Heat Nation http://heatnation.com Miami Heat News, Rumors, Schedule, Videos, and Wallpapers for Heat Fans Everywhere Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:07:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.18 Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls Game Recap: Streak Snapped http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-chicago-bulls-game-recap-streak-snapped/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-chicago-bulls-game-recap-streak-snapped/#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:07:49 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24537 (Chicago, IL) — After enjoying a season-high seven-game winning streak, the Miami Heat looked to get a five-game road trip off to a good start when they traveled to Chicago on Monday to take on the Bulls. While the Heat made it interesting in the last few minutes of the game, the Bulls controlled the vast majority of […]

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(Chicago, IL) — After enjoying a season-high seven-game winning streak, the Miami Heat looked to get a five-game road trip off to a good start when they traveled to Chicago on Monday to take on the Bulls. While the Heat made it interesting in the last few minutes of the game, the Bulls controlled the vast majority of the contest and handed the Heat their first loss of 2018, 119-111.

“It goes however it goes. We didn’t get the job done. That’s the bottom line,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said after the defeat. “It looked like we were getting it back, we got it to six, and then they made bigger plays down the stretch. We really thought we had the momentum, we thought we had shifted it when we got to six. You have to credit them.”

Miami had been down by double-digits for much of the second half of Monday’s contest and with just over seven minutes left in the game it was down 15 points, 98-83. During its seven-game winning streak, Miami had proven to be one of the most clutch teams in the NBA, and it attempted to make good on that reputation in the game’s final stretch.

Led by Goran Dragic, who finished the game with 22 points, nine assists, and five rebounds, and Kelly Olynyk, who added 21 points and eight assists off the bench, the Heat went on a 14-5 run to cut their deficit to just six points with 4:18 left in the game.

The Bulls answered quickly on the other end, but when James Johnson hit a huge three-point shot to bring the score to 105-100 with 3:39 left in the game, it looked like the Heat had a chance to steal the improbable victory.

Chicago was determined to hold onto their shrinking lead, however, and Justin Holiday pushed the Chicago lead to back to seven after converting on a long jumper. Dragic brought the Miami deficit back down to five after an impressive drive and layup, but when Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen nailed a long three-point shot with just over one minute left in the game, it seemed clear that the Bulls were going to get out of the game with the win.

Following the game, Josh Richardson, who finished the game with 11 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, reflected on the defeat.

“We weren’t communicating very well, and we were not giving them enough static on the three-point line,” he said following the game. “We weren’t taking care of the ball very well at end of the first half so that led to a couple of them getting momentum plays.”

The game was not the only loss for the Heat on Monday. Midway through the third period, Tyler Johnson tangled his legs up with Bulls big man Robin Lopez and collapsed to the court in pain. It was a scary scene as team doctors inspected the shooting guard’s lower left leg, seeming to pay close attention to his knee. He was later carted off the court and seemed to be in a great deal of pain.

It was later reported that Tyler Johnson had suffered a sprained left ankle and that the X-rays had come back negative. There is no telling how long it will take for the streaky scorer to return, but considering the initial fear of a serious knee injury, a sprained ankle is welcome news.

“The first part of the news is he’s relieved. We were all thinking the worst, but we’ll see if we can get an MRI tomorrow,” Spoelstra said of his guard’s injury. “Right now he just has it wrapped in tape so that’s a good sign as well, but we’ll know more tomorrow.”

After their incredibly convincing win over the Milwaukee Bucks just one day before, the Heat appeared to lack much of what had helped them reach their seven-game winning streak on Monday. Offensively, the Heat seemed out of synch for much of the second half. Defensively, they let up the most points in a game since their 123-95 loss to the Golden State Warriors back in early December.

Miami will look to reclaim their winning ways on Wednesday night when they travel to Milwaukee to face off against the Bucks for the second time in four days.

