Friday, November 16, 2007

Give Shaq a Break, Guys

Over the last couple days it's become trendy for South Florida sports columnists to call for Riley to bench Shaq.

The big guy's performance has taken a dive this year, no doubt. Still, I'm trying to figure out what these writers think will be accomplished by benching him.

The fact is that Shaq, even in his diminished state, has been one of the most effective players on the team over the last 6 games.

Shaq struggled in his first two games this year, but he turned things around in the 5 games leading up to the Seattle game. He averaged 18 PPG and shot 50% from the floor during that time. He also played 30+ minutes in 4 out of those 5 games.

The Heat has been losing due to it's 27th ranked 3 point shooting percentage, it's inability to defend the three, and the complete lack of players who can get into the paint with any regularity (aside from Wade).

J-Will is shooting 39% from the floor. Ricky Davis, the guy who was supposed to keep us afloat with relatively efficient scoring, is shooting 40%. Dorell Wright still doesn't have a clue. Smush Parker has been a bust of epic proportions, shooting 28%.

Yet, for some reason, people are ignoring the barrage of missed jump shots being fired by the aforementioned players and are focusing almost exclusively on Shaq's terrible game against the Sonics.

There are some players on the team who have played like they're worthy of being benched, but Shaq isn't one of them. The only thing Riley would be doing by benching Shaq is ensuring that the team ends up in the lottery.

In my opinion, Riley needs to stick with the current starting line up and give this team a chance to get it together now that Wade is back.

Wade looked excellent against Seattle for a guy who hasn't played much basketball in six months. As soon as he came on the floor you could see the team become more aggressive both on offense and defense. Ricky Davis attacked the rim more last night than he has in any other game this year. Wade found open shooters all over the floor. The offense looked threatening for the first time all year.

If the team is still struggling two weeks from now, then we can start talking about shaking things up. I say be patient for now, though.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Detroit 91, Miami 80

The Heat opened up the season in disappointing fashion, losing to the Pistons.

One aspect of Detroit's game plan became very clear during the opening possession. They were going to test Dorell Wright, instantly doubling off him whenever Shaq touched the ball in the first half.

He responded surprisingly well early on, stepping into (and hitting) his first couple jumpers. As the game wore on, though, his shakiness from the outside returned. He also tried to do too much at times, passing when he should have been finishing on a couple drives.

He wasn't terrible, but Riley only let him play 24 minutes. He has no chance of remaining a starter once Wade returns unless he hits that outside shot and makes better decisions with the ball.

The Pistons withstood the Heat's early fast start and turned things around mid way through the 1st quarter. They took full advantage of the favorable match ups Billups and Prince had throughout the game. Prince in particular torched us, scoring 34 points (a career high) and grabbing 12 boards (tying a career high).

The Heat played through Shaq in the 3rd quarter and were able to tie the game, coming back from an 8 point deficit.

Unfortunately, things fell apart early in the 4th quarter. We took quick shots in transition and turned the ball over. One turnover came when Smush Parker made a spectacularly bad attempt at a behind the back pass in transition while surrounded by three Pistons. Lakers fans everywhere chuckled.

It's disappointing to open the season with a loss, but I'm also encouraged that we were able to hang with a good Pistons team for most of the game. However, it's obvious that remaining around .500 is the best this team can hope for until Wade comes back.

The key to this team staying afloat is going to be how quickly they improve at playing off of Shaq.

After half-time everyone finally started doing a better job of cutting and moving when Shaq had the ball. Riley also made a minor tweak, moving Dorell to the corner opposite of where Shaq was posted up (making it more difficult to double off him).

There was a 5 minute stretch in the 3rd quarter where everything clicked. Shaq was finding open shooters, and they were knocking down shots. The Pistons finally had to lay off a bit, and Shaq scored three straight baskets at one point.

There are a lot of new guys on the team who have to get used to playing with Shaq. I expect both Shaq and everyone else to get off to faster starts in future games as everyone becomes more comfortable when Shaq has the ball.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NOW the blogging begins.

