South Bend to South Beach: The Trip Finally ends

New O wraps up a 6 game trip tonight in Florida, and could potentially pick up its 5th win in Miami. To shed some light on the matchup with the struggling Heat, and to get an insight into how the Heat can turn things around, I talked to the Miami blog Crazy from the Heat.

At the Hive: Wade’s gone, Marion’s gone, Ricky Davis’ stats say he might as well be gone… have any of Miami’s backups and D-league callups stood out to you since those players’ departures?

Crazy from the Heat: Some of them have had their moments, but it’s really tough to tell because they are just getting up a lot of shots on a very bad team in garbage time, mostly. I was starting to like small forward Bobby Jones a lot. He had the athleticism of Dorrell Wright, but he was a much better jump shooter. But they didn’t sign him to another 10-day contract. As of right now, Kasib Powell (a guard/forward) has been the most impressive, statistically. He actually tied with a team-high 15 points on Monday night. But I don’t project any of them having an immediate future with the Heat. Especially with the draft picks they’ll get this offseason. For now, they’re fillers and most of them will get an invite to camp, but I don’t see either of them cracking the 15-man roster next year. Especially with Pat Riley’s intent of keeping Chris Quinn, Dorrell Wright and Earl Barron.

At the Hive: What’s your two cents on the whole Shaq dissing the Heat thing? I found it disgusting, given that Miami assented to trading him to a contender, but are there other factors most NBA fans might be missing?

Crazy from the Heat It surprised me, but it shouldn’t have. To me, it’s deja vu. When Shaq came to the Heat out of Los Angeles, all he had was bad things to say about the Lakers and great things to say about the Heat organization and his teammates. That’s what Shaq does, apparently. He’ll get somewhere and start giving it 110 percent on the court for a few years until he’s unhappy. Then he’ll stop trying, complain and talk about how good his new situation is. Truth is, Shaq may be the most dominating big man of this generation, but he’s also the most sensitive player I’ve ever seen. Even though he wanted out of Miami towards the end, he’s hurt that the Heat disgraded him midseason, and this is his defense mechanism.

At the Hive: Let’s say you’re now Miami’s GM. Do you give Shawn Marion max money? Do you instead load up for the long awaited 2010 free agency bonanza? And who do you draft this summer (assuming you have the first pick)?

Crazy from the Heat: It depends. If the Heat get the No. 1 overall pick, I don’t. I draft Michael Beasley, and if Marion picks up his option, I work out a sign and trade to pick up a power forward to play alongside of Beasley (so Beasley can play the 3, and not the 4 where he’ll be overmatched). If he declines to pick up his option (which I doubt) then I go really hard after Elton Brand. I don’t see Riley giving him a max deal, anyway, because of how he’s expressed “being ready” for that big 2010 free-agency period.

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4 Responses

  1. I honestly don’t know how Riley let the wheels fall off of this franchise. First he convinces Stan Van Jeremy that its a good idea to leave a championship contender mid-season so he can stroke his own ego. Then he systematically destroys this team with really bad personnel moves. Then, he doesnt even stick around to coach the team he himself disassembled. I know he’s an all-time great coach, because he happened to have Magic Johnson on his team but I’ve really lost alot of respect for him this season.

  2. Yeah, why the hell does he *personally* have to scout potential draft picks? Does the Heat organization not have a scouting department? I realize Riles might understand some nuances of a player’s game others might not, but I think it’s more of a convenient excuse to not coach Chris Quinn and Co. Pretty ironic that when Van Gundy coaches Miami, the Heat become the team to watch in Florida… and when he goes to Orlando, the Magic do. BTW, do you (or anyone) know if Riles coached Byron?

  3. Riles was coach when the Lakers traded for Byron in 1983 on draft day. He then played for the Lakers until Riles left after the 1989-90 season.

  4. Thanks for the heads up.

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