With just about 15 games left to play in the NBA regular season, the Miami Heat are holing onto a #7 slot in the eastern conference. The Heat hope to hang onto their playoff position, especially with the addition of the Dragic brothers, Goran and Zoran for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first round draft picks: one in 2017 and another in 2021. The Heat also Traded Norris Cole, Shawne Williams and Justin Hamilton to the New Orleans Hornets for guard John Salmons. The team also signed another guard in Tyler Johnson earlier this month. Below is a slide show of the Miami Heat players before the trade.
With a team suddenly limited by injuries, #Heat coach Erik Spoelstra finds himself relying on Mario Chalmers
HEAT (5-5) at NETS (4-5), 7:30 p.m., Barclays Center, Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and WAQI 710 AM (Spanish)
LINE: Nets by 6 1/2 (Opened at 5 1/2.)
OFFICIALS: Derrick Stafford, Josh Tiven and James Williams
WHY WATCH: To see if the Heat can overcome all these injuries. Dwyane Wade (hamstring) and Josh McRoberts (foot) are both out and now Luol Deng is questionable with an injured wrist.
SPO-SPEAK: “We’re not making any excuses for injuries or guys in and out of the lineup. That’s this league. What we talked about today at shootaround, welcome to the NBA. Every team is dealing with it. If they’re not dealing with it now, then they’re dealing with it at some point. So, it’s how you manage that and how you respond. Are you getting better or getting worse?”
IS MARIO CHALMERS A STARTER OR BACKUP? “You have to get to know your team, and we need Rio to be out there, so I’m trying to balance him to do both. He needs to play 35 minutes plus. He needs to start the game, but he also needs to be our back-up [shooting guard]. Welcome to our team.”
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Poor defense has plagued the Heat during its two-game losing skid. The Pacers out-rebounded the Heat 53-28 on Wednesday on and Friday the Heat’s defense allowed the Hawks to shoot 56 percent from the field.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra…
ON THE LOSS: “There were a handful of times when we were able to impose our will. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, multiple efforts and activity to be able to defend offensive teams like this. We certainly felt with Dwyane [Wade] out that we scored enough to give ourselves a chance to win, but we never got to the defensive disposition and mind-set that you need to win against a team like this in their building.”
ON CHRIS ANDERSEN’S LIMITED MINUTES: “I actually had the intension to play him in the first half, but I went with [Udonis Haslem]. It looked a little bit out there, but Bird will be out there Sunday.”
WHY DID JAMES ENNIS START: “To keep Mario [Chalmers] in the second unit, and to stabilize that unit. Instead, he played 40 minutes.”
Chris Bosh …
ON THE POOR FIRST QUARTER: “We’re not getting off to good starts defensively, whether it’s the …read more
HEAT (5-3) at HAWKS (4-3), 7:30 p.m., Sun Sports
LINE: Hawks by 2 (Opened at 3.)
OFFICIALS: Tom Washington, David Jones, JT Orr
WHY WATCH: The Hawks have won three in a row while the Heat is trying to boucne back from its 75-point performance against the No Name Pacers on Wednesday. Both the Heat and Hawks now feature similar offensive styles predicated on ball movement and Friday night’s matchup will be the first of four meetings between the two division opponents this season.
SPO-SPEAK: “It’s not always going to work out smoothly, ball moving, everyone in great rhythm like it was in Dallas. There are games you’re going to have to develop some team and collective grit and figure out how to win. And those can be very gratifying at the end, particularly when you don’t play great.”
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The Pacers turned ugly into art and embarrassed the Heat 81-75 on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami was out-rebounded 53-28. It was the lowest scoring total for the Heat on its home court since the 2009-10 season.
In addition to the rebounding problems, the Heat went 8 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Pacers won despite shooting 37.5 percent from the field and recording more turnovers (16) than assists (13).
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra…
ON THE REBOUNDING: “I’ll have to get to the film, but certainly more block outs and we have to be a gang-rebound team. It can’t be just a one individual and that certainly hurt us tonight. We’re all well aware of that.”
ON THE MISSED FREE THROWS: “These are those types of games that you would really like to see your team to find a way to grind it out when you’re not necessarily in a great rhythm. It’s a defensive game. It’s a grind out game and you like to find a way to win ugly at the end. Whatever, just make some plays. We had some foul trouble. We had some free throw opportunities that we came up short but …read more
PACERS (2-6) AT HEAT (5-2), 7:30 p.m., Sun Sports, ESPN
LINE: Heat by 8 1/2 (Opened at 10.)
OFFICIALS: Scott Foster, Eric Lewis, Eli Roe
WHY WATCH: The Pacers are bruised and broken to begin the season, but tonight’s nationally televised game is still the first matchup between the Heat and Pacers since last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
SPO-SPEAK: “It’s still Indiana, so you know they’re going to bring it defensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re not going to allow you to have easy opportunities on the paint. You’re going to have to work your offense with force, with poise and the ball is going to have to move. The more shortcuts you try to take, the more it plays right into their hands.”
ON THE 5-2 START: “It’s not even about that right now,” Spoelstra said. “It’s about our habits. Are we coming in to work to get better? And the guys have been great. They have a real lunch pail, hardhat mentality to come in here and work and work the process to try to get better.
“You’re seeing some of the improvement, but we have a long way to go, particularly on the defensive end. And there is no shortcut to it. …read more
Dwyane Wade has played in every game this season and he’ll be in the starting lineup on Sunday night here in Dallas. He’s feeling good, his body has responded well to the beginning of the season and his team has a better record than his good buddy LeBron James up in Cleveland.
In other words, it’s a good time to weigh in on the NBA’s biggest story to start the season, the early struggles of those very same Cavaliers and LeBron’s role on the team. Any advice Wade would give LeBron at this point in the season?
“He has all the tools he needs,” Wade said. “We’ve been through it together where we ran into struggles as a team. You’re going to do that in the season whether it’s in the beginning of the season, or sometimes in the middle or sometimes at the end. He’s a four-time MVP. He’s a two-time champion. I’m sure he’ll figure it out as a leader.”
The Heat is 4-2 entering Sunday’s game against the Mavericks and the Cavaliers are 2-3 with a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night. In a sense, both the Heat and Cavaliers are starting from scratch this season, …read more
This off-season the Miami Heat have spent the most money out of any other team in the NBA as the team still has holes in their lineup that need addressing. The absence of LeBron James along with potential injury issues for Dwyane Wade and Josh McRoberts show a depth concern for the reigning eastern conference champions. The team might look to add a player with potential that is not yet proven to add to their bench. Right now, the Miami Heat have 11 player on their roster with guaranteed salaries. During this time of the season, they are basically looking for a player to fill their last roster spot and possibly act as a team mentor during practice. This player could also be one of the last players off the bench to add energy during a team mental break in a pivotal moment of a game.
Ryan Hollins is a great example of this. He has the energy-filling capabilities as the would-be Heat third center, and he has veteran leadership that could be used throughout practice. Another option is Jordan Crawford. Crawford can be an excellent playmaker off the bench, which is something that the Miami Heat are looking for. Emeka Okafor is also attracting a lot of attention. Though his injury past worries many people, Emeka Okafor could be a great investment for the Heat bench. Miami experienced some bad results with Greg Oden, but Okafor’s injury should be easier to handle. Do the Miami Heat need another Udonis Haslem? Dante Cunningham could fill that void and possibly beat Haslem for the spot as the mid-range big-man with great athleticism. Miami can only offer whoever they pick up minimum salary at this point, so since the Clippers just waved Miroslav Raduljica, the Heat could definitely use his size and rebounding abilities off the bench.