Heat Nation http://heatnation.com Miami Heat News, Rumors, Schedule, Videos, and Wallpapers for Heat Fans Everywhere Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:41:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.18 Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets Game Recap: Finally Winning in Crunch Time http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-charlotte-hornets-game-recap-finally-winning-crunch-time/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-charlotte-hornets-game-recap-finally-winning-crunch-time/#comments Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:39:21 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24139 (Charlotte, NC)  –  The Miami Heat have been their own worst enemy numerous times this season, failing to make shots in crunch time and coming away with disappointing losses. That was almost the case once again on Friday night when they faced off against the Charlotte Hornets. Despite leading for much of the game, it […]

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(Charlotte, NC)  –  The Miami Heat have been their own worst enemy numerous times this season, failing to make shots in crunch time and coming away with disappointing losses.

That was almost the case once again on Friday night when they faced off against the Charlotte Hornets. Despite leading for much of the game, it had become just a one-possession contest in the waning minutes. Thanks to some clutch plays on both sides of the court, however, the Heat were able to claim victory in the end, 104-98.

“That’s the NBA. Sometimes crazier things happen in this league,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the victory. “Leads can go very fast. As soon as Kemba Walker hit that one three I turned to the bench and said, ‘Uh oh.’ Then he gets a fast break, two free throws, and bangs home another three and there you go, it’s a game. You have to be prepared to play a full 48 minutes.”

With just 8:46 left in the game, Miami looked to be well on its way to a victory as it was up 16 points at 91-75. As the Miami faithful have seen all season long, however, a cushion can never be large enough for this Heat squad.

In the following four minutes, the Hornets went on a 15-9 run to cut the lead to eight with 3:53 left in the game. Walker served as the catalyst for the Hornets’ comeback attempt and hit several huge shots in the waning minutes on his way to a 25-point, five-assist, and four-rebound night. While the Heat had found much success spreading around the ball throughout the game, they began to fall into an isolation-oriented offense and when their shots stopped falling, the home team sensed an opportunity.

Walker hit another huge three with just over three minutes left in the game to bring his team to within seven, and after both he and Dwight Howard, who dominated the Heat on the boards on his way to a 15-point and 16-rebound night, hit from the free-throw line, the Heat were looking at just a two-point lead, 100-98.

Thankfully, Dion Waiters came to the rescue. The shooting guard had failed to hit several shots in the final quarter of the game but with just over a minute left, he hit a massive 12-foot jumper to extend the lead to four and silence a raucous Spectrum Center crowd. The Hornets launched one more last-minute comeback attempt, but after Goran Dragic, who finished the game with eight points and seven assists, hit both shots from the line, the outcome was decided.

“This is the NBA, teams are really good. You got a guy like Kemba on their team, he’s a finisher,” Tyler Johnson said following the game. “When it gets down to crunch time, he’s gonna be ready, all we can do is weather the storm.”

Despite almost suffering another last-minute collapse, Miami had a lot of be proud of in the game. With Justise Winslow out with a knee injury and Hassan Whiteside still working to return from his lingering injury, center Jordan Mickey played valiantly in a relief role. Despite playing just 15 minutes in the game, Mickey finished the night with eight points and seven rebounds.

What stood out most in Friday’s game was the unselfish offense the Heat were able to run for the majority of the night. Johnson and Wayne Ellington shined off the bench once again and both finished with 16 points apiece.

“The ball is just going in,” Johnson joked about his strong night shooting the ball. “Just getting shots up that I feel comfortable with and when it comes off the fingertips it just continues into the hoop.”

James Johnson put in a valuable and balanced performance as well with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals, and Josh Richardson continued his string of solid all-around games with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

One final positive note from the game was a milestone reached by Spoelstra. With Friday’s victory, Spoelstra notched his 454 career win as the Heat’s head coach, tying former coach and current team president Pat Riley.

The Heat will have a quick turnaround as the Los Angeles Clippers travel to Miami on Saturday night. The Heat will look to give themselves a winning record on the season in that game, and place their head coach firmly in the Heat history books.

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Miami Heat News: Heat Reveal Justise Winslow’s MRI Results http://heatnation.com/team-news/report-miami-heat-reveal-justise-winslows-mri-results/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/report-miami-heat-reveal-justise-winslows-mri-results/#comments Fri, 15 Dec 2017 23:01:19 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24131 Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow had a real scare during Wednesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when he left the game with an apparent knee injury. As is the case with all knee injuries, there was concern that Winslow had suffered a serious setback, but after undergoing tests it appears the injury won’t keep the talented […]

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Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow had a real scare during Wednesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when he left the game with an apparent knee injury.