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Dwyane Wade Reacts to Goran Dragic Winning Player of the Week http://heatnation.com/media/dwyane-wade-reacts-to-goran-dragic-winning-player-of-the-week/ http://heatnation.com/media/dwyane-wade-reacts-to-goran-dragic-winning-player-of-the-week/#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:57:01 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24530 The Miami Heat are currently enjoying a seven-game winning streak and point guard Goran Dragic is certainly getting quite a lot of credit for it. On Monday, Dragic was rewarded for his recent performances when he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. It didn’t take long for Heat legend Dwyane Wade to notice. He […]

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The Miami Heat are currently enjoying a seven-game winning streak and point guard Goran Dragic is certainly getting quite a lot of credit for it. On Monday, Dragic was rewarded for his recent performances when he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

It didn’t take long for Heat legend Dwyane Wade to notice. He quickly took to Twitter to celebrate his former teammate’s success.

Dragic and Wade played together for a portion of the 2014-15 season and the entirety of the 2015-16 season in Miami and it’s clear that Wade has a lot of respect for the veteran guard.

This is the second time this season that Dragic has been named the Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference, with the first time coming back in late November. He deserved the award then and he certainly deserves it now. Last week, Dragic averaged 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and came up huge in clutch moments of all three games.

Dragic will look to continue his recent success as he and the Heat look to extend their winning streak to eight games this afternoon against the Chicago Bulls.

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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks Game Recap: Playoff Pedigree http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-milwaukee-bucks-game-recap-playoff-pedigree/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-milwaukee-bucks-game-recap-playoff-pedigree/#comments Sun, 14 Jan 2018 21:54:57 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24521 (Miami, FL) – The Miami Heat had a lot to prove in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon. Not only were they looking to extend their six-game winning streak after a multi-day break, but they were also hoping to convince any doubters wrong by handing the Bucks, who currently sit at sixth in the […]

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(Miami, FL) – The Miami Heat had a lot to prove in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon. Not only were they looking to extend their six-game winning streak after a multi-day break, but they were also hoping to convince any doubters wrong by handing the Bucks, who currently sit at sixth in the Eastern Conference, a loss. They did just that with a dominant defensive display on their way to a near-blowout victory, 97-79.

“It felt like it was going down the wire. That’s how a head coach thinks. You gotta play it all the way to the end. Our guys really stepped it up in the second half. It was great to see those inspiring efforts,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was good to see us put together one of our better, more complete defensive efforts for the entire game.”

With just over eight minutes left in the third period the game was tied, 44-44, and the Heat looked to be on their way to yet another close game. With the flip of a switch, though, they turned it on and quickly began to control the game.

Hassan Whiteside, who finished the game with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals, led Miami on a dominant four-minute run in which it outscored the Bucks 14-4.

Despite being up, 58-48, the home team refused to slow down. By the end of the quarter it had extended its lead to 12 points and was firmly in driver’s seat. The Heat continued to dominate the contest and with just over eight minutes left in the final frame, the lead had ballooned to 18 points, 82-64.

Milwaukee tried to claw back into the contest and went on a 7-0 run to bring the deficit to 11 points. Goran Dragic, who finished with a game high 25 points, helped his team retake control when he hit a deep 3-pointer with 5:19 left in the game. He scored again on the Heat’s following offensive possession to go up 14 points. Less than a minute later, Dragic nailed a three-point shot from deep to give Miami a 90-75 lead.

“We were engaged on defense and when we defend well, we get that confidence on offense. We really played together as a team, the ball was moving, we were making shots, and I think that was the key of the game,” Dragic said before discussing his impressive effort from beyond the arc. “I knew they were going to go in, I don’t know why I just had that feeling so I just shot it.”

The Heat weren’t done pouring it on, either. With 2:35 left in the game, Dragic drained his final 3-pointer of the ninght to kickstart a 7-0 Miami run to go up, 97-79, with 1:40 left in the game.

The Bucks failed to score another point, solidifying Miami’s impressive victory.

Sunday’s game was yet another team win for the Heat. Josh Richardson put in a solid performance on both ends of the court, finishing with 16 points and six rebounds. Tyler Johnson also played well, adding 14 points and six rebounds in the game.

Another bright spot in Sunday’s game was the return of Miami forward Justise Winslow. Winslow had been out with a knee injury since Dec. 13 and while he only played for 13 minutes, he put in a well-rounded game with three points, four assists, and four rebounds. Not only are the Heat playing their best basketball of the season right now, but they are now arguably healthier than they have been in quite some time.

Miami will look to continue their current seven-game winning streak tomorrow when it heads to Chicago to face off against the Bulls.

