Heat Nation http://heatnation.com Miami Heat News, Rumors, Schedule, Videos, and Wallpapers for Heat Fans Everywhere Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:37:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.16 Miami Heat News: Hassan Whiteside (Knee) to Miss Saturday’s Game vs. Pacers http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-hassan-whiteside-saturday-game-pacers/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-hassan-whiteside-saturday-game-pacers/#comments Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:33:09 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23386 When the Miami Heat take the court for Saturday night’s home opener against the Indiana Pacers at American Airlines Arena, they’ll be without a key weapon. That’s because center Hassan Whiteside will be sitting out the game due to a bruised left knee. Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reported that Whiteside had suffered the injury during Wednesday night’s […]

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When the Miami Heat take the court for Saturday night’s home opener against the Indiana Pacers at American Airlines Arena, they’ll be without a key weapon. That’s because center Hassan Whiteside will be sitting out the game due to a bruised left knee.

Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reported that Whiteside had suffered the injury during Wednesday night’s season-opening loss to the Orlando Magic. Whiteside and Orlando center Nikola Vucevic banged their knees together in the third quarter.

“I could feel it in the third quarter, toward the end, toward the fourth quarter, it was really bothering me a lot,” he said. “It’s frustrating, but I’m thankful it’s not nothing worse.

“I’m looking at it like this: guys like my old [Reno Big Horns] teammate Jeremy Lin (who ruptured his patella tendon Wednesday) and what happened with Gordon [Hayward] (who broke his ankle in Tuesday’s opener). I’m looking at other guys and it always can be worse.”

The injury marks the second time this month that Whiteside has banged knees with another player. The first time came during the preseason opener against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 1, when Whiteside and Taurean Prince collided. Prior to the game, Whiteside had taken protective measures against such a recurrence.

“I was wearing padding everywhere on my knee, but it hit a spot where I was hit before,” Whiteside said. “I got an MRI on it, so it’s treatment, exercise and hip work to get back. [The doctors] ain’t give me no [timeline]. It’s just kind of a day-to-day thing, to get the swelling out and stuff.”

One option to replace Whiteside is Kelly Olynyk, though the final choice will depend on what type of lineup Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is most comfortable with.

Whiteside isn’t all that concerned about the injury:

“I’m not that worried,” he said. “It’s just the fact that it was hit in the same exact spot. If it was just the first time I got hit in my knee right there, it probably wouldn’t have been as bad. But, you know, I got hit again in it. So we’re going to just try to let it heal and see from there.”

The possibility of Whiteside returning for the Heat’s next contest exists, though Spoelstra is making it a day-to-day proposition that will be looked at from a season-long perspective. That will help avoid the urge to bring Whiteside back sooner than expected, thereby risking another injury.

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Dion Waiters Says He Sprained Ankle Three Times During Season Opener http://heatnation.com/media/dion-waiters-sprained-ankle-times-season-opener/ http://heatnation.com/media/dion-waiters-sprained-ankle-times-season-opener/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:29:55 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23373 The Miami Heat‘s injury woes continued in Wednesday night’s season opener against the Orlando Magic when starting shooting guard Dion Waiters left the game during the third quarter to get his left ankle treated. Waiters has dealt with injuries to the same ankle in the past. He missed the last 13 games of last season […]

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The Miami Heat‘s injury woes continued in Wednesday night’s season opener against the Orlando Magic when starting shooting guard Dion Waiters left the game during the third quarter to get his left ankle treated.

Waiters has dealt with injuries to the same ankle in the past. He missed the last 13 games of last season and was still dealing with the lingering injury when he reported to training camp in September.

Waiters returned to the court later in Wednesday’s game and went on to score seven of his 15 total points in the fourth quarter, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t reason for concern. Following the game, Waiters lamented his recurring ankle issues.

“I didn’t sprain anything until I got here, three times,” Waiters said. “It’s weird. Just guarding and trying to get through a screen, a guy kicked my foot and tweaked it a little bit. I’m not going to make it a big thing right now.”

He went on to explain how he was able to overcome the aggravation during the game to try and help the Heat get the win.

“Mind over matter,” he said. “I wanted to get the win, so I can’t be limping and do all that type of stuff and show weakness. At the end of the day, that’s not who I am. But we just got to keep strengthening it and whatever, and just take care of it. That’s all I can do.”

