Heat Street
My take on all things Heat. — author, Lane Mitnick.

Sep
03

Ex Heater Bruce Bowen retired from the NBA today, after being one of the top role players for this decade.  He only played one full season (doesn’t it seem like he was here a long time for some reason?) with the Heat (plus a few games when he was an NBA neophyte  in 1997 before he was waived and 27 at the end of the 1999 season when he was reclaimed off waivers).  This was the season Zo went out with the kidney disease, but look at the character/heart guys they had on the team:  Bowen, Majerle, AC Green, Hardaway, Eddie Jones, Brian Grant. 

No wonder they won 50 games despite having no Alonzo for essentially the entire season, and finished a surprising 2nd in the division.  Four of Riley’s assistant coaches from that year went on to become NBA head coaches too– Stan Van Gundy, Erik Spoelstra, Jeff Bzdelik, and Marc Iavaroni. 

Cheers to Bruce Bowen for a great NBA career, 3 rings with San Antonio and being one of the best defensive wing players of his time.

I love GPs face in this pic

I love GP's face in this pic

Sep
02

Remember the “Heat Boot Camp” from earlier this summer?  Instead of going to the Orlando Summer League, the Heat decided to hold an inhouse training camp for young players, like Mario Chalmers, Michael Beasley, and Daequan Cook, and undrafted free agents.

One of those free agents, Sienna guard Kenny Hasbrouck, has lasted to the cusp of training camp, and he is waiting to see if the Heat will invite him with the veterans, when camp opens at the end of September. 

Here is the article, from Hasbrouck’s hometown newspaper, the Times Union.

Below are quotes from Heat head scout, Chet Kamerer:

“His shooting percentages in college weren’t off the charts, but he’s shot the ball better here than his numbers were in college. Now, he’s got areas he really needs to improve. But, he’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Among the areas Kammerer cited needing improvement:

- Defending point guards.

Kammerer said Hasbrouck could be an undersized shooting guard on offense, but at 6 feet, 3 inches, he’ll have to defend point guards only. That could be even more of an adjustment than bringing up the ball.

“That’s an area he’s going to have to improve on,” Kammerer said.

- His range.

The NBA 3-point line is 3 feet farther from the basket than in college. Though Hasbrouck, a modest 30.9 percent 3-point shooter as a senior, has shot the ball well in Miami, he’s still adjusting to the NBA range.

“He has to get more comfortable with the NBA 3,” Kammerer said. “That’s such a vital part of perimeter play in the NBA.”

- Free-throw shooting.

This sound familiar, Siena fans?

Hasbrouck was only a 65.7 percent free-throw shooter his senior year, a season when the Saints as a whole were inconsistent – at best – from the line.

“That’s definitely got to improve,” Kammerer said. “The last thing you want is a point guard who can’t make free throws.”

Kammerer said he expects Hasbrouck to enjoy a professional career somewhere, either abroad or in the NBA.

“His future I think is in profession basketball, wherever that may be, even if it’s in Europe,” Kammerer said. “He’s more talented than people think. He can make a living playing basketball. At what level, I’m not sure. He’s going to decide that.”

He’s got a good feel for the game,” Kammerer said. “He’s got a high basketball IQ. He’s hard to guard. There’s a reason he scored points. He’s got an ability to get the paint.

Kenny has an inspirational story, you might remember it from March Madness.  His dad has multiple sclerosis and is paralyzed from the waist down now.  His parents drove 8 hours each way, despite his dad’s burden, to go watch Kenneth’s home games in college.  Watch this feature and tell me you don’t get goosebumps when you see how his parents’ faces light up when talking about Kenny.

Sep
01

According to the Miami Herald, the Heat, who prefer to make a trade for a backup pointguard, have spoken to the New Jersey Nets for one of their backups, both ex Heaters:  Keyon Dooling or Rafer Alston. 

Both are free agents after this season , and it is unclear what New Jersey would want.  They, like the Heat, are playing the 2010 caproom game, so it is unlikely they would want to add someone with a contract longer than this season. 

Dooling makes a little more than $3.5 million and Rafer makes 5.25 million. 

