isn't that. Dwyane is surely not that, and neither is Chris."

So now, it's really on.

"There have been a number of things written all summer long about the three guys we signed," Riley said. "But in the end, they're the ones, all three of them, that showed a world-class personality. They took the hit, and now, they're ready to compete. They've been mentally tough with all these kind of things."

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roster Room For Zo? Always

Hot topics from this week's Heat live chat ... ZoFighting

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1270 (Page 1 of 43)

Q: Hey Michael, I'm a huge Heat fan and as soon as Bron mentioned he was going to retire he's #23 i knew only possible cities were Chicago or Miami. But what do you think of a possible return to the sidelines by Alonzo Mourning? I know he's 40 years old now but 12-18 minutes a night is well enough for this cast? What do you think? Is February an option for return? Eddy B

Answered 08/19/10 14:05:26 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think Zo did some of his best work by joining the Heat's front-office recruiting team during free agency. He's also got a lot more on his plate than basketball, with all of his philanthropic work. Would it have been nice to see Timmy and Zo get the last two roster spots just to keep these guys focused on practices and on the road? Certainly. I've lobbied for it, both playfully and sort-of-seriously. But Zo insists his playing days are done. That won't, however, keep him from sneaking into a practice with his Heat guard and working out with these guys every now and then.

Q: It is time to quit hating and come to a realization that the Miami Heat are arguably the best team in the NBA. The THRINASTY is a bond created from drat day seven years ago, played together in the Olympics, and is a special relationship you will most likely never see in sports again. This is a unique situation where friendship, cap space, and family got this deal done. Riley and Wade thank you. Sit back and enjoy the show

Answered 08/19/10 14:02:26 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Well said.

Q: hi michael very respectfully think that you do not respect the play of Carlos Arroyo on your final analysis or you have it playing in the rotation you know Carlos Arroyo has always had to shut his mouth to people like you who just think that the best players are those that are produced in the United States fortunately in recent years has shown that basketball has grown.

Answered 08/19/10 14:01:45 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I've got no problem with Carlos. I respect what he brings to the table and wish him the best.

Q: Q: Does Carlos Arroyo have a chance this year? He did better than Chalmers last year and is good for the Latino fan base. This has nothing to do with any fan base; this is about championships. I suspect this season will start like last, with the starting job at point guard being Mario's to lose. But if Carlos has a strong showing at the World Championships with Puerto Rico, I would not be surprised if LeBron and Dwyane take note and perhaps make a note of it with Erik Spoelstra.you think of this

Answered 08/19/10 14:00:47 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Arroyo just won't go away. Good for him. He's stubborn, and that's what the Heat needs at that position. He's not afraid to stand up and correct more established players on the team. And he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. That should keep him in the mix with the playing rotation. Unless politics get in the way.

Q: Charles was a great ball player, but now he is playing a new position and that is the loud mouth EX-Player. Charles I am a fan of yours and I am disappointed with you and your tunnel vision, you value your own opinion to much. you see thats all your talking is, an opinion. charles you are still ok with me even if it does not matter to you. charles do me a favor shut up get off Bron. every great player who has won the NBA title has had Great players playing with them..ie Magic, Mike, Bird, even you tried to hook up with the Dream. charles lets stop the Black on Black crime.. 

Answered 08/19/10 13:59:03 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I, too, loved Barkley as a player and find him entertaining and engaging as an analyst. But this thing with LeBron seemed to go a bit too far.

Q: Hello, Michael Wallace, How will new Heat addition, Mike Miller fit in the Miami Heat's system of playing basketball on the court? Will Haslem return for his 7th season with the Heat? What do you think about the new big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on the same Miami Heat team? take care.

Answered 08/19/10 13:57:11 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Mike Miller could put up Reggie Miller type shooting numbers with this team. He might be the one who benefits most on this roster from the addition of LeBron and Bosh. There is no reason he shouldn't lead the league in three-point shooting and average about 6 assists and 5 rebounds to go with it. Miller always has been a shooter, but people don't give him enough credit for being a playmaker.