Ultimately the Heat fell to the Magic 116-109, but the NBA season is a marathon, not a race. Head coach Erik Spoelstra knows that, and while he surely doesn’t want to rush Waiters’ recovery, he was fairly positive following the game.

“We’ll evaluate when we get back,” he said. “But he was moving well after he was re-taped. We’ll just have to see.”

Waiters played the most minutes of any Heat player on Wednesday with 38. Along with his 15 points, he added four assists, two steals, and one block in the game.

The Heat are already dealing with several injuries on their roster and the last thing they need is for Waiters, a dependable scorer and team leader, to miss significant time. The injury could have implications for Waiters’ bank account as well, as he would earn a $1.1 million bonus if he plays in 70 of 82 regular-season games this year.

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Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic Game Recap: Missed Opportunities Plague Heat http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-orlando-magic-game-recap-missed-opportunities-plague-heat/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-orlando-magic-game-recap-missed-opportunities-plague-heat/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 03:32:17 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23352 (Orlando, FL) – Despite a valiant comeback attempt in the fourth quarter by the Miami Heat (0-1) in their season opener, the Orlando Magic (1-0) were able to hold their own at home en route to a 116-109 victory at Amway Center. “We were on our heels the majority of the night,” Heat head coach […]

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(Orlando, FL) – Despite a valiant comeback attempt in the fourth quarter by the Miami Heat (0-1) in their season opener, the Orlando Magic (1-0) were able to hold their own at home en route to a 116-109 victory at Amway Center.

“We were on our heels the majority of the night,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You have to give credit to Orlando. They play with great speed, athleticism and pace.”

Heat star center Hassan Whiteside had one of the best games of his career, as Orlando withstood a furious rally from Miami.

After they trailed by as many as 17 points early in the fourth quarter, Whiteside and the Heat were able to cut the Magic lead down to just two points, but it wasn’t enough.

Whiteside, who finished with a monstrous 26 points and 22 rebounds, knows the Heat can bounce back from this performance.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and look at the film,” Whiteside said after the game. “Look at the opportunities we missed on defense. Just learn from it.”

Unfortunately, Magic guard Evan Fournier put a quick stop to the Miami surge after he scored seven of his team-high 23 points in the final two and a half minutes of the game.

In addition, Magic center Nikola Vucevic pestered the Heat all night as he went off for 19 points, 13 points, two blocked shots and two steals.

Heat forward Justise Winslow, who came off the bench for 10 points and four boards, reiterated that Miami must do better on the defensive end in order to win games.

“We’ll be alright. First game, of course you want to win, but it is what it is,” Winslow said. “So we’ve got to figure out going forward how we’re going to do a better job defensively by keeping them out of the paint. Just limiting the easy ones in transition around the basket.”

Heat guards Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters had 17 and 15 points, respectively, while newly acquired center Kelly Olynyk and guard Josh Richardson also scored in double figures with 10 points apiece.

As a team, the Heat were able to go 13-of-17 from the charity stripe but struggled mightily from behind the arc as they only shot a measly 8-of-30.

Up next, the Heat will return home for a lengthy six-game homestand beginning on Saturday night when they take on the Indiana Pacers (1-0) at American Airlines Arena. The contest, which will tip off shortly after 8:00 p.m. ET, will be broadcast live locally on Fox Sports Sun.

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Miami Heat News: Okaro White (Shoulder) Out for Heat Season Opener http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-okaro-white-heat-season-opener/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-okaro-white-heat-season-opener/#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:36:58 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23343 The Miami Heat are just hours away from facing off against the Orlando Magic in their season opener. Forward Okaro White, however, will have to wait to get his first regular-season minutes. Okaro White (left shoulder sprain) unavailable for tonight's game. — Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) October 18, 2017 Last season, White averaged 2.8 points and […]

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The Miami Heat are just hours away from facing off against the Orlando Magic in their season opener. Forward Okaro White, however, will have to wait to get his first regular-season minutes.

Last season, White averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 35 games. His career with the Heat began last year when he was first signed to two 10-day contracts midseason before being offered a two-year deal with the Heat.

While White wasn’t expected to play a huge role for the Heat, his absence will force other players like James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, and Justise Winslow to potentially play more minutes.