Unless the Heat throw in some draft picks (which wouldn’t be smart), I don’t see any potential fit for a trade.  The Heat would want to throw in a forward, like James Jones or Dorell Wright, but the Nets have albatross contracts at the  forward spots like Bobby Simmons ($11 million!), Trenton Hassel (4.35 million!) , Yi Jianlian, Jarvis Hayes. 

To entice you about Dooling, here he is with a sick dunk over Mike Beasley (sigh.)

 

Aug
31

A Blazer’s fan blog, Blazersedge.com, has posted a tip that power forward Shavlik Randolph is in Miami this week working out for the Heat.  Who knows if it’s true, but why would anyone make that up?

Given the fact that it’s a slow Heat news zone, and that Shavlik would be a first round pick of the Sports Guy’s “Reggie Cleveland All-Stars” (along with Patrick O’Bryant, Troy O’Leary, Khalil Greene, among others) I thought you’d be interested in hearing about this “scoop”.

Hi, my name is Shavlik!

Hi, my name is Shavlik!

 Randolph would be the prototypical hustle white guy at the end of the bench, injury prone, but formerly a good rebounder (at least I remember him having a high energy rebounding game vs the Heat a few years ago).  He left Duke University early and went undrafted but made the 76ers as a rookie free agent.

Aug
29

As per Ira Winderman’s article in the Sun-Sentinel this morning, Pat Riley says the Heat will not be adding a free agent veteran guard to replace the Patrick Beverley roster spot .

This means no big names like Allen Iverson or Jamaal Tinsley or less sexy names like Flip Murray or Bobby Jackson. 

The thinking is with the Heat over the luxury tax thresh hold, the Heat will pursue a trade where they can send salary out and receive salary in exchange without adding more to the dollar for dollar tax hit.

Ira lists names of players who could be potential targets.  Because they are in the final year of their contracts, they would be desirable because their acquisition wouldn’t alter any plans for next off-season.  The players Ira lists include Luke Ridnour, Anthony Johnson,  Chucky Atkins, Miami native and Udonis Haslem high school teammate, Steve Blake and ex-Heat guard Rafer Alston (remember this shot, the highlight of his 1 season Heat career?)

I can’t say I am terribly disappointed by not adding a higher profile free agent like Iverson or Tinsley.  I know I mentioned if I had to have one it would be AI, however you get the feeling that if Wade wanted AI, he’d be a Heat pursuit.  He might have burned his bridges with his actions in Detroit last year, despite still having the ability to be a star in the league. 

I think there still is a chance the Heat add a small salary like Flip Murray or someone of that ilk.  If you’re already over the tax (which the Heat are), what’s a few extra hundred thousand for adding Flip?  Adding a Ridnour would mean sending 6.5 million in salary back to Milwaukee, who appear to have money issues of their own.

Aug
26

The Heat news today is that 2nd round draft pick, Patrick Beverley is headed to Greece to play for one of Europe’s top pro teams, Olympiakos.  This is the team that Josh Childress left the Hawks to play for, and Linas Kleiza and Von Wafer also joined them this summer.  Beverley and the Heat’s other draft pick, Robert Dozier will both be in the Greek league for this year, with the Heat retaining their rights to play in the NBA.

I think this is a good thing for the team.  Beverley was not going to be relied upon for minutes this season, and his contract would have taken up cap space and luxury tax money.  His contract can be included in a trade for a veteran player if need be, and he will certainly get more playing time in Greece than he would have here.

This also frees up a roster spot for the Heat to add veteran depth at the position.  Allen Iverson would probably LOVE to be here.  It is not certain if Dwyane Wade or Erik Spoelstra would be that receptive of a guy who is used to dominating the ball and the headlines wherever he is.  Another name linked to the Heat this summer has been Jamaal Tinsley, the ex Indiana Pacer who has an injury list as long as his rap sheet.

Other names such as Damon “Donkey” Jones, Bobby Jackson, and Flip Murray are still available, as well.

If the choice is between Tinsley & Iverson, put me in the AI group (caveat:  if Wade is ok with it).  Iverson may be a lot of things, but he plays the game all out, balls to the wall, when he believes in the system.  He could provide much needed scoring help for Wade (especially now that Mike Beasley’s status is so iffy), and one would think he’d be on good behavior and try to fit in on a one year contract.