As is the case with all knee injuries, there was concern that Winslow had suffered a serious setback, but after undergoing tests it appears the injury won’t keep the talented youngster out for long.

The Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman added context to Charania’s report, saying Winslow is likely to miss four games while he rehabs the minor injury.

So far this season Winslow is averaging 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, he is certainly gaining confidence as the season progresses. Just four days before he suffered the injury, Winslow put up one of his most impressive offensive performances of the season when he dropped 15 points on the Brooklyn Nets on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.

It’s great news that Winslow won’t be out for long. He will surely look to build off his recent strong performance and continue to grow upon his imminent return.

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Miami Heat Rumors: Hassan Whiteside Getting Closer to Return http://heatnation.com/rumors/miami-heat-rumors-hassan-whiteside-getting-closer-to-return/ http://heatnation.com/rumors/miami-heat-rumors-hassan-whiteside-getting-closer-to-return/#comments Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:28:14 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24122 Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has certainly struggled to stay on the court so far this season and has missed the last eight games due to a lingering left knee bruise. According to recent reports, however, the talented big man is well on his way to returning to the court. According to Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach […]

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Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has certainly struggled to stay on the court so far this season and has missed the last eight games due to a lingering left knee bruise. According to recent reports, however, the talented big man is well on his way to returning to the court.

According to Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post, Whiteside has taken a major step towards returning to action.

“The good news is that Whiteside, who will miss his eighth consecutive game and his 13th game of the season Friday due to a bone bruise on his left knee, is inching closer to a return,” Chiang wrote. “After being evaluated Wednesday night by team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick, Whiteside was cleared to start working on the court.

“Whiteside didn’t go through the entire practice Thursday, but he participated in drills with a bulky brace on his left knee with assistant coach Juwan Howard and former Heat center and current team executive Alonzo Mourning watching on.”

Chiang provided proof that Whiteside has in fact taken the court on Twitter and offered an update from Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra as well.

“This is the extent of what he was able to do today,” Spoelstra said. “He will not travel with us. This is his first court work and it’s good to obviously see him out here, but we’ll evaluate him after today and see if he can do more.”

The Heat have struggled to find a replacement for Whiteside since his knee forced him out of the lineup. Considering that he has averaged 14.9 points and 12.7 rebounds per game this season, it’s no surprise that Miami is struggling without him.

His ability to return to working on the court is certainly promising news, but it seems Whiteside still has to cross several thresholds before he is allowed to suit up. Hopefully all the news going forward continues to be positive as the 7-footer battles back from this latest injury.

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Miami Heat vs. Portland Trail Blazers Game Recap: Nothing Guaranteed http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-vs-portland-trail-blazers-game-recap-nothing-guaranteed/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-vs-portland-trail-blazers-game-recap-nothing-guaranteed/#comments Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:20:52 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24110 (Miami, FL) – The Miami Heat have been plagued all season by late-game collapses that have cost them a number of victories. It seemed that they had turned a corner following back-to-back convincing road wins, but on Wednesday night, Miami proved that it needs to improve mightily down the stretch before it wants to be taken […]

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(Miami, FL) – The Miami Heat have been plagued all season by late-game collapses that have cost them a number of victories. It seemed that they had turned a corner following back-to-back convincing road wins, but on Wednesday night, Miami proved that it needs to improve mightily down the stretch before it wants to be taken seriously as a contender in the Eastern Conference. Despite leading by double-digits for much of the first half and deep into the second, the Heat lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in devastating fashion, 102-95.

“You’re not guaranteed when you get up that you’re going to stay up,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the loss. “Really came down to better, more intentional, purposeful execution going down the stretch. They executed and made plays down the stretch. We had opportunities and we didn’t get quite the shots that we wanted to. Missed a couple free throws, they made theirs, and that’s the way it went.”

The game seemed like it was on its way to a blowout victory for the Heat when Dion Waiters, who had 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field, nailed a 3-pointer to put Miami up 16 with 8:30 left in the third quarter. Bit by bit, however, the Blazers began to claw back and by the start of the final frame, the Heat were up just nine points, 79-70.

