The Miami Heat has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA. The Heat have had several issues on and off the court.
Miami went through dramatic roster changes this past offseason and wasn’t expected to be a playoff team. But it would have been hard to imagine the Heat falling as far as they have.
Miami has the second-worst record in the NBA at 11-30. The Heat have lost four straight, and they are 18-of-22 overall. The Heat rank 29th in the league in scoring, averaging 98.2 points a game, as well as second to last in offensive rating (100.6). They also rank 28th in the league in efficiency field goal percentage at 48.9 percent.
Miami has eight players averaging double-figures this season. This is both a good thing and a curse. The good news is that several players are contributing on a regular basis. The bad news is that having so many players in double-figures generally means that the team doesn’t have a go-to scorer, which the Heat don’t, or that the team has had a lot of injury issues, which is the case for Miami.
None of the the Heat’s top-eight players have appeared in each of the team’s 41 games. In fact, no Heat player has played in every game this year. Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer, has missed eight games, and Hassan Whiteside, who is second on the team in scoring, has not played in four games. In total, the Heat’s top-10 players have missed a combined 118 games.
Currently, the Heat have only 11 healthy players as Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Chris Bosh, and Josh McRoberts are out with injuries. Richardson has missed the last three games with a foot issue and is expected to miss at least a couple of more weeks, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
Josh Richardson will miss at least two weeks. That sounds like the bare minimum.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 16, 2017
Bosh, Winslow, and McRoberts are out indefinitely.
As a result of the all the injuries, Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reported that the Heat had been granted a hardship waiver by the NBA. Miami reportedly worked out Okaro White on Monday, and the team officially signed him on Tuesday, giving the Heat 12 healthy players. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sentinel tweeted that White’s deal is a 10-day contract.
White has been signed to a 10-day contract. He can be signed to up to two and then must be signed for balance of season or released.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 17, 2017
White has been with the D-League’s Sioux Falls SkyForce, where he is an affiliate player of the Heat. The 24-year-old power forward is averaging 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 23 appearances.
White went undrafted out of Florida State in 2014 and had spent the previous two seasons playing in Italy and Greece. The six-foot-eight forward signed with the Heat after playing for the team during the summer. He appeared in six preseason games with the Heat, producing averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.5 minutes while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line.
White is an NBA-type body, and he is very athletic. He is excellent in transition and very explosive around the basket. White struggles to create his own shots as he is not a great ball handler.
Miami is looking to make deals
The Heat don’t have a lot of talent outside Dragic, Winslow, and Whiteside. The Heat also could a whole lot of cap space after this season, especially if the Bosh situation gets ironed out. Which is why currently they are looking to make deals, with everyone (or nearly everyone) being available as the Inquisitr previously reported.
One of the more recent rumors has the Orlando Magic interested in Dragic. There also has been talk centering around the Heat trading Whiteside, which will not happen. The Heat just signed the 26-year center to a huge extension this past summer, and he has shown that he has the capability of being a star.
Miami has three players with an expiring contract; Udonis Haslem, Derrick Williams, and James Johnson. Wayne Ellington’s $6.27 million contract is non-guaranteed next year. And Winderman believes if teams call the Heat about expiring contracts, Johnson and Ellington are likely to garner the most interest.
Johnson is having a career year, compiling 11.7 points a game, 4.9 caroms and 2.9 assists. The 29-year-old power forward has two double-doubles, and he is shooting a career-best 38.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Ellington has had a good season and has missed 20 games. He has struggled lately, being held under double-figures in his last four games as he has produced 16 points while making just 4-of-21 shots and 1-of-13 from beyond the arc during that span. Overall, Ellington is averaging 10.8 points and is making a career-best 2.0 triples per game.
[Featured Image by Chuck Burton/ AP Images]