For the argument that he isn’t a true point guard, let me say this… Wade is the defacto point guard in crunch time situations.  When Wade goes to the bench, AI can come in as the scoring option with Chalmers running the point.

What do you think the Heat will do?

Aug
26

Hello.

My name is Lane, I have been a Heat fan since I moved to South Florida, which happened to be the Heat’s inaugural season.  I have been with the Heat for all this time — from the Ron Rothstein afro-led team with the immortal Pat Cummings and Jon Sundvold, to the Rony Seikaly/Glen Rice/Steve Smith early playoff team, to perhaps my favorite version, D-Wade’s rookie year with Stan Van Gundy leading the Lamar Odom/Wade/Caron group to the 2nd round of the playoffs, to the title year of 2006, to where we are today.

I was a long-time moderator of the Heat message board on popular basketball board Realgm.com.

I will bring some good humor and strong opinions to this blog.   I promise to reply to any comments/questions left on this blog often, so please leave your thoughts.  You can find me on Twitter @Lane_

Aug
25

By now, every Heat fan has heard that Michael Beasley has apparently gone into a Houston, TX rehab facility.  Depending on what source you want to believe, he is either there for marijuana addiction, clinical depression, or both.

This picture is apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back.  On his Twitter account (now closed), the mercurial Heat forward (with an apparent craving for attention) was showing off his new tattoo and people noticed baggies on the table behind him, with speculation that the baggies were filled with weed.  

This is where I constantly remind myself that he is a kid, 20 years old, and an immature 20 years old at that.  My heart does go out to him on that count.  Add in the fact that he may have clinical depression, and you really feel bad for the kid.  I’m not a psychologist, but I don’t think clinical depression can be dismissed as just feeling “a little blue” or “down in the dumps” like most of us get at any given time in our lives. 

My head, however, can’t help but feel a little peeved at the organization and Beasley’s enablers and hangers-on.  No, it’s not the team’s responsibility to manage their players’ private lives, but this can’t be a total surprise to the management. 

Beasley had a TON of question marks coming out of K-State, and the team never embraced him coming out of college.  I was never keen on Beas, I just didn’t see a true position for him on the court.  He reminded me more of a classic tweener scorer, like an Antawn Jamison or Glenn Robinson (who went at the top of his draft) and Riley had a public flirtation of OJ Mayo.  Wade reportedly wanted OJ Mayo.  Based on rookie year performances, taking a Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, or Russell Westbrook wouldn’t have been a bad move on court (but admittedly, would have been a tough sell on draft night).  Beasley was widely considered to be the top talent in the draft.  I was worried about his lack of athleticism and position for the NBA.  No doubt he’d be a 20 ppg scorer, but the league’s worst teams all have a ball-chucking 20 ppg scorer (see Davis, Ricky, or Walker, Antoine at various points in their career).    But his off-court concerns were wide-spread and evident.  It was chalked up to immaturity, but maybe it was more than that.  Maybe it was that aloofness, that quirkiness in his personality that made his team and his teammates not fully embrace him.  Before this incident, I was 100% sure that Beasley would not be on the team in 2011, that he’d be traded in a deal for one of the 2010 big named free agents like  Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudamire.  Now, I doubt any team takes a chance on him. 

I mentioned his enablers and hangers-on.  Beasley had already been in Strike One of the NBA’s drug violation policy.  He needed someone in his circle – his family, his friends, his agent, his teammates, SOMEONE to knock some sense into him.  If he was clinically depressed, someone needed to care enough about him to get him help.  If he was hooked on weed, knowing he was already in the league violation policy, they should have cared enough to keep him away from it.  No, smoking weed itself isn’t a terrible crime, but letting someone who could lose millions by being in violation should be enough to get someone to stop using. 

This may end up being a good thing for the team and the player.  Hopefully Beasley, still a kid, uses this as a chance to start his career and life over again.  I hope he gets his shit together and come out the other end more mature, and healthier, physically and mentally.  Keep telling yourself, like I do, that he is ONLY 20, and his life and career are ahead of him.

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