Miami Heat Player Countdown: 17. Voshon Lenard

A look back at sharpshooting guard Voshon Lenard

Voshon Lenard was a 6'4" shooting guard out of the University of Minnesota. Born on May 14th, 1973, in Detroit, MI, he was a standout with Southwestern High in his hometown, graduating with the Class of 1991. As a Golden Gopher, he played 127 games over four seasons, averaging 16.6 points with 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 1995 draft, but failed to make the team. On December 29th, the Heat signed him as a free agent for $247,500.

Lenard played 30 games for Miami in 1995-96, all off the bench. He was good for 5.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and an assist in 10.8 minutes per game. He shot 37.6% overall and 35.6% from deep. The Heat went 15-15 with him in the rotation, as Lenard finished with 10 or more points seven times. On February 23rd, in a 113-104 upset over the Chicago Bulls, he went four-for-seven from long distance, scoring 19 points with six assists and six rebounds. He scored a season high 20 points in 21 minutes on April 6th, in a loss to the Washington Bullets, 111-99, adding four rebounds in the effort. Miami finished up 42-40 before losing three straight to the Bulls in the opening round of the playoffs. Lenard did not appear in the postseason.

Lenard signed a new contract prior to 1996-97, for $16,542,548 over five seasons. He shot a team leading 41.4% from deep and 45.9% overall in 28.9 minutes per appearance, scoring 12.3 points (team fourth). He started in 47 of 73 games, averaging three rebounds and 2.2 assists (team fourth) per game. He finished in double figures over half the time, with 39 performances, and the Heat went 53-20 with him on the floor. On January 17th, in a win against the Bullets, 103-92, he hit eight-of-11 shots, including all five three point attempts, scoring 21 points wtih eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He put up a season high 38 points on February 6th, shooting 13-for-20 overall and six-for-seven from deep, adding four rebounds and four assists in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-90. On February 15th, he scored 24 points with eight assists in a 125-99 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers. MIami went 61-21 earning the second seed in the East. He appeared in all 17 of Miami's playoff games before they were eliminated in the third round by the Bulls. Lenard scored 12.7 points with 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 helpers per game.

In 1997-98, Lenard started in each of his 81 appearances, and averaged 12.6 points (team fifth) with 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists (team fourth) per game. He played a career high 32.4 minutes per game, shooting 42.5% overall and 40.5% from outside. He scored 10 or more points 55 times through the season. In a 108-99 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on January 17th, he scored a season high 28 points, with four boards and three helpers. In a 91-81 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 10th, he scored 21 points with seven rebounds. The Heat went 55-27, but lost to the New York Knicks in the opening round of the postseason. Lenard scored 14.4 points with 3.8 boards and 1.4 assists in the five games.

1998-99 would see Lenard limited by injury to just two starts over 12 contests. He totaled 82 points with 16 rebounds and 10 assists. He did join the Heat for the postseason, scoring 9.3 points per game, almost entirely from three-point range, going nine-for-14 over four contests.

1999-00 would be Lenard's last season in Miami. It would see him start in 13 of his 53 appearances, shooting 40.7% overall and 39% from three-point range. In 27.1 minutes, he scored 11.9 points with 2.9 boards and 2.6 dimes per contest. He finished in double digits 33 times, helping Miami to a 34-19 record while in the rotation. In a loss to the Bucks on December 16th, 96-95, he racked up a season high 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting. He scored 25 points with five rebounds in a loss to the Utah Jazz, 93-83 on January 13th. On January 31st, in a 104-82 win against the Detroit Pistons, he scored 18 points with six assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Miami went 52-30 and swept the Pistons in the opening round of the playoffs befor losing to the Knicks in seven. Lenard did not make a postseason appearance.

During the 2000 offseason, the Heat traded Lenard along with Mark Strickland to the Denver Nuggets for Chris Gatling and a draft pick (Eddie House). After 151 games for Denver, he joined the Toronto Raptors for 63 games in 2002-03. He rejoined the Nuggets for parts of three seasons (88 games), closing out his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers (14 games).

All-Time HEATline: Five seasons, 249 games, 26.8 minutes, 11.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 13.8 PER, 20.0 win shares.

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