Q: Lebum is the only guy in the league that I hope gets an career ending injury...so I don't have to see the stupid faces that he makes..chalk in the air..I wish he would've taken his talents to Europe...enjoy the NBA's most hated player Miami! Come to think of it, the Heat are the Oakland Raiders of the NBA - Finally, Lebum said he's keeping track of all the negative stories and comments people have made - yeah right...he would have to get a computer with 1000 Gigabyte hard drive to store all the negative comments that fans, players, etc. have been saying. And whats he going to because of it? Stop choking in the playoffs - the opposite will happen - Lebum and his management dream team of morons/idiots will never get BIG advertising deals in the future because what BRAND wants to be endorsed by a VILLAIN...Lebum thought he could take 10 Million a year less with Miami and it wouldn't matter because of his endorsement deals...oops - I predict even NIKE drops him when they realize EVERYONE outside of Miami HATES LEBRON JAMES...I will be tossing my Nike B-ball in the trash and buying some Converse - anyone that pays Lebron James money ids getting boycotted by me...As a season ticket holder in LA - I have already given my tickets for Miami's game in LA away...I will not profit or support that BUM or his team...D.Wade and LeBum said the rest of the NBA should thank them for helping them sell tickets...EGO's are out of control - Sorry D.Wade no more T Mobile commercials for you either

Answered 08/19/10 13:54:52 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Charles Barkley, is that you?

Q: What's going on Mike, I've heard your interview on the "Armando & The Amigo Show" and I must admit it was lively to say the least. The guys said that LeBron James would be a "punk" if he did not confront Sir Charles Barkley and I agree to a certain extent. A fight with Barkley has suspension and fine from the NBA written all over it. I know it's the right thing to do if we were on the streets but we're not on the streets anymore Mike. Lebron James is a walking multi-million dollar superstar and Sir Charles Barkley is a Hall of Famer. I highly doubt, LeBron meant that he was going to fight every single person who said something negative about him or the Heat. I'm a true LeBron James fan and I support him no matter what decision he made. I believe that he was just letting his true fans know that he is hearing all of the critics and that he won't let us down during the season. Besides he's not the only one to take mental notes. Michael Jordan took mental notes back in his day, so much so, that the media use to think that he was making them up just to get himself pumped up for the game. I'm not comparing LeBron to Jordan, personally I have always thought of LeBron more Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan. I've always thought of Dwyane Wade as more Jordan-esque than LeBron. What I'm trying to say is would LeBron still be considered a "punk" if he called up Sir Charles Barkley and they talked over their differences. Instead of coming to blows as if they were back on the streets because I state again we're not on the streets Mike. And LeBron isn't trying to jeopardize playing next season let alone his career.

Answered 08/19/10 13:53:25 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Well said. But at this point, I don't think there's anything else LeBron needs to say - or tweet - that would get his point across better than going out and dominating dudes on the court. Barkley is paid to be controversial at this point. LeBron doesn't need to justify anything to Barkley. Just play ball, is all I'm saying.

Q: Do you see LeBron James playing the Magic Johnson role (point guard or point forward)on this team and averaging a triple double?

Answered 08/19/10 13:50:08 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I don't know about AVERAGING a triple double. But I think his numbers will be close enough. They've always been impressive. I think he has a chance to be far more efficient in all aspects of the game. But not even the great Magic Johnson ever averaged a triple double. That hasn't happened since Oscar Robertson did it some 40 seasons ago.

Q: Who do you believe will be the leader of this Miami Heat team? And do you believe it will take long for their chemistry to develop? I think it will be co-lead by Dwyane Wade and LeBron James with no problems. And I think Wade and James will be on the same page early on with the rest of the team to follow towards the middle of the season. Besides Wade is quoted saying that he's played with LeBron more than he's played with his own teammates.