I launched Heat Blog this summer just after the NBA draft. I'd never written a blog before, so I planned to gain some experience blogging and get myself comfortable with it. I wanted to be ready to roll by the time the NBA season arrived.

It was a nice idea, but the problem was that I found it somewhat boring at times to simply regurgitate what all the local beat writers reported whenever a story broke. I don't have direct access to this team, so, like anyone else, I'm forced to base most of my opinions on what they tell me.

Those days end tonight now that we'll finally be able to watch this team and start forming some original opinions. Basketball is back, and so is this blog.

You can't start any sports season without making predictions. It's hard to predict how this team will do, but I'll give it a shot - The Heat will win 48 games.

Not too many people are high on the Heat this year, and that's understandable when you look at how the team finished last season. However, during the brief time that this team was fully healthy last year, they looked like a top team in the Eastern Conference.

If Shaq can play 60 games and Wade doesn't get hurt again, I think they'll easily make the playoffs and be a threat to get out of the East. I'll take the trio of Wade, Shaq, and Davis over every other top three in the east except Boston's big three.

They just have to find a way to stay healthy (and survive the first 2-3 weeks of the season until Wade comes back).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Riley Rips Walker's Conditioning

Before tonight's preseason home opener against the Hawks, Pat Riley blasted Antoine Walker for coming into camp out of shape. Toine, who's listed in the team's media guide as weighing 245 pounds, reported to camp at 262 and 15 percent body fat.

In the time I've been a Heat fan, I've never seen Riley publicly rip into a player like this. I guess he thinks embarrassing Toine will send a message to the whole team about what the conditioning standards are?

We all knew Antoine came into camp out of shape this year. However, I assumed he was at least CLOSE to meeting his conditioning goal after hearing that he had only been suspended from camp for one day as punishment. It's disappointing to hear that he's so far off.

Riley says Walker is in shape to play 15-20 minutes a game right now, so I'd say this episode closes the door on the possibility of him being a starter on opening night.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Detroit 108, Miami 86

The Heat lost their preseason opener Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Detroit trotted out almost their entire starting five from last year, with Antonio McDyess starting in place of the unsigned Chris Webber. Miami came out with a youthful lineup that included Michael Doleac at center, Marcus Slaughter at power forward, Dorrell Wright at small forward, Jeremy Richardson at shooting guard, and Jason Williams at point guard. Obviously we were overmatched.

Ira Winderman has all the details over at his blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Training Camp : Week 1

The Heat opened training camp on Tuesday with the regular season a little less than a month away.

The theme at media day was that last year's apathetic attitude toward the regular season is no more. Players and coaches all spoke of having a new attitude heading into this season. Riley claims almost the whole roster has come to camp meeting their conditioning standards (compared to only half the players last year). Michael Wallace wrote that most players actually showed up to camp a week early to play pickup ball and work out (most of the time, players stay away from "Camp Riley" for as long as possible).

Some notes about the first week of training camp -

- Shaq isn't joining UFC. But he HAS spent part of his summer learning mixed martial arts, among other things. Supposedly, he passed his conditioning tests with flying colors.

With Wade out for the start of the season, it's more important than ever for Shaq to get out to a fast start and carry this thin roster.

- Dorell Wright got a chance to start at small forward last year, and at times he showed great potential with his freakish athleticism. However, he was eventually benched "because he was immature.", according to Riley. It's also been revealed that he failed to meet the team's conditioning standards during the season.

It seems that the path has been cleared for him to get another chance this year.
With Posey, Kapono, and Jones now gone, Dorell appears to be the best option to start at small forward.

Riley even tried to put a happy face on the team's failure to add new wing players, claiming that the team avoided adding "specialists" at the SF position to give Dorell every opportunity to earn regular playing time.

The kid has been a four year project. Is he finally ready to become a legit player? Antoine, Penny, and untested Jeremy Richardson are the only other options at SF..... so for our sake, he'd better be ready.

- Riley made a statement by banning Antoine, Smush, and Earl Barron from practice for one day for failing to meet conditioning standards.

