18. Jamal Mashburn
Jamal Mashburn was a 6'8" small forward from New York City. Born on November 29th, 1972, "Monster Mash" played at the prep level with Cardinal Hayes High in the Bronx. He joined the Kentucky Wildcats in college, playing three seasons with the team. He averaged over 21 points per game in both his sophomore and junior seasons, and declared himself eligible for the draft without a senior season. His confidence was rewarded by the Dallas Mavericks, who selected him in the first round of the 1993 draft with the fourth overall pick.
Mashburn played his first three and a half NBA seasons in Dallas, and ranks third all time on the franchise with 19.9 points per game over 214 contests. On Valentine's Day, 1997, the Mavs traded Mashburn to the Heat for three players, Sasha Danilovic, Martin Muursepp, and Kurt Thomas.
Mashburn finished in double figures in 24 times out of his 32 Heat appearances to close out the 1996-97 season. He started 30 times, shooting 39.8% overall and 32.9% from deep in 37.2 minutes per game. He scored 13.4 points with 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest. On March 7th, in a 108-105 overtime win against the Washington Bullets, he scored 23 points wtih eight rebounds and four assists in 50 minutes. He scored 29 points with 10 rebounds on March 19th for his first double double of the season, in a victory over the Golden State Warriors, 93-91 in overtime. On April 16th, he accomplished the feat again, in a 102-92 win over the Chicago Bulls, when he scored 23 points with 10 boards, five helpers, and three steals. Miami went 61-21, defeating the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks before getting ousted in five games by Chicago in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Mashburn appeared in all 17 of Miami's postseason contests, scoring 10.5 points with 4.9 rebounds per game.
Mashburn started in each of his 48 appearances in 1997-98. He averaged 15.1 points per game (team third), shooting 43.5% overall and just over 30% from deep in 36 minutes. He also averaged 4.9 rebounds (team fourth) and 2.8 assists (team second) per game. Miami went 29-19 with him in the lineup, and he reached double figures in 40 contests (83.3% of the time). He scored a season high 32 points on 11-for-15 shooting, hitting four-of-five three-pointers, along with nine rebounds in a 90-74 victory over the Boston Celtics. On January 30th, in a 74-71 loss to the Phoenix Suns, he scored 12 points with seven rebounds, making season highs with seven assists and four steals. He played all 48 minutes of an 89-83 loss to the New York Knicks on February 1st, scoring 22 points and collecting 11 boards with four helpers for his only double double of the season. At 55-27, Miami earned the second seed, but lost in the opening round to the Knicks, three-games-to-two. Mashburn played 25 minutes per game, scoring 6.2 with 4.4 rebounds.
1998-99 would see Mashburn limited to 24 games, with 23 starts. He scored 14.8 points on 45.1% shooting in 35.6 minutes. He shot 43.3% from three-point range, with 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. The Heat went 15-9 with Mashburn, who finished in double digits 21 times (87.5% of the time). On April 11th, in a 95-92 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, he shot 11-of-16 field goals for 25 points, wtih nine rebounds. He scored 13 points with 12 rebounds on April 22nd as the Heat defeated the Orlando Magic, 75-70. Miami took the top seed with a 33-17 record, but lost to the eighth seeded Knicks in the first round. Mashburn scored 10 points with 2.6 rebounds and two assists per game, playing just over 30 minutes.
1999-00 would be Mashburn's last season in Miami, and would see him start in each of his 76 appearances. He shot 44.5% from the field and 40.3% from deep, scoring 17.5 points with five rebounds, 3.9 assists, and one steal per game. He helped the Heat to a 47-29 record while on the floor, failing to register double digits in points only six times, with four double doubles. In a 128-105 win against the Dallas Mavericks on November 11th, he scored a season high 34 points, going 13-for-19 from the field with five rebounds. In an 89-86 win over the Wizards on Novmeber 27th, scored 16 points with 10 boards and four steals. He led Miami with 22 points, also grabbing 10 rebounds with four assists on January 2nd as Miami set down the Magic, 111-103. Miami ended the season at 52-30 and seeded second in the East. After sweeping the Detroit Pistons in three games to open the postseason, they were eliminated in seven by...the Knicks. Mashburn appeared in every game, scoring 17.5 points wtih 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and one steal per game.
Mashburn played four more NBA seasons with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets (217 games).
All-Time HEATline: Four seasons, 180 games, 36.7 minutes, 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 13.9 PER, 16.8 win shares.