5 Players The Miami Heat Could Be Looking To Target This Season

Following the Miami Heat‘s 105-87 loss to the Utah Jazz, the Heat have dropped to a record of 12-14.
Despite Dwyane Wade’s 42 points, including 21 free throw attempts, Miami was unable to defeat the second-worst team in the Western Conference. Chris Bosh is out for the near future due to a calf strain, while Josh McRoberts is likely out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury that requires surgery,
The Heat have had their projected starting lineup on the court for a total of 34 minutes together. That lineup was supposed to be Bosh, McRoberts, Luol Deng, Wade and Norris Cole.
All five of the aforementioned players have missed periods of time due to injury. Bosh has missed the last three games, McRoberts has been out nine out of a possible 26 contests, Deng was inactive for two matchups, Wade was absent for seven games and Cole was hurt for four matchups.
This has resulted in the Heat using 11 different starting lineups through just 26 games.
The team is currently seeking a $2…

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Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

On Monday, news broke that Josh McRoberts—the Miami Heat’s second-biggest summer acquisition—tore his meniscus and was feared to miss the rest of the season.
McRoberts, signed for four years and $23 million after a career year in Charlotte with the then-Bobcats, struggled to get into the lineup early this season due to nagging foot, back and toe injuries and only played 17 games before his latest and most severe setback.
In his 2013-14 season in the Queen City, McRoberts was a fulltime starter for Steve Clifford and averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his role as a stat-stuffer for the defensive-minded Bobcats. Miami, trying to make up for the loss of LeBron James and other supporting cast members this offseason, brought the former Duke Blue Devil over for his defense and floor-spacing ability.
This latest injury doesn’t help Miami, which has suffered through a ton of injuries early on this year to almost its entire roster. Right now, Chris Bosh is dealing with a…

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Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The Miami Heat host the Utah Jazz Wednesday, but they will go without their leading scorer Chris Bosh, who is dealing with a calf injury

The Jazz come in just 1-9 in their last 10 games, but the Heat have dropped seven out of 11 contests at home.

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Sun Sports and ROOT Sports carry the local TV feeds. 

Keep it right here for all the action. 

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Wade leads Heat past Nets 95-91 (Yahoo Sports)

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Jarrett Jack #0 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles around Chris Andersen #11 of the Miami Heat in the second half at the Barclays Center on December 16, 2014 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Dwyane Wade had a stomach virus and missed Miami’s shootaround on Tuesday. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to play against Brooklyn.


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Fantasy: Look for Deng to turn up Heat

With Bosh ailing and Wade a question mark, Miami can turn to slashing forward vs. Utah.

      
 

 

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Miami Heat News: Heat to Seek $2.65M Salary Cap Exception Due to McRoberts Injury

The Miami Heat will seek a $2.65 million salary cap exception due to Josh McRoberts being out for possibly the rest of the season.
Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel announced early Tuesday that the Heat will be applying to the NBA for a disabled-player exception to replace the veteran power forward. Such an appeal will be largely dictated by whether an independent NBA physician declares McRoberts’ knee injury to be season-ending.
If it is ruled that McRoberts’ injury is season-ending, the Heat would be granted a $2.65 million exception that can be used either through trade or by signing a free agent. For such player exceptions, Miami would be limited to acquiring a player through trade who is in the final year of their contracts, or by signing a free agent to a one-year deal.
The Heat would have to use the player exception by March 10 for it to be valid.
The 6’10″ forward has struggled with injuries since training camp in October. The 27-year-old had been recovering from a toe injur…

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Post-LeBron James Miami Heat haven’t been feeling so hot

The Miami Heat made some moves this summer, to try making up for the gaping hole in their talent level caused when LeBron James announced he’d…

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Rampant Injuries, Subpar Heat Season Provide Test for Pat Riley’s Patience

MIAMI — After the final buzzer signaled completion of the Heat‘s sixth home loss in their last seven games, and the stragglers left their seats to stagger into Sunday night, public address announcer Mike Baiamontewhose booming voice seemed appropriate for the outsized excitement of the previous four seasonsinvited the filing-out fans to the team’s next event.