In the fourth, the Heat’s lead continued to shrink and with 6:35 left in the game, the score was all tied up, 86-86. A flurry of big shots by both teams followed and everytime the Blazers tried to wrestle control out of the Heat’s hands, Miami found a way to hold onto its slim lead. American Airlines Area had grown silent as the hometown crowd watched their team give up the large lead. However, when Josh Richardson (who finished the game with 11 points, two rebounds, and two assists) secured a clutch offensive rebound, he passed the ball to Waiters, who then set up an electric alley-oop dunk by Bam Adebayo, who had 12 points and seven boards in the contest. That got the crowd got themselves right back into the game.

Unfortunately, that was the last time Heat fans would have something to cheer about as the Heat shooters had gone ice cold, and Blazers star Damian Lillard managed to get to the line multiple times on his way to a seven-point burst in the last two minutes of the game. By the end, the Heat were practically unrecognizable from the team fans had enjoyed in the first half, and failed to put up much of a fight at all in the game’s final moments.

While Miami shot well from the three-point line in the game, hitting 43.3 percent of its shots, turnovers and missed opportunities from the free-throw line proved to be paramount. The Heat shot a dismal 60.9 percent from the line and coughed up the ball 16 times.

It is hard to find many positives in a game that could have so easily been a much-needed win for the Heat. They were firing on all cylinders in the first half. Wayne Ellington, who finished the game with 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting, helped Miami score 60 points in the first half, but the team failed to regain that same form in two final quarters, scoring 19 points in the third period and just 16 points in the final frame. That kind of inconsistency has cost the Heat all season long. Whether it’s giving up large leads only to be forced to try and squeeze out a win in the final minutes or it’s falling behind big and failing to make the game much of a contest at all, Miami has fallen victim to it’s inability to maintain production throughout the entirety of a game time and time again.

It had seemed that Miami had managed to turn a corner following its two huge road wins earlier this week, but Wednesday’s loss proved that the Heat still have a lot of improving to do before they can be considered legitimate contenders, or even a solid playoff team.

It’s undoubtedly hard to come back from a loss like this, but that is exactly what the Heat will have to do as they travel to Charlotte to face off against the Hornets. The Hornets have struggled all season long and Friday’s game should be an easy win for the Heat. Wednesday’s game was a stark reminder, though, that in the NBA nothing is guaranteed.

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Miami Heat vs. Memphis Grizzlies Game Recap: Putting It All Together http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-memphis-grizzlies-game-recap-putting/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-memphis-grizzlies-game-recap-putting/#comments Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:43:43 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24100 (Memphis, TN) – The Miami Heat have shown an ability to play well on both sides of the court at different times throughout this season, but have often failed to do so when it matters most. That all changed on Monday night when the Heat shot lights out on offense, and played tenaciously on defense […]

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(Memphis, TN) – The Miami Heat have shown an ability to play well on both sides of the court at different times throughout this season, but have often failed to do so when it matters most. That all changed on Monday night when the Heat shot lights out on offense, and played tenaciously on defense down the stretch on their way to a lopsided victory, 107-82, against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I liked how we got stronger, tougher, more resilient in both second halves,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said of his team’s back-to-back wins. “Different guys in each game. Took a lot of pressure off ourselves by getting multiple stops and then the offense just becomes a little bit easier going down the other end.”

The game had been a close contest for the entirety of the first half and Miami only led, 45-42, when it headed into the locker room at halftime. Memphis even managed to retake the lead early in the third period, but halfway through the third quarter, the Heat turned it on and never looked back. Goran Dragic, who finished the game with 19 points, five assists and five rebounds, jumpstarted his team when he hit a 3-pointer on one possession, got to the line and hit both free throws on the next, only to hit a jumper and follow that up with a silky assist to Bam Adebayo on the next two possessions. While the Heat only led by three points following Dragic’s one-man show, his teammates immediately responded and pushed the lead to ten points with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.

Dragic was Miami’s scoring leader in the game, but Adebayo had a fantastic game in his own right and finished with a 14-point, four-rebound, two-assist, two-steal, and two-block performance.

“My mindset is the same. I go out there and play as hard as I can, try to get everybody involved, and stay focused,” Adebayo said about coming off of the bench in the game. “We picking it up. It’s starting to click and we picking it up. It’s starting to go from good D to great D.”

By the beginning of the final frame, the Heat were in control with a 10-point lead and looked to do something they had failed to do on multiple occasions this season: close out a game. While some teams might have been satisfied with a double-digit lead, the Heat made it clear that they had no intention of taking their foot off the pedal.