Answered 08/19/10 13:48:03 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Wade will be the unquestioned leader of this team. LeBron might be the best all around player on the roster, but this is Wade's team. I've compared it before the to the Yankee dynamic with Jeter and A-Rod. The difference is that Wade is still in the prime of his career, whereas Joete is on the decline.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0x4o8iUyK

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Your Questions? Our Answers

You've got Heat questions. I've got answers. Or at least as close to them as possible. Or, maybe not.  Game5-Rio

But here's a sample of the questions and answers from our weekly Heat Q&A. From Allen Iverson to Shaq. From LeBron to Pat.

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1137 (Page 1 of 39)

Q: As a former resident of Miami for thirty years, I don't understand, if LeBron James was a free agent why did he have to sign with Cleveland and then they traded him to the Heat for two first and two second round choices?? This just does not make sense to me. Unless the Denver Post got it wrong, thats where I got the information. Thank you in advance. N. Smith

Answered 07/22/10 14:13:08 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: LeBron wanted to get a sixth season on his contract, and the Cavs wanted to get something for losing him. So that trade was the compromise.

Q: My friends call me Keith, you can call me John.... MW, should we be concerned about our BIGS is looks like most are 6'9", only Z is our only one over 7' and from what I hear he's not a great rebounder? Bell was a big miss, if we lose out on Barnes who else is out there for our Artest type, should this be a concern....

Answered 07/22/10 14:11:55 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: There's always Yakhouba Diawara.

Q: Wuzzzz up, Mike..... Can we all stop the, "This is Wade's team" who cares lets just kick some butt.... Why Howard over someone like Kwame, don't we already have enough 6'9" type guys?

Answered 07/22/10 14:10:50 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: It's everyone's team. But Wade has to be the ring leader. And he will probably be announced last in the starting lineup. As far as Howard over Kwame, the difference is that Juwan was fine with coming for the vets min. Kwame still believes he's worth far more.

Q: Will Tracie mcgrady and AI end up on the Heat or Stackhouse?

Answered 07/22/10 14:09:36 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: My guess is none of the above. But I could be wrong. I've been so before.

Q: Is there any truth to rumor the Heat were looking to trade Rio for Rudy Fernandez and if so is that trade still a viable option?

Answered 07/22/10 14:09:05 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The Heat had discussions with Portland on a number of levels. I think Beasley and Mario came into play. But at this point, I don't see such a trade going down unless Miami has another starting-caliber PG on the way.

Q: Hey Mike! I had to let the excitement die down before joining your forum. First I have to give good Pat his prop's for getting LBJ and Bosh. For a minute I was ready to run him out of town. But I hav a problem with bad Pat. Was bad Pat behind the decision to sign Mike Miller and sign him to a 5year deal? This sounds like the bad Pat that choose beasley over mayo. Why not resign DWright?Although i'm happy because he's playing in my area. DWright would've been the perfect compliment for the big3. I could envision a wade,bosh,wright,lbj,ilgasus or anthony lineup. That would've reminder me of the bulls lineup with jordan,pippen,harper,rodman and the other guy. In wright,wade and james they would've given you dynamic wing players that can guard multiple position and is long and athletic. With that lineup you don't need a starting point. And what's up with the suppose signing of juwan howard? The same guy who turned his back on you back in the 90's. I just hope that all this attention does'nt go to the heat especially bad pat's head. We have'nt won nothing yet. And please whatever they do. Do not bring back Shaq!!!!!!!!!!!

Answered 07/22/10 14:08:08 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The five-year deals for Miller, Joel and Udonis are the only things you can question about Pat at this point. But I think, to some degree, you had to get the deals done against competition from other teams that had more money. So the Heat compromised by offering max years.