- The team held a public scrimmage on Friday night. Ira Winderman blogs that Penny Hardaway didn't have a very good showing. Udonis Haslem looked great, though.

- The Heat opens the pre-season tomorrow night in Detroit. Shaq, Wade, Zo, and Penny didn't make the trip.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bucks Match Miami's Offer, Retain Bell

And we strike out again.

Add Charlie Bell to the list of players the Heat have tried and failed to bring in this offseason. The Bucks elected to match the Heat's offer to restricted free agent Charlie Bell, meaning Bell will remain a Buck.

That's a pity. I'd read mostly positive things about Bell's game. Most seemed to think this would have been a good signing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So We're Giving This Another Try, Huh?

Earlier this summer, the Heat failed miserably in it's attempt to pry Mo Williams away from the Bucks. It's looking like they might succeed in their second attempt to sign a Bucks guard.

On Monday, the Heat signed Charlie Bell to a 5-year, $18.5 million offer sheet. Yesterday, the Bucks signed Royal Ivey to a one-year deal, which might indicate that they're willing to let Bell go. They have until Monday to match the Heat's offer.

Should the Bucks fail to match, it sounds like the Heat might have landed a pretty decent player to back up D-Wade (and possibly play a little point).

Ira Winderman posted on his blog about a conversation he had with an Eastern Conference scout. The scout gave the Bell signing two thumbs up.

Perhaps this off-season will end up being somewhat successful after all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Couple Morsels of Heat News

A couple pieces of Heat news have emerged over the past couple weeks.

The biggest is clearly that James Posey signed a 2 year deal with the Boston Celtics.

This stinks for the Heat because we've lost out on the opportunity to use Posey in a sign and trade for the likes of Michael Pietrus or Ron Artest. Furthermore, the Heat now finds itself with Antoine Walker, Dorell Wright, and (gulp) Penny Hardaway as the only players on the roster who can play small forward (not counting the undrafted free agents on the team).

Unless Riley really thinks this is the year Dorell Wright breaks out, we're clearly in need of another small forward.

Posey's 3-point shooting and hustle on defense will be missed. He'll be a great fit in Boston, coming off the bench as sixth man.

Also, the Heat signed SF Alexander Johnson, who cracked John Hollinger's list of the 10 best rookies at the all star break.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Heat Picks up a Penny

Well, this one certainly came out of left field.

My initial reaction to the Penny Hardaway signing was embarrassment. The Heat had signed yet ANOTHER senior citizen, and this one had broken down years ago. I actually blurted out "WE DID WHAT?" in the car when the news broke. The Heat had hit a new low in this off-season of inactivity.

After realizing that we've only given him a partially guaranteed contract, I'm no longer feeling quite that incredulous. The guy has to make the team if he wants to get paid. If his knees start to buckle in camp he's gone and no harm is done. Should he make the team and somehow manage to stay healthy, he could provide depth at the 1, 2 and 3. So this can't possibly be a bad thing for the Heat, right?

Well, actually yea, this still does have the potential to be a negative. If the idea behind this signing is for Penny to be a third string player who's barely gonna see the court, I'm fine with him being here..... But if Riley's affection for veteran players rears it's ugly head and he plays Hardaway ahead of Dorell Wright, I'll be in angry-mode again.

I don't know Dorell or see him in practice every day, so I can't say if he really has what it takes to be a legit rotation player. However, when he's been given a chance to play there are times when he just oozes potential. He's so athletic.

You also see a kid who looks a little lost out on the court at times. Still, I have to believe that Dorell could give us at least as much production as a 36 year old Penny Hardaway. He needs to be given a chance to grow.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

NBA Schedule Released

The NBA released it's schedule today, and the Heat's schedule can be found here.

Opening night is against Detroit, and the Heat will play on Christmas for the 4th consecutive year. This time we'll be at Cleveland.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Miami Signs Smush Parker

The Heat have signed Smush Parker to a 2 year deal believed to be worth between 4.5 - 5 mil.

What kind of player are the Heat getting in Parker?