Monday’s game in Chicago will mark the start of a five-game road trip that will certainly test the Heat’s resolve. By the looks of it, they will rise to the challenge.

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Video: Tracy McGrady Explains One Thing Miami Heat Need to Advance Deep in Playoffs http://heatnation.com/videos/tracy-mcgrady-impressed-heat-allstar-playoffs/ http://heatnation.com/videos/tracy-mcgrady-impressed-heat-allstar-playoffs/#comments Sun, 14 Jan 2018 00:35:09 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24501 The Miami Heat have slowly but surely snuck themselves into the conversation of top teams in the Eastern Conference. After struggling to maintain a .500 record through the first two months of the season, the Heat finished 2017 strong, winning six of their last nine games of the year, and have yet to lose in 2018. That […]

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The Miami Heat have slowly but surely snuck themselves into the conversation of top teams in the Eastern Conference.

After struggling to maintain a .500 record through the first two months of the season, the Heat finished 2017 strong, winning six of their last nine games of the year, and have yet to lose in 2018.

That kind of success has begun to turn heads, including that of former NBA All-Star and current ESPN analyst Tracy McGrady.

McGrady joined ESPN’s “The Jump” on Friday morning to discuss how Miami has impressed him so far this season.

“I feel good about them because they’re well coached,” McGrady began. “When you look at a team that doesn’t have any All-Stars and any type of superstars, and they’re fourth in the Eastern Conference, that shows you how great of a coach Erik Spoelstra is.”

He continued to say that for Miami to reach loftier goals than just a spot in the playoffs, it is going to have to add talent to its roster.

“In order for them to compete against teams like Boston Celtics and the Cavaliers. Yes, to prepare them to that next level they’re going to need an All-Star,” he said. “I like the scrappiness out of this team, but to advance in the playoffs they’re going to have to get somebody that can take the load off of these guys when it gets tough.”

The Heat have a plethora of pieces that could be part of a trade to bring a true star to Miami, but those players are also responsible for the team’s recent success.

It’s hard to predict what will actually take place in Miami between now and the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline. One thing is certain, however, if the Heat roster continues to perform like they have in recent games, it should have many more wins by the time the deadline arrives.

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Video: Erik Spoelstra Eats Hot Peppers for ALS Challenge http://heatnation.com/videos/erik-spoelstra-eats-hot-peppers-als-challenge/ http://heatnation.com/videos/erik-spoelstra-eats-hot-peppers-als-challenge/#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:43:02 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24505 Winners of their last six straight games, the Miami Heat (24-17) are surging at the halfway point of the NBA season thanks to some superior leading by Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. The coach isn’t just making a difference on the court, he’s making one off of it as well. On Friday, Spoelstra took part in the […]

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Winners of their last six straight games, the Miami Heat (24-17) are surging at the halfway point of the NBA season thanks to some superior leading by Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

The coach isn’t just making a difference on the court, he’s making one off of it as well. On Friday, Spoelstra took part in the #ALSPepperChallenge, a campaign aimed to raise money for ALS research.

The spicy challenge was orchestrated by NBA analytical guru Tom Haberstroh, who covered the Heat during his time with ESPN. Haberstroh’s mother was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease just before the holidays, driving the family to find a cure for the terrible disease. Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014, the challenge also calls participants to nominate three friends, encourage them to donate to the cause and share the video.

Spoelstra, who thoughtfully encouraged the campaign and urged others to donate, nominated former Heat assistant coach David Fizdale, Jason Jackson and Ira Winderman. Despite losing multiple players to injuries early in the season, Spoelstra has steered the Heat to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, just two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The superb job by Spoelstra 41 games into the season has earned him consideration for Coach of the Year honors. The 47-year-old also surpassed NBA legend Pat Riley as the franchise’s all-time wins leader in December. If Spoelstra continues to guide the Heat upward for the rest of the year, there’s no doubt that he’ll be in strong discussion for the exemplary coaching award.