There is no solid timetable for when White will be able to return to the Heat’s lineup. Hopefully he won’t have to wait too long before officially beginning his season.

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Miami Heat News: Rodney McGruder Undergoes Successful Surgery http://heatnation.com/team-news/heat-news-mcgruder-undergoes-successful-surgery/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/heat-news-mcgruder-undergoes-successful-surgery/#comments Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:58:35 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23335 After being diagnosed last week with a stress fracture in his left tibia, Miami Heat forward Rodney McGruder underwent a successful 90-minute surgery on Tuesday. The rehabilitation involved will likely take a minimum of three months, with the possibility of McGruder being forced to sit out the season. The injury, which the 26-year-old McGruder originally […]

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After being diagnosed last week with a stress fracture in his left tibia, Miami Heat forward Rodney McGruder underwent a successful 90-minute surgery on Tuesday. The rehabilitation involved will likely take a minimum of three months, with the possibility of McGruder being forced to sit out the season.

The injury, which the 26-year-old McGruder originally attributed to shin splints, received an official diagnosis after last Wednesday’s preseason win against the Washington Wizards. However, the possibility of missing the entire year isn’t part of his current mindset.

“I’m just going to attack the rehab and try to get the most out of that so I can be ready when everything heals up,” McGruder said. “They haven’t really told me too much. Just got to take it a day at a time. I don’t want to really look at the big picture and say months and things like that. I just want to attack it one day at a time and get better every day.”

That level of aggressiveness gives Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra confidence that McGruder will be able to contribute during the 2017-18 campaign. Spoelstra was also encouraged by the relative brevity of the 90-minute surgery that was performed at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital.

“Surgery went very well. It was successful,” Spoelstra said. “It was even shorter than anticipated and he’s already recovering. He’ll start the recovery rehabilitation process literally in less than a week. Knowing Rodney, we’ll have to just make sure we protect him from himself because he’ll want to come back sooner than anybody in the history of that injury.”

The injury was especially frustrating to McGruder, who had seemingly turned the corner in what has been a long climb to establish himself in the NBA. Four years ago, he went undrafted, with international ball and summer league tryouts taking up most of the next three seasons. Last year, he was a free agent who stuck with the Heat and nearly garnered a spot on the All-Rookie team.

That near-recognition came following a season in which he had led an injury-plagued team in games played with 78, starting 65 of those contests. He finished scoring 6.4 points per game, in addition to contributing 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists to Miami’s 41-41 season that came up just short of a playoff berth.

Past history when it comes to McGruder’s specific injury doesn’t necessarily offer a great deal of hope that he’ll make it back until at least after the All-Star break. Both Jrue Holiday and Javale McGee missed a good portion of the 2013-14 NBA season, though Spoelstra is confident that McGruder will buck that trend.

“Whatever you say the timetable is, Rodney is going to get back sooner,” Spoelstra said. “We just have to make sure that he comes back at a healthy, successful and really intelligent rate.”

The Heat begin their season on Wednesday night when they travel to face their in-state rivals, the Orlando Magic.

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How Hassan Whiteside Stacks Up Against Best Big Men in Heat History http://heatnation.com/editorials/hassan-whiteside-stacks-big-men-heat-history/ http://heatnation.com/editorials/hassan-whiteside-stacks-big-men-heat-history/#comments Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:21:45 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23224 In the relatively short history of the Miami Heat, only in existence since 1988, the franchise has had some top-end centers. Team president Pat Riley, who has a long history of showing his apparent preference for big, defensive-minded big men, has previously coached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing. After signing the mercurial 7-footer Hassan Whiteside, […]

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In the relatively short history of the Miami Heat, only in existence since 1988, the franchise has had some top-end centers. Team president Pat Riley, who has a long history of showing his apparent preference for big, defensive-minded big men, has previously coached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing.

After signing the mercurial 7-footer Hassan Whiteside, a former journeyman and second-round pick from Marshall University, to a four-year, $98 million contract, Riley once again believes he has a center who can patrol the paint for years to come.

While his offense is still a work in progress, Whiteside has been an absolute monster defensively and on the boards. After garnering a big contract, he has done everything to justify Riley’s faith in just 32.6 minutes per game, averaging 17.0 points (career-high), a league-leading 14.1 rebounds (career-high), and 2.1 blocks per game last season.