Kurt, the writer of Forum Blue and Gold (one of the best NBA blogs anywhere on the net), was kind enough to email me his thoughts on Parker's game -

Smush had a bit of a tumultuous run as a Laker, at least as fans see it. By the end of last season the Lakers camp seemed to be divided into “smushaholics” and “Smushaphobes” (to use a phrase coined by one of my commenters, drrayeye).

What you will think of Smush depends on what you expect from him. If you’re looking for a guy with a great story, a guy who can come off the bench for 15-20 minutes a night and provide an offensive boost, Smush is your guy. He has range (37% from three the last two years), can be a spot up shooter or create his own shot on the drive, and plays with some flair, learned on the playgrounds of New York City as a youth.

However, if you’re expecting a guy who can start, who can play quality defense, who can provide the night-in/night-out effort an NBA starter should give you, then you will be disappointed.

It was his defense that did him in while under Phil Jackson. Smush likes to gamble on defense (a remnant of the playgrounds?), getting some steals but more often taking himself out of position. His defensive rotations were slow, at best. He can’t stay in front of quick guards -- he got burned by the Steve Nashes and Tony Parkers of the world, which is why Laker fans came not to trust him, particularly in key situations.

The Lakers mistake with Smush was asking too much of him – while he was the starting point guard on a playoff team the last two years, that was in spite of his defense, not so much because of him. But he brings good energy on the offensive end and can fill it up. If the Heat use him in that backup role for 15-20 minutes a night, he can be a nice fit and at a good price.

Kurt also sent me a link to this blog post, which he says sums up the love-hate relationship Lakers fans had with Smush.

All of that confirms what I initially thought about this signing. He'll be a decent back up for Jason and give us some nice energy off the bench. He has his flaws, but at this stage of the off season there really aren't any better options available in free agency.

It sounds like the only way we could have gotten one of the better point guards we were targeting (Rafer Alston or Navarro) would have been to make a trade and take on a bad contract (Alston's contract stinks, and the Wizards wanted us to take on either Stevenson or Haywood's bad contract in a Navarro deal).

Thus, I think this was a decent move.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whats a Bigger Threat to The League - Donaghy, or The Eastern Conference?

Over the past few days, everyone has been debating how much the Tim Donaghy "crisis" will hurt league viewership.

In my opinion, the referee drama has eclipsed what the league's real problem is. Many people considered last years regular season to be one of the most boring regular seasons in recent memory, and I believe the historic ineptitude of the eastern conference was a big part of this. The season was capped off by an NBA finals that produced one great team, and another team that is going to show up on lists of "the worst NBA finalists ever" for years.

If the Donaghy scandal stays limited to one referee, I think the NBA will get through this current "crisis" without much trouble. People who like the NBA aren't going to stop watching because of one bad apple.

I think the league *will* suffer if the east doesn't improve. My guess is that not as many people were interested in watching the Eastern Conference playoffs last year due to the perceived superiority of the west, and as we all know people just weren't interested in watching an imbalanced NBA Finals.

David Stern can do whatever he wants to fix the referee thing, but my guess is that what the league really needs is for the east to be good again. The big market teams like New York, Boston, and Philly need to become more competitive so all the casual NBA fans on the east coast will be more inclined to tune in.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday News and Notes

- The Heat is about to make an offer to the Wizards for Juan Carlos Navarro.

I'd love to get Navarro. However, it's been suggested by some that we would have to give up either next years 1st round pick or Haslem to make the deal work. There aren't enough words to describe how much I hate the idea of giving up our starting power forward or a 1st round pick for a guy who's going to probably be a back up point guard (especially since we'll have the right to swap picks with Orlando next year as long as they're not in the lottery).

I'd rather see us pursue one of the remaining free agent PGs. Speaking of which.....

- Barry Jackson writes that the Heat have expressed interest in signing Steve Francis (scroll to the bottom of the article).

When news first broke that Portland had bought out Francis, I wasn't all that interested in him because of his age and history of injuries. The situation has changed though since we lost out on Mo Williams and Steve Blake.