There would be a “road rally” Tuesday at a famous sultry local establishment, where supporters could watch the Heat face the Nets in Brooklyn as the ocean breeze hit their backs. 

“The Heat experience is going to be at the Clevelander!” 

This was better than conceding the reality.   

That, these days, the Heat experienceother than the weatheris in Cleveland.

Cleveland is where LeBron James went, the attention and the expectations along with him. But Miami wasn’t supposed to feel like a morgue. The spirit wasn’t supposed to leave, too, not entirely, not with Pat Riley quickly restructuring the roster, retaining and adding enough proven and promising talent to that the prognosticators would be proven wrong, and the Heat could still be “as competitive as anybody in the Eastern Conference.” Not with players re-energized by the challenge of winning without the world’s pre-eminent active player, not with fans rallying behind Riley and owner Micky Arison and coach Erik Spoelstra and the organization’s community-building (“Heat Nation” and “Heat Lifer”) campaigns. 

The squad wasn’t supposed to look so lifeless, the defense wasn’t supposed to be so toothless, and the shot at the Southeast Division wasn’t supposed to seem so hopeless, not quite so soon. The projected starting lineup of Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Luol Deng, Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole wasn’t supposed to start just two times, and play just 34 minutes, together, teasing with a plus-13, before losing one of its components (McRoberts) for months if not the season, with the other four members missing 14 games between them. 

“That’s awesome,” Bosh said sarcastically, when told of the miniscule minute count. “Got to make it 36, man.” 

Now that Bosh seems set to miss a few more games with a calf strain, and McRoberts (torn meniscus in right knee, requiring surgery) out for the forsseable future, you need to strain to spot even a sliver of sun.

“It really sucks that it’s hitting me right now,” Bosh said. “There just seems to be a dark cloud over everything right now. Everything seems to be tough. We’re having a tough time building the chemistry.”

It’s been a tougher time, in terms of needing to make constant adjustments, than Deng could remember at the start of any of his 11 seasons. And remember, he played with Derrick Rose, who wasn’t always ready to go.

“You’re getting used to playing with certain guys, then it’s a different lineup you see out there,” Deng said. “I don’t know how many different lineups we’ve had so far.” 

Ten in 24 games. 

So now, it’s reasonable to wonder what Riley sees, and whether he can wait, especially as the fan base gets antsier, and in light of the desire to prove a point, that the Heat can remain much more relevant than the Cavaliers did without James.   

Can the team’s president of the past two decades, who has repeatedly shown his creativity and resilience, now show that he can stay the course, continuing to choose patience over panic, prudence over pride?

Can Riley stick to the plan, a plan he executed so perfectly prior to 2010 free agency, first when he acquired players whose contracts would expire in time for that celebrated class, and then when he resisted making trades for veterans who could have bolstered the roster in 2009-10, when a team of short-timers won 47 games and bowed out against Boston in the first round?

Can a 69-year-old man who has drawn the starkest of distinctions between winning and misery find any comfort, for about 18 months longer, in the vast and unremarkable middle? Can he accept an early playoff exit or, if a couple of the younger teams (Boston, Orlando) in the East emerge, even a surprising postseason absence this spring? 

Those are his tests now, and they won’t be easy to pass. 

After James departed, Riley said that offseason defeat had fired him up, since “I don’t like to get beat on anything” and “I want this team to be as competitive as it’s ever been.” But he spoke in terms of taking two simultaneous courses, trying to stay in the playoff game for two seasonseven while their 2015 pick is owed to the 76ers via Cleveland if it is outside the top 10with an intent to maintain full flexibility for the expected availability of several top free agents in 2016. 

While it’s not exactly clear which stars will be in that class other than Kevin Durant, since Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond and others could sign contract extensions, it’s also possible that the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol and Kevin Love, to capitalize on 2016′s anticipated higher salary cap, join the pool by signing one-year contracts at the end of this season. 

Will Riley strike gold in 2016, as he did in 2010? 