With over 10 minutes left in the game, Wayne Ellington, who finished the game with 12 points, hit a 3-pointer. Just two offensive possessions later, Tyler Johnson hit a three of his own, followed directly by a 3-pointer by Justise Winslow. Miami went on to hit four more 3-pointers in the final quarter. At the same time, it clamped down defensively as the Grizzlies could do nothing but watch the Heat’s lead grow as the final whistle approached.

The Heat’s strong play on both sides of the court not only showed up on the court, but on the stat sheet as well. While Miami shot 56.1 percent from with field and a jaw-dropping 51.9 percent from beyond the arc, it held the Grizzlies to just 38.9 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from three-point range. They also outperformed their opponents in most major defensive categories, outrebounding Memphis, 35-31, and bettering them in both steals, 8-6, and blocks, 8-1.

Miami enjoyed strong individual performances as well. Along with Dragic, Adebayo, and Ellington, Tyler Johnson, James Johnson, Josh Richardson, and Dion Waiters all posted double-digit scoring nights. Richardson’s 17-point performance was perhaps the most promising as the youngster continues to grow as an offensive weapon and has now put up double-digit point totals in six of the last seven games.

The Heat’s season looked to be in trouble after they had lost four of five games, but they have managed to flip a switch and have now put together back-t0-back victories for just the fourth time this season. They will look to tie their season-high winning streak of three games this Wednesday when they return home to South Florida to face off against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Video: Chris Bosh Video Bombs Justise Winslow During Postgame Interview http://heatnation.com/videos/video-chris-bosh-video-bombing-justise-winslow/ http://heatnation.com/videos/video-chris-bosh-video-bombing-justise-winslow/#comments Sun, 10 Dec 2017 19:37:32 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24093 Despite the fact that Chris Bosh is effectively retired from playing because of health issues, he maintains a strong connection to the Miami Heat. On Saturday night, he managed to bring back amusing memories of his days with the team, simply by video bombing the Heat’s Justise Winslow after the their 101-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets […]

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Despite the fact that Chris Bosh is effectively retired from playing because of health issues, he maintains a strong connection to the Miami Heat. On Saturday night, he managed to bring back amusing memories of his days with the team, simply by video bombing the Heat’s Justise Winslow after the their 101-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City.

Bosh made the relatively short jaunt to the game from his present home in Los Angeles and said nothing during his ever-so-brief onscreen appearance. Immediately after, he could be seen hugging former teammate Tyler Johnson.

During the team’s glory days from 2010 to 2014, when the Heat won two NBA titles and reached the NBA Finals in four consecutive years, Bosh turned the video bomb into an art form. He could constantly be seen helping disrupt postgame interviews being conducted with one of his teammates. Many of those teammates would subsequently turn the tables on him when he was being asked the questions.

While Bosh has spoken of possibility of making a comeback with another team, the dangers concerning his health make that option a longshot. Still, for one night, the legend of Chris Bosh continued.

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Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets Game Recap: Back on Track http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-brooklyn-nets-game-recap-track/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-brooklyn-nets-game-recap-track/#comments Sun, 10 Dec 2017 03:32:55 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24080 (Mexico City, MX) – After losing four of their last five games, the Miami Heat were in need of a morale-boosting victory on Saturday when they faced off against the Brooklyn Nets. While they started out the game slowly, the Heat managed to improve as the game progressed and put on a show in front of […]

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(Mexico City, MX) – After losing four of their last five games, the Miami Heat were in need of a morale-boosting victory on Saturday when they faced off against the Brooklyn Nets. While they started out the game slowly, the Heat managed to improve as the game progressed and put on a show in front of a raucous Mexico City Arena crowd on their way to a convincing victory, 101-89.

What stood out most in the game was the return of the Heat’s lockdown defense in the second half. Miami allowed the middling Nets to score 53 points in the first two quarters, but the Heat curbed that trend in the final two periods, holding their opponents to just 36 total points on their way to the easy win.

“Our defensive disposition and commitment on that side of the floor was much better. This was a possession game so this was going to have to be relatively physical, and then we executed down the stretch,” Heat head coach Erik Speolstra said following the win. “I thought as the game went on, when guys were probably more fatigued, we executed better.”

Heading into the final frame of the game, the Heat were in the lead, 75-52, but the game was still very much up for grabs. While Miami had struggled to start the previous three periods strongly, it took advantage of its slight lead and managed to build upon it in the fourth quarter.