If we have to give up too much to get Navarro, I wouldn't mind bringing in Francis. It's not like there are many better options currently available in free agency. He'd most likely be coming off the bench, so he'll have a better chance of staying healthy than he's had in the past.

- Michael Pietrus' name has been coming up a lot lately in conversations about who could be the starting small forward for the Heat next year.

I'd like to see the Heat go after him. He's athletic, can shoot the three, and most everyone over at Golden State of Mind says he plays good defense (scroll down past the Barnes report card to read more about him). They also say he can be a bone headed decision maker at times, but we're hurting for depth at small forward, so I'm willing to deal with his shortcomings.

- Wade could very well miss the start of next season, and I'm fine with that. Take all the time you need, D-Wade. Just come back healthy.

It's not like the team won't survive without him, at least for a little while. The Heat proved that they're more than capable of winning by running the offense through Shaq when Wade was hurt last year.

- Udonis Haslem isn't worried about how the off-season is going.

- Despite experiencing so many bad breaks that have prevented his career from getting off the ground, Wayne Simien still isn't feeling sorry for himself. By all accounts Simien is one of the nicest guys in the Heat locker room. I'm really rooting for him to break into the rotation this year.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mourning Says He'll Play One More Year

Alonzo Mourning has announced that he'll be back for one final season.

Thank god. Zo brings this team to another level when he's playing well. His defensive intensity and leadership would have been irreplaceable.

Even with him coming back, we won't get the most out of him unless Shaq can stay healthy. You could see that he was worn down by the end of last season after having to start for half the year.

With Zo coming back, I think Pat Riley is a lock to return as well. Those two are attached at the hip and I can't imagine a scenario where Pat would step aside while Zo is battling to keep this team in the hunt for a title.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Williams Re-Signs with Bucks

Mo Williams has agreed to a 6 year, 52 million dollar deal with the Bucks.

Ugh, that really hurts. Mo Williams would have finally given the Heat a legit 3rd scoring option and would have solidified the point guard spot for at least the next three years.

A couple days ago (when the Bucks were only offering 40 million) Marc Stein from ESPN had reported that Williams was most likely going to sign with the Heat. It sounds like he really wanted to come to Miami, and might have been willing to leave 10 mil on the table to do it. He couldn't walk away from an extra 20 mil though.

To make matters worse, the Heat's second option at PG, Steve Blake, agreed yesterday to sign with Portland. Also, Chucky Atkins is on the verge of signing with the Nuggets.

Our options in free agency are now limited to Brevin Knight, Steve Francis, and Spanish PG Juan Carlos Navarro, who's rights are held by the Wizards.

I hope the Heat makes a run at Navarro. John Hollinger writes in his blog (ESPN insider required) that he'd be a good back up PG.

EDIT - Whoops, stupid me forgot that because Navarro's rights are owned by the Wizards, we can't simply sign him. We'd have to make a trade.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No Summer League for Me

Stupid Internet.

Unfortunately the Heat's summer league games have been completely unwatchable for me so far. My viewing experience has consisted of hearing the announcer's voices cutting in and out and occasionally seeing 5 seconds or so of footage before the screen freezes for a while. Oh well.

The Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman is all over what's happening in summer league though. He's covering it every day at his blog.

Walker Robbed at Gunpoint reports that Antoine Walker was robbed at gunpoint in his Chicago home.

Wow, that's scary stuff. Thankfully both Walker and the person he was with are ok.

UPDATE - Some new info about what happened.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mo Williams in Miami, Spoelstra, and Summer League

Here's some news on the night before the Heat begins play in the Orlando summer league -

Mo Williams toured the AAA and had dinner with Pat Riley last night. It's been reported several times over the past week that the Heat have been talking to William's agent about the possibility of him joining the Heat, but this is the first sign that Williams may be seriously considering coming to Miami.

The Bucks have reportedly offered Williams 40 mil over 5 or 6 years. The most the Heat can offer is it's mid level exception. Williams would be leaving about 10 mil on table if he decided to play for the Heat (unless we can pull off a sign and trade).