He was also fourth in both defensive win shares (5.3) and defensive rating (99.9). He’s got four career triple-doubles (points, rebounds, and blocks). It must be recalled that in previous eras, you would throw away a whole team and picks for a player of Whiteside’s mold.

Unless the Gastonia, North Carolina native finds himself injured, he’s likely to continue offensive improvement of his game, which would make him elite. He will likely turn into an All-Star this season, given the fan vote has been stripped down to 50 percent, with current players (25 percent) and media (25 percent) adding significant input. At 28 years old, these next few seasons will be his prime years.

On this note, let’s see how he stacks up against the greatest centers in Heat history.

1. Rony Seikaly

Drafted as the ninth pick of the 1988 draft class, the Lebanese-American Seikaly became the first-ever pick for the Heat. An All-Big East player at Syracuse University, he led the Orangemen to the national championship game in 1988 and finished as their all-time leading rebounder.

By his second season, and next four after, Seikaly was a consistent double-double machine, averaging 15.4 points and 10.4 rebounds during his six seasons. As reliable as he was, Seikaly was never an All-Star or All-NBA player, though this is probably more about how stacked Eastern Conference frontcourts were during his best years.

He was never going to beat out even an older Robert Parish, early ’90s era Ewing, or a certain, massive player coming later in the list — all Hall of Famers. However, was he, at his best, better than Whiteside? That’s a thoughtful “no.”

Seikaly had a better mid-range game, some ridiculous low-post moves, and was a decent free-throw shooter, up to 73.5 percent during the 1992-93 season, better than any for Whiteside.

You’re not losing too much with Whiteside offensively. He’s also been a much better rebounder and defender at this stage, where Seikaly was already in decline at age 28. Seikaly was athletic, but Whiteside is out here snatching shots out of the bluest skies, similar to Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell in their heyday.

2. Alonzo Mourning

Look, it’s not hard to tell that Zo was better, right? We can readily agree on that.

Truthfully an undersized center in his era, clocking in lesser than his billed 6-foot-10 stature, Mourning was Ford-tough, and played with a sharp competitive edge. He could be a bull in a china shop or nail his functional mid-range jumper. Zo looked like he was machined directly out of iron ore. Moreover, he was low-key clutch, and he punched kidney disease in the face.

He was a dominant defensive player at Georgetown University — which carried over into the NBA. After he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Heat, essentially for sharpshooter Glen Rice, Mourning became a five-time All-Star, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and won a title in his time in Miami. Aside from Dwyane Wade, he’s been the most recognizable Heat player and cornerstone.

But how much better was he, relative to surrounding talent while he was starring in Miami?

Mourning played with Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, Jamal Mashburn, and a host of other playoff proven starters and role players — very few of which the current Heat have around Whiteside. He’s played with no one within hailing distance of Hardaway at the point, or with a collective unit like Zo’s 1996-97 team that went 61-21.

Also, let’s get into it: Would Alonzo Mourning be Alonzo Mourning in today’s more nuanced and skilled league? Today, Zo’s mid-range game — that running short hook they apparently taught all Georgetown centers through Roy Hibbert’s tenure — wouldn’t necessarily take a team to a title. (Though his high free-throw attempts, especially during the mid-to-late ’90s, would make advanced stats guys happy.)

Defense and rebounding transfer over into any era, but it’s hard to know if you have him in lineups against today’s small-ball lineups, with nuanced cuts, drags, and heavy switching. Merely moving laterally against today’s lengthier, more explosive bigs and playing in space would likely prove problematic for Mourning.

3. Shaquille O’Neal

Whiteside will never be who the Diesel was in his Los Angeles Lakers’ leading prime, or even upon entry into the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 1992 to the Orlando Magic — one pick ahead of Mourning. The most physically dominating player in league history, O’Neal was one of the greatest 10-15 players of all-time. At one point, the behemoth was the modern day Wilt Chamberlain, virtually unstoppable when at top physical condition.

He was probably even a better player than Whiteside as a 19-year-old at Louisiana State University.

However, for this exercise, we’re using the Heat version, the 33-year-old iteration that averaged 19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, plus a paltry 46 percent from the charity stripe — terrible even for O’Neal.