Q: Dear Mr. Wallace, I'm a coach on the small island of Curacao and a huge Miami Heat Fan. I see these days on the news, that everybody is talking about the Heat needing someone to start at point guard. I think the Heat can start LB(Lebron James) at point, because he can handle the ball and has the ability to pass the ball. He has also been compare to Magic Johnson in the past, as he(Magic) played that position for LA. Also the Chicago Bulls played in the 90's after they send BJ Armstrong away without a true point guard. Now that they have sign Mike Miller and luring Zydrunas Ilgauskas, they can have the following starting five in my opinion: PG Lebron James, SG Dwyane Wade, SF Mike Miller, PF Chris Bosh and C Zydrunas Ilgauskas. What do you think about that?

Answered 07/22/10 14:06:27 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think LeBron does have some point guard instincts. But I wouldn't put him on Magic's level in a PG sense just yet. My projected starting five is a bit different. I think Miller comes off the bench. I think Mario starts at PG and Joel starts at center.

Q: CAN WE PLEASE GET THE WORD OUT TO GIVE STEVE FRANCIS A TRYOUT sorry for screaming but if Penny is an option why not franchise He has gotten paid so Im sure he would take the minimum to redeem his career and hes far younger than Penny! PLEASE

Answered 07/22/10 14:04:53 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: You just did. Still don't think anyone heard you, though.

Q: Looking at our bench we only have one player with possible firepower--Mike Miller. The rest is a mix of solid old and young guys all who aren't known for scoring. If a humbled Allen Iverson is serious about just wanting to be a bench player don't you have to look into it? He's still an expert at drawing fouls. Imagine having Wade, Lebron, and Bosh check into the game again with the other team already in the penalty!

Answered 07/22/10 14:03:58 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: A year ago, it would have made some sense. But after the way things went down in Memphis and Philly, I'm not sure if I'd take that gamble with Iverson. It's far greater risk than potential reward. And I'm an A-I guy. Always have been.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0uR7QyE4v

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Take 6 From Vegas

Day Six from the Las Vegas Summer League was an active one for the Heat ... way back in Miami. Joel-Block

The Heat officially added three more players to the roster when it announced that swingman Mike Miller, forward Joel Anthony and draft pick Dexter Pittman were signed to contracts. That brings the Heat's roster to eight players (Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Miller, Anthony and Pittman). Two more are expected on the way as soon as Saturday - center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and forward Juwan Howard.

And to think that there were league executives who doubted the Heat's ability to fill out a roster around Wade, James and Bosh. If we've all learned one thing this offseason, it's don't bet against the Heat. But some of the moves are questionable. You can certainly question whether Miller or Anthony should have received five-year deals.

Miller will be 35 when his deal is up. So will Udonis Haslem. By that time, Wade, Bosh and James would probably need an infusion of youth and athleticism on the roster as they push toward the end of their contracts. And here's the ultimate irony. Anthony could be the only player among Heat veterans to have received a raise from last season. He tripled his salary in his new deal with the Heat, which gave him a about $18 million.

Yes, $18 million for Joel Anthony. More power to him. Dude made a nice come up. The Heat apparently had to outbid a few teams with cap space to re-sign Anthony. Miami made his a $1.1 million qualifying offer last month. And the offers just kept rising from there. For this price, meet the Miami Heat's starting center.

SUMMER GROOVE ROSTER: Obtained an unofficial copy of the Summer Groove roster for Sunday's game, and some of the names might intrigue you. Aaron Afflalo, Brandon Bass, Caron Butler, Daequan ZoFighting Cook, Samuel Dalembert, Tim Hardaway, Mike James, Ty Lawson, Darius Miles, Alonzo Mourning, Mo Peterson, Quentin Richardson, Rajon Rondo, DaJuan Summers, CJ Watson and Dorell Wright.

Depending on how well Timmy Hardaway makes out Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena, he might jump into that long line of old-school vets angling for a vet's minimum contract with the Heat. I've said all along that Miami should simply round out its depth at point guard and center by adding Zo and Timmy to the roster. Heck, why not.