He'd look great in a Heat uniform. I'm not gonna get excited just yet though.

Also, the Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman has written a good article about Erik Spoelstra, the man whom many believe will succeed Pat Riley as coach.

Finally, the Heat will begin playing in the Orlando Summer league tommorow.

Here's the Heat roster -

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Last Team/College
50 Joel Anthony C 6-9 240 8/9/1982 UNLV
14 Daequan Cook G 6-5 210 4/28/1987 Ohio State
54 John Edwards C 7-0 265 7/31/1981 Kent State
15 Vincent Grier G 6-4 210 3/14/1983 Minnesota
10 Junior Harrington G 6-4 190 10/2/1980 Wingate (Div. II)
40 Ekene Ibekwe F 6-9 220 7/19/1985 Maryland
21 Dontell Jefferson G 6-5 190 12/15/1983 Arkansas
20 Trey Johnson G 6-5 218 8/30/1984 Jackson State
52 James Lang C 6-10 305 10/17/1983 Cen. Park Christ. (HS)
30 Renaldo Major F 6-7 190 5/7/1982 Fresno State
31 Cartier Martin F 6-7 230 11/20/1984 Kansas State
22 Dwayne Mitchell G 6-3 204 8/24/1982 Louisiana (Lafayette)
32 Larry Owens F 6-7 210 1/8/1983 Oral Roberts
11 Chris Quinn G 6-2 175 9/27/1983 Notre Dame
5 Jeremy Richardson G 6-7 190 3/1/1984 Delta State
44 Marcus Slaughter F 6-8 223 3/18/1985 San Diego State
23 Dewarick Spencer G 6-4 185 5/4/1982 Arkansas State
24 Levi Stukes G 6-2 205 11/18/1984 Georgia
41 Anthony Tolliver F 6-9 245 6/1/1985 Creighton

Missing from the roster is Wayne Simien, who will miss summer league for the second year in a row. He injured his knee while practicing and will miss 4-6 weeks. The poor guy has had terrible luck over the last year (when was the last time you heard of a professional athlete missing almost an entire season as a result of a salmonella infection?)

The schedule for all the games can be found here.

Unfortunately, the Orlando Summer League games will not be on NBA TV. However, you can watch the games at (hopefully it will be watchable online).

I'm looking forward to seeing how Daequan Cook looks.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Heat fans are trying to figure out how to get Shawn Marion

Over at the Miami Herald Heat blog, there is a discussion going on right now about the possibility of landing Shawn Marion.

The gist of it is -

Miami gets : Shawn Marion

Phoenix gets : Kevin Garnett, James Posey

Minnesota gets : Leandro Barbosa, Boris Diaw, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Atlantas 1st round pick (from Phoenix), and Miami's 1st round pick.

The trade works under NBA rules.

At first glance, this seems to be a half baked idea. There have to be better deals out there for Minnesota, right? Chicago has all the pieces needed to land KG without having to involve any other teams (Paxson would have to be willing to trade away several pieces of his young core though).

On the other hand, this is a nice collection of good young players, and Atlanta's pick could very well be top 10 next year.

Like every other proposed deal that involves KG, it will probably never happen. However, it is mildly interesting.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Steven A. Smith VS Hecklers

Last year a group of people heckled Steven A. Smith at the 2006 NBA draft. The vid produced a few chuckles, but could have been a lot funnier -

The hecklers were back this year though, and this time they've made a very funny video. I'd recommend skipping the first video and checking this one out -

News and Notes

Here are some tidbits from around the league -

- Posey says he's willing to be used in a sign-and-trade deal. Good, at least we have a chance to get something for one of our free agents.

- Shaq's plan to fix the dunk contest with luxury cars.

- Rashard Lewis is joining the magic. Well, it's disappointing that he'll be in our division. I don't think this makes Orlando a contender, but it was definitely a good pick up by them.

- Derek Fisher is leaving the Jazz to help care for his daughter. Be sure to say a prayer for him and his family when you can. Hopefully everything works out.