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Miami Heat News: Dion Waiters to Have Season-Ending Surgery on Ankle http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-dion-waiters-out-for-season-with-left-ankle-injury/ http://heatnation.com/team-news/miami-heat-news-dion-waiters-out-for-season-with-left-ankle-injury/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:53:24 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24492 The Miami Heat have dealt with several injuries to key members of their roster this season, but a majority of those injuries have been fairly short-term. That all changed on Thursday afternoon, when it was reported that Dion Waiters is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season due to season-ending surgery on his injured […]

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The Miami Heat have dealt with several injuries to key members of their roster this season, but a majority of those injuries have been fairly short-term.

That all changed on Thursday afternoon, when it was reported that Dion Waiters is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season due to season-ending surgery on his injured left ankle.

Waiters had averaged 14.3 points and 3.8 assists per game this season before he went down back in late December. He had injured the same ankle at the end of the 2016-17 season, but elected to forgo surgery during the offseason.

The streaky shooting guard signed a four-year, $52 million contract this past July and was expected to be one of Miami’s premier offensive weapons this season. Interestingly, Waiters could have earned a $1 million bonus if he had managed to play in 70 or more games this season. Clearly, that bonus is no longer on the table.

While it would seem that the Heat would suffer a lack of success in Waiters’ absence, they have actually played some of their best basketball and have won seven of nine games since his injury. Still, it is always a blow to lose a valuable member of the roster and Waiters will surely be missed by both his teammates and fans.

Hopefully, he is able to make a full recovery and rejoin his fellow teammates soon.

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Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Game Recap: Extending the Streak http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-indiana-pacers-game-recap-extending-streak/ http://heatnation.com/game-news/miami-heat-indiana-pacers-game-recap-extending-streak/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 04:03:15 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24480 (Indianapolis, IN) – The Miami Heat had not won at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 10 regular-season tries. In Wednesday night’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers, they looked to curb that trend, extend their five-game winning streak, and further cement their place amongst the Eastern Conference’s best teams. Miami led for the vast majority of the game. […]

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(Indianapolis, IN) – The Miami Heat had not won at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 10 regular-season tries. In Wednesday night’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers, they looked to curb that trend, extend their five-game winning streak, and further cement their place amongst the Eastern Conference’s best teams. Miami led for the vast majority of the game. While things got a little too close for comfort down the stretch, it was able to clamp down defensively and make big shots when they mattered most on its way to another big win, 114-106.

“Guys are really starting to develop that resiliency,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the game. “To understand that there’s going to be a lot of highs and low in a game. You have to continue to try to stay the course. Play your game, compete, play as consistently to whatever your identity is as much as you can, and then weather storms.”

The final quarter of the game began like a heavyweight battle as both teams made their move to try and take control of the game. While the Heat led for much of the night, and by as many as 14 points in the third period, the Pacers roared back. By the beginning of the final quarter, the Heat’s lead had shrunk to just six points, 86-80.

The Heat jumped ahead, 88-80, early in the fourth period after Tyler Johnson, who finished the night with 15 points and five rebounds, hit two quick field goals. The lead grew to double digits when Bam Adebayo, who played well off the bench with 15 points and five assists, hit a shot in the paint with just under ten minutes left in the game.

The Pacers refused to go away, however. Lance Stephenson and Victor Oladipo led their team in the final quarter as they clawed back. After being down by 10 points early in the quarter, the Pacers outscored Miami 17-7 to tie the game up at 97-97 with just over five minutes left in the game.

Johnson came through in the clutch once again when he hit a long 3-pointer to put the Heat up, 100-97, with 4:08 left to play. The Pacers cut the lead back down to one point on their following offensive possession, but Wayne Ellington, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds, hit back moments later with a jumper of his own. Oladipo was then sent to the line and made both shots to bring the Indiana deficit down to just one point.

Thankfully for Miami, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside came up big in the clutch. First, Whiteside, who had a very strong performance with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks, converted on a tip-in shot to extend the lead to three points. Then, Dragic, who led the team in scoring with 20 points and nine assists in the game, hit a long jumper. With just over two minutes left in the game Miami was up, 106-101.

“We do it for Heat Nation. Heat Nation keep believing. Keep believing in me, keep believing in us. Keep believing, man. We’re working hard, we go hard for y’all. Every night we out here putting our bodies on the line, we love y’all,” Whiteside said following the game. “We came in here, we knew we had a scrappy team. This team played at a fast pace. We had a tough win in Toronto so we came in here with the mindset that it’s not enough. We’re not satisfied. We’re going to keep going. We’re looking at the top, we’re going to keep coming in here, it’s not enough. We’re hungry.”