Goran Dragic rebounded from his poor performance against the San Antonio Spurs and helped lead his team in the second half on his way to a 20-point, seven-rebound performance. Thanks to Dragic, Justise Winslow, who had a fantastic game coming off the bench and finished with 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc, and Kelly Olynyk, who added 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the game, the Heat found themselves up 89-79 with just under seven minutes left in the game.

“In the second half we were just communicating and guys were getting in the right spots just by using our voices, so I think that played a big part in our defense in the second half,” Winslow said of his team’s defensive improvements before discussing his perfect performance from deep. “I just tried to knock it down and play with confidence, and my teammates, the whole season they’ve just been feeding me confidence and tonight I was just out there hooping.”

It looked as if the Heat were going to run way with the victory, but after the Nets hit several big shots in the waning minutes of the game, including a deep 3-pointer by point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, the Heat saw their double-digit advantage shrink to just four points. For a few moments another last-minute heartbreaker seemed possible for Miami, but after two Olynyk layups, the Heat retook control of the game.

James Johnson, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, and three assists as the starting power forward, put the game out of reach with an exclamation point when he spun into the lane and hammered home a vicious dunk, drawing cheers from the elated Mexico City crowd.

While Miami was able to secure the victory in textbook fashion down the stretch on Saturday night, the rest of the game was not as pretty. The Heat started off slow in the game and after nearly two scoreless minutes found themselves down 8-0. It appeared that the Heat were on their way to falling behind big in the game, but Winslow and Tyler Johnson, who scored 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting, helped keep their team within striking distance and eventually led a comeback.

“I just felt like I was in a really good rhythm from the other day,” Johnson said of his second big game in a row. “So I just wanted to come out and be aggressive. It was no particular game plan to take the certain shots that I do, it was just my teammates were able to find me in good positions to be successful.”

The night was one to celebrate for Heat fans and was as a special moment was captured when former Heat forward Chris Bosh, who watched the game from the stands, and Spoelstra embraced on the court.

The Heat won Saturday’s game with strong team-oriented play on both sides of the court, a promising sight after struggling in several recent performances. They will look to continue that trend and get back to .500 on the season when they travel to Memphis to take on Grizzlies on Monday night.

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Dion Waiters Responds To Heat Fans Saying He Should Come Off Bench http://heatnation.com/media/dion-waiters-responds-to-heat-fans-saying-he-should-come-off-bench/ http://heatnation.com/media/dion-waiters-responds-to-heat-fans-saying-he-should-come-off-bench/#comments Sat, 09 Dec 2017 22:47:00 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24073 Dion Waiters has had his ups and downs with the Miami Heat this season. While the streaky shooting guard has been instrumental in some of his team’s biggest wins, he has also been inconsistent and unreliable in several of their most lopsided defeats. His inconsistency has led some fans to question if the 25-year-old pro would better […]

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Dion Waiters has had his ups and downs with the Miami Heat this season. While the streaky shooting guard has been instrumental in some of his team’s biggest wins, he has also been inconsistent and unreliable in several of their most lopsided defeats.

His inconsistency has led some fans to question if the 25-year-old pro would better serve the Heat coming off the bench. On Friday, Waiters responded to those calls, letting fans know that he has no intention of accepting a reduced role.

“I’m a starter in this league, man, that’s who I am,” said Waiters. “We’re going to nip that in the bud right now. I’m not coming off no bench.”

Waiters continued to say that while he’s played as both a starter and a reserve player in the NBA, he much prefers his current role.

“I never liked the role [of coming off the bench],” he said before the Heat’s practice Friday. “I just had to accept it.”

He even responded to the criticisms regrading his inconsistency, saying that it’s a problem amongst the entire Heat squad.

“Who really has been consistent on this team,” Waiters asked.

While fans may be calling for Waiters, who is averaging 15.4 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game this season, to relinquish his role as a starter, he seems to have the support of the only man who can make that call, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

“Now, in the last couple of weeks, it hasn’t necessarily been the results that we’ve wanted and I know he wants better results, as well,” Spoelstra said. “But I like the work that he’s been putting in. He’s been diligent about trying to take more responsibility, make better plays for the team.

“He just has to stay with it and we’ll get him in spots where he can be aggressive.”

Whether fans like it or not, Waiters is one of the Heat’s most potent shooters on the current roster and his role as a starter seems fairly locked up. Waiters is an easy target to point to for what’s been behind the Heat’s current struggles, but the blame cannot be pinned on him alone.

Waiters will have an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong when the Heat face off against the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City this Saturday evening.

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