- This isn't the first article I've read that says Shaq's new show is actually good. It sounds like he's really serious about combating childhood obesity, which is a great thing. I missed the first episode last week since I was at a Marlins game. I think I'll tune in tonight.

- The Heat is targeting Steve Blake.
I hope this happens. He isn't going to be Chauncy Billips or anything, but adding him would finally stabilize the PG position. After he got traded to Denver last year, he had 9 games with double figure assists. He's shot 37% from 3 for his career, and you know he'll have one of his best years from behind the arc when he's playing with Dwyane and Shaq. At 27 years of age he figures to remain productive for however long we sign him.

He's capable of being a starter and is one of the few good PGs that the Heat has a realistic chance of signing. I say go for it. He's from Miami and played with Haslem in high school, so I'd think that gives us an advantage over other teams in trying to sign him.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Kapono Signs with Raptors

News just broke that Jason Kapono will sign what is believed to be a 6 year, $24 million dollar deal with the Raptors.

That's a pity. Kapono was amazing from behind the arc for us. It would have been nice to have him coming off the bench, spreading the floor for D-Wade for years to come. By all accounts he was a good team player and a great personality in the locker room, keeping everbody loose with his sense of humor.

It'll be interesting to see if he'll be able to maintain his current level of success with Toronto, or if his performance will drop off sharply once he's no longer playing with Dwyane and Shaq (see Damon Jones' post-Heat performance).

In celebration of the great year that Jason Kapono gave us, I present to you the brilliance that is "My Kapono!"

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Free Agency

Free agency starts tomorrow, and that's when the Heat's off season really begins.

What are we going to do to address the point guard situation? What about small forward? Those questions will be answered soon.

Mo Williams and Steve Blake are the best PGs available. Adding either one would improve the point guard situation immensely (it couldn't get much worse last year). Will both of them be too expensive though?

James Posey and Jason Kapono will both be unrestricted free agents. We can't afford to resign both, so I think priority should be given to Posey. Kapono's shooting is great, but Posey brings more to the table with his perimeter defense and rebounding ability.

If we end up losing both, obviously we'll need to find a small forward somewhere. I'd love to get Gerald Wallace, but he's gonna command a lot of money.

I'm just wondering if our starting small forward of the future is already on the roster. Is Dorell Wright ever going to become an impact player, or will he spend the last year of his contract playing during garbage time?

Get ready guys, because things are gonna start moving really fast around the league come Sunday.

About the Draft

The draft this year was, for me, a bit of a disappointment. Throughout the two weeks prior to the draft, I'd looked over every mock draft I could find, searching for evidence that a top point guard prospect could fall to us. I wasn't expecting us to draft a point guard who was going to step in and have a major impact right away. I was just hoping to land someone who could eventually replace J-Will after developing for a year or two.

So, needless to say, I almost threw my remote at the TV when the Lakers yanked Javaris Crittenton off the board ONE PICK before he fell to us.

Daequan Cook actually sounds like he could become a nice player. He didn't play much down the stretch for Ohio State last year, but supposedly he can really shoot it. For that reason, Cook might actually have a prayer of breaking into the rotation next year since the Heat could be about to loose both Posey and Kapono (at least one of those guys WILL be gone since we're up against the cap).

I know that Riles doesn't like to play young guys...... But this roster is going to be hurting for guys who can shoot the 3 if Posey and Kapono both go.

A Blog is Born

Hello all, and welcome to my first attempt at a blog!

The goal here?

To create another place for Heat fans to get all kinds of information about their favorite team, discuss team issues, and talk about the NBA in general.

I'm gonna try and fill this place up with all the Heat related stuff that I can get my hands on (as well as good stories that you guys email me).

It's a busy time of year for the league. I had intended to get this baby started earlier this week so we could talk about the draft. Alas, real life delayed me until now. That's ok though, considering that the Heat's off season really doesn't begin until the start of free agency. Hopefully the team is about the make some good moves. You'll read all about it here.

It's gonna be fun!