Maybe not the same sort of lode. But it’s tough to hold the 2014 offseason setbacks against him, since he had modest financial means in an inflated market, James apparently was determined to head home, and some of the better options evaporated while James was settling on a final decision. In 2016, even without an in-prime Wade as an attraction, he’ll still be selling one of the NBA‘s few universally appealing cities to free agents, as well as the organization’s track record of stability and success, unmatched by many others around the NBA. So he can’t risk compromising that cap space, not beyond the 2016-17 contracts of Bosh ($23.7 million), McRoberts ($5.8 million) and perhaps Shabazz Napier and James Ennis (team options totaling $2.3 million) that could be on the books.

Undoubtedly, that could restrict his options as he searches for a short-term fix, since he has limited assets alreadyin terms of attractive draft picks and playersand most transactions would come with some potential long-term cost. Most that wouldn’t would still come with complications. 

Take Detroit power forward Greg Monroe, as just one, somewhat hypothetical, example of the latter. The Sporting News reported that the Pistons would make him available for the right price, since he’s an unrestricted free agent following the season, and a league source confirmed that the Heat are one of the teams that, at minimum, had made an initial inquiry. Monroe seems obtainable, since he makes just $5.5 this season, about the same as Chris Andersen. Yet it’s not clear that the Heat could make Detroit a compelling offer. Also, Monroe would need to consent, since he’d be giving up his Bird rights by changing teams, which would mean that—with roughly $69 million in salary committed for next season—Miami could only offer him a 20 percent raise, or about $28 million for four seasons. 

Monroe could likely make more on the open market. So, would it be worth throwing in a 2017 first-rounder for a four- or five-month rental, with the season still stopping well short of the NBA Finals? 

And, with many other teams looking toward 2016, and trying to purge themselves of players whose contracts beyond beyond that prior to the mid-February trade deadline, would it be wise for Riley to make a tradeoff, and forfeit the slightest slice of his future flexibility? 

Probably not. 

So, barring the perfect opportunity—some temporary tinkering that presents little peril to the future—Riley should probably resist. He should do so even if it’s difficult for some of those who may deserve better, such as Wade, who returned on a smaller contract with the hope of keeping the team competitive. Sunday night, Wade spoke about how the Heat are “not strong enough to be without someone,” and yet they always seem to be. Of course, seven times this season, it’s been him. But it’s also been Cole, and Deng, and Chris Andersen, and now Bosh. And it may now be McRoberts for the duration, with a small potential disabled player exception serving as little consolation, considering that the former Charlotte forward was supposed to provide sharp passing and increased spacing to the offense, in a way that would make everything click. Instead, the projected starters are forced to savor those 34 minutes, and lament all those lost. 

“It’s tough,” Wade said. “It’s our turn to go through it.” 

Best, at this stage, not to shortcut it. 

 

Ethan Skolnick covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @EthanJSkolnick.

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Miami Heat News: Shabazz Napier and Hassan Whiteside Recalled From D-League

It appears Shabazz Napier and Hassan Whiteside’s stay with the Sioux Falls Skyforce was a short one after all.
The Miami Heat announced early Monday that they have recalled both Napier and Whiteside from their D-League affiliate. Both players were sent to Sioux Falls on December 13, just a day before the Heat were set to play the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night. Napier and Whiteside made one appearance for the Skyforce, leading the team to a 124-105 victory over the Iowa Energy on Saturday.

OFFICIAL: The @MiamiHEAT have recalled both Shabazz Napier & Hassan Whiteside from the @SFSkyforce (@nbadleague) – http://t.co/zTU2suztTd
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 15, 2014

Napier scored 22 points, notched three assists, two rebounds and a steal in the victory. Whiteside recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds and blocked four shots in his lone appearance for the D-League affiliate.
Both players will be available for Tuesday night’s game in Brooklyn when the Heat take on the Nets. In …

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Banged-up Heat lose McRoberts, possibly for season (Yahoo Sports)

MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat may be without forward Josh McRoberts for the remainder of the season, after tests Monday revealed a torn right meniscus that will require surgery.

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