The Heat clamped down defensively and didn’t let the Pacers score for over a minute following Dragic’s clutch jumper. While the Pacers were finally able to score with 1:24 left on the clock, Ellington put the final nail in the coffin when he hit a deep three to put Miami up 109-103 with just 25 seconds left in the game. Both teams were sent to the line multiple times following Ellington’s big shot, but it was clear the game had been decided as dissappointed Pacers fans headed for the exits.

With each passing game the Heat continue to make their case to be considered amongst the best teams in the Eastern Conference. With their win tonight, they jumped the Washington Wizards to sit alone atop the Southeast Division standings.

There is still a lot of basketball left to be played in the 2017-18 season, but the Heat have seemed to have found a winning formula. They will get the chance to test that formula against a potential playoff team on Sunday when they head back to South Florida to host the Milwaukee Bucks before embarking on a five-game road trip that will surely put their recent success to the test.

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Miami Heat Rumors: Heat Looking to Trade Certain Players Before Deadline http://heatnation.com/rumors/miami-heat-confident-moves-trade-deadline/ http://heatnation.com/rumors/miami-heat-confident-moves-trade-deadline/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:20:28 +0000 http://heatnation.com/?p=24461 The Miami Heat have surged to a 23-17 record thanks to a five-game winning streak and improved play across the roster. That doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to make moves, however. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Heat are certainly going to explore any and all moves as the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline approaches. […]

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The Miami Heat have surged to a 23-17 record thanks to a five-game winning streak and improved play across the roster. That doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to make moves, however.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Heat are certainly going to explore any and all moves as the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline approaches. Not only because the lack of a traditional star may hold an already strong roster back come playoff time, but also because they are looking for an opportunity to dump some of the expensive contracts already on their roster.

“But even some around the team consider that scenario optimistic. They know they face major questions about their ceiling,” Lowe wrote. “Expect Miami to be active in trying to address them as next month’s trade deadline approaches. They are projecting optimism that they could move those pricey new contracts, according to sources around the league. Rivals are skeptical.”

Lowe continued to explain that while Wayne Ellington may be on the trade block simply because Miami doesn’t know if it will be able to re-sign him this offseason, he is not its most likely trade bait.

“Together, (Justise) Winslow and (Hassan) Whiteside form Miami’s best realistic trade package — their only means of a huge talent upgrade,” he wrote. “(The Heat have shown zero interest in moving Dragic, per league sources.) The Heat could dangle them for a star center on an expiring contract — DeAndre Jordan or DeMarcus Cousins. Miami has an appetite for that kind of gamble; they feel they can sell any willing rental on Heat culture — plus tax benefits and weather. The word ‘willing’ is key there. Miami’s ultra-physical, workaholic culture isn’t for everyone; there at a least a few players in the league who would hesitate to sign there if they had an equal offer elsewhere, per league sources.”

It seems like a promising enough venture, but Lowe added that even if Miami were to offload those two contracts, it still wouldn’t open much meaningful cap until after 2020. He also explained why dealing Whiteside before Miami knows his true potential comes with risks as well.

“Selling low on Whiteside and Winslow isn’t risk-free, either. A healthy, engaged Whiteside raises Miami’s ceiling,” he wrote. “He is their only source of offensive rebounds, precious extra chances for an unsteady offense, and their best rim protector. Whiteside can’t switch or hound ace shooters 30 feet from the rim, but when he’s on, he can defend two players at once on pick-and-rolls that encroach upon the paint.”

Increased talk of trades surrounding the team could serve as a distraction for a roster that is hitting a promising stride. Luckily, it seems the players are only focused on one thing: winning on the court.

“The Heat aren’t thinking about any of that,” Lowe wrote. “The players believe they are close to Jungle form — that they can go 30-11 again, and push anyone in the East.”

It would be bittersweet to say goodbye to any member of a Heat team that is playing so well at the moment. Success is fleeting, however, and the best programs always look to the future. Hopefully the front office can both bring a star to Miami and dump some of the high-priced contracts that could plague them in the future.

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