HEAT SMOKING IN VEGAS PLAY: The Heat improved to 3-1 Friday night in the Las Vegas Summer League with a 78-58 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Shavlik Randolph led Miami with 18 points, and guards Kenny Hasbrouck and Weyinmi Efejuku combined for 27 points and nine assists. Miami was without Pittman for the second straight game because of a left toe injury. But Pittman's hand was just fine - he was healthy enough to sign that three-year contract earlier in the day that pretty much guarantees his spot on the roster.

Pittman hopes to play in Saturday's summer league finale against the Cavaliers. We hear ESPN is negotiating with Pittman to do an hour-long special leading to his decision to play or not. After all, it is Heat-Cavs. And you can't have Heat-Cavs without drama.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

D-Wade M.I.A at M-I-A

Right county. Wrong terminal.  WADE-Confused

That about sums up the missed opportunity Miami Heat fans experienced Monday morning when they gathered to welcome star guard Dwyane Wade to Miami-Wade County in his first trip home as a free agent.

As part of the WeWantWade rallying campaign to encourage Wade to re-sign with the Heat, fans received notice early this morning to meet Wade at Miami International Airport for his arrival.

They were sent to the terminal for chartered planes. Wade flew commercial (probably a cost-cutting move, considering he hasn't signed that $125 million contract just yet).

Still, one word resonates in analyzing the ordeal.

Ouch.

The man affectionately known as MV3 makes his living faking the knees and ankles out of defenders on the court. But Monday's misdirection move had to be one of the all-time classics of his career. He shook off about 50 fans as well as tons of media.

It was simply a silly and amusing, but well-intentioned mistake, of course.

The Heat's business operations and marketing staffs - the folks in charge of the fan recruiting campaign - received one set of information. D-Wade, apparently, was operating off another. Conspiracy? Probably not. But that won't keep a few such theorists from fraternizing.

As innocent and honest of a miscue as that was on Monday, the Heat's basketball operations side can't afford to make that kind of miscalculation later this week. This is arguably is the most important period in the 22-year history of the franchise.

Thursday marks the first day free agents can sign contracts with their new teams. The hope, plea and flat-out prayer in Miami is that Wade's new team will be his same old one - just with much better players.

But the Chicago Bulls, Wade's hometown team, is charging hard at him. He met with them twice over the Wade-JZ weekend, in addition to sit-downs with the Knicks (Wade is fond of his Olympic assistant coach Mike D'Antoni and his offensive innovation) and Nets (much like LeBron, Wade also has Jay Z on speed dial).

After arriving Monday morning, Wade tweeted that he was "excited" to be back in the MIA to kick off his basketball camp on Tuesday at Nova Southeastern University. He will also co-promote events alongside Alonzo Mourning leading to The Summer Groove.

But most important, Wade will sit down with Pat Riley and the Heat's power brass later this week for his official recruiting session.

We assume Wade and Riley will be on the same page, working from the same itinerary. The Heat, Miami-Wade County and legions of South Florida's frazzled fans simply can't afford another missed shot at Wade.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Top Tweets of Free Agency Day 2

  1. Perhaps last tweet of the night. Heat showed no interest Friday in matching Knicks' 5-yr, $100 Bosh-Wade million offer to Amare.
  2. Not sure if it's been out there, but Heat considering undrafted Duke sharpshooter Jon Scheyer for summer league.
  3. Lot of horse(bleep) reporting tactics out there today. But I've learned to just stay in my lane and keep sprint'n ahead.
  4. Heat isn't planning to officially meet with D-Wade until mid-next week because it wants his other visits over and done.
  5. Just been told 2nd meet w/Wade was at Bulls request. Wade obliged out of courtesy. Nonetheless, Heat staff back in Chi.
  6. Pat Riley still confident on Wade, despite 2nd visit w/Bulls: "I have a good feeling about him. We're about stability."
  7. Pat Riley to The Miami Herald on meet with LeBron: "It was very relaxed. We all know him. There was genuine respect."
  8. Pat Riley and staff regroup for downtown lunch after marathon meeting with LeBron. Laughs and smiles all around. Good sign?
  9. Two-car Heat caravan emerged from IMG building at 1:50 pm following near 3-hour session with LeBron.
  10. It's now official. Heat holding longest meet yet w/LeBron James. Miami well past 2 hrs now. Jersey got about 90 mins, Knicks got 2hrs.
  11. Got a super early start to Day 2 of free agency madness. Couldn't sleep. With LeBron on deck today could be crazy.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bunches of (Free Agent) Hunches