Even at this stage, O’Neal was a much more dependable offensive player on the low block, consistently demanding double teams, and capable of finding open shooters out of them. Though a terrible free-throw shooter, his ability to draw fouls and get to the line surpass Whiteside’s current output.

Defensively, Whiteside gets a slight edge, via his athleticism and youth. O’Neal could be susceptible to getting beaten on screens that Whiteside can mitigate against — should Whiteside choose to give consistent effort, which can be a definite issue at times, in all phases of his game.

During O’Neal’s best season with Miami, the team’s best interior defender was actually — you guessed it — Alonzo Mourning, who averaged 2.7 blocks a game, off the bench.

All this said O’Neal was still a better player than Whiteside is now — way too much championship experience and offensive firepower. This is relative, of course; Diesel was primarily a high-percentage inside bruiser in ways Whiteside will never be.

In fact, regarding box score plus-minus (measuring per 100 possessions what a player contributed against a replacement-level player), Whiteside was -0.5, mainly because of his lackluster offense contribution.

Ultimately, if Whiteside hopes to ascend up the list of the Heat’s greatest centers, he must improve his efficiency by settling into his sweet spots more often, and get to the line.

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Miami Heat News: Heat Waive Three Players Ahead of Deadline http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-heat-waive-three-players-ahead-of-deadline/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-heat-waive-three-players-ahead-of-deadline/#comments Sat, 14 Oct 2017 18:40:09 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23309 Just one day after the Miami Heat‘s final preseason game, the team has decided to waive three players in an effort to reduce the roster limit to 15 players. The Heat announced Saturday afternoon that DeAndre Liggins, Erik McCree and Tony Mitchell have all been waived. Liggins, who signed with the Heat four days ago, played in the […]

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Just one day after the Miami Heat‘s final preseason game, the team has decided to waive three players in an effort to reduce the roster limit to 15 players.

The Heat announced Saturday afternoon that DeAndre Liggins, Erik McCree and Tony Mitchell have all been waived.

Liggins, who signed with the Heat four days ago, played in the team’s preseason finale against the Philadelphia 76ers. In about 26 minutes, the shooting guard put up five points, three rebounds and a steal. Liggins has also played with the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks over the course of his four seasons in the NBA

McCree played in just two preseason games with the Heat, computing a mere six points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal while shooting 3-of-8 from the field. Miami added the undrafted Louisiana Tech University small forward on Sept. 18.

Mitchell, who played in no preseason games with the Heat, actually has a loaded resume in the NBA G League. In 78 NBA G league appearances (52 starts), the 6-foot-8 wing averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 32.7 minutes while shooting 42.5 percent from the field. In addition, Mitchell earned G League Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 while being named to the All-G League First Team and All-G League Rookie Team.

The Heat’s roster now stands at 17 players, but the Heat could make some interesting moves in the next few hours.

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Hassan Whiteside Claps Back at Joel Embiid After Being Called Out on Twitter http://heatnation.com/media/hassan-whiteside-claps-joel-embiid-called/ http://heatnation.com/media/hassan-whiteside-claps-joel-embiid-called/#comments Sat, 14 Oct 2017 04:52:32 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=23296 Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid went head to head on the court on Friday and took their beef to Twitter after the game. During the matchup, which Miami lost 119-95, Whiteside got into early foul trouble and Embiid used that opportunity to talk trash to the Heat bench. Whiteside […]

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Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid went head to head on the court on Friday and took their beef to Twitter after the game.

During the matchup, which Miami lost 119-95, Whiteside got into early foul trouble and Embiid used that opportunity to talk trash to the Heat bench. Whiteside was called for three fouls in the first 2:21 including this one drawn by Embiid.

After the game, Whiteside responded to the tweet which set off an intense back-and-forth with Embiid.

Embiid, who scored only five points while shooting 1-of-7 from the field in the game, called out Whiteside in a series of tweets.

Whiteside responded by pointing out the fact that Embiid has only played 31 games in his whole injury-plagued career.

This is not the first time the two centers have gone after each other on social media. Last season, Embiid called Whiteside “BBQ chicken” after a loss on Instagram.

These two centers will face off again on Feb. 2nd during the regular season.

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