Forget the Fourth of July. The First of July is here and the fireworks will soon begin in the biggest free LeBron-Wade agency market in NBA history.

D.Wade is a free man. LeBron is the most sought-after player on the market. Chris Bosh is tweeting like crazy without saying much of anything definitive.

And the Heat's executive power force of team prez Pat Riley, VP Nick Arison, Heat legend Alonzo Mourning and coach Erik Spoelstra is jetting from coast to coast to meet with the team's top targets.

Before we get any further, let me first recommend that you follow me on twitter, which is the quickest way to get our updates amid the free agency frenzy. Just click the link at the bottom of this post and we're all set.

As we reach the midway point of the first day of free agency, I've got a bunch of hunches after some of the initial developments across the country.

Hunch One - The Heat made one of its first recruiting pitches to Amare Stoudemire out in Los Angeles just after midnight. But we've learned that the sides emerged from the amicable, hour-long session without the Heat offering Amare a contract. That's a clear indication that the Heat, despite its aggressive pursuit of Amare at the February trade deadline, is taking a Bosh-and-see approach in its quest for post help. Bosh tweeted this morning that he received proposals from the Heat, Rockets, Raptors and Bulls. Perhaps there are legitimate concerns about Amare's knees. Remember, we reported last month about his visit to a South Miami clinic to have his knees examined. That clinic, coincidentally, is also used by the Heat.

Hunch Two - My feeling all along has been that LeBron James would find it too hard to walk away from Cleveland when all is said and done. The imminent hiring of Byron Scott might be the best thing the Cavs could have done to help convince James to stay. Not only does Scott bring credentials as a former championship player, he also has led the Nets and Hornets as far into the playoffs as those franchises have been in a long, long time. One key nugget to keep in mind. Scott was really, really close to Chris Paul as coach of the Hornets. James and Paul are good buddies. This might encourage Paul to push for a trade to Cleveland, which has a few attractive pieces to send back to New Orleans for its troubles. Mo Williams (native of nearby Jackson, Miss.) and All-Star forward Antawn Jamison could be a start.

Hunch Three - If Stoudemire somehow walks away from Phoenix, look for the Suns to consider pushing for Carlos Boozer as a potential replacement. Boozer could easily fill the production void Amare would leave behind. Not sure how much salary-cap space the Suns would have to make room for Boozer. But it's clear that Boozer would be a much cheaper option than Stoudemire - although you'd get the same production. We learned in February that the Suns were willing to take Boozer from Utah in that failed three-way trade with Miami that would have sent Stoudemire to the Heat. Utah backed off because it didn't like the pieces it would have gotten back for parting with Boozer at the time.

Hunch Four - As hard as it might be for Dwyane Wade to open his mind up to considering other options in Wade-Olympics free agency than returning to the Heat, he's going to seriously listen to the Bulls, Nets and Knicks. Those teams could offer as much or more for him than Miami could in terms of surrounding him with impressive talent. The Heat has a clean slate as far as its roster is concerned. But the Bulls have Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng along with their cap space. The Nets have Devin Harris and Brook Lopez in addition to space for two max stars. On paper, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers don't really stack up to those other parts. New York simply has cap space and Broadway appeal. But Wade has tremendous respect for Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who was on the coaching staff of Team USA's gold medal squad in Beijing.

Well, those are my hunches for now. More to come as the madness continues.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)


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