10 games down, and 72 to go. Where do the HEAT stand? It's a marathon, after all, not a sprint. A few trends have made themselves evident in the early going, and it's always nice to pare the stats down and dig for the buried treasure. Let's examine the season so far, player by player.
James Jones - One game, four minutes, one-for-two three pointers, three points, 25.0 PER.
Jones is here to provide depth, and thus far has been as deep as possible. On a lot of other teams, Jones would be getting a lot more time on the floor. By position, he's the only small forward backing up LeBron James, but as one of 10 deep threats hasn't seen a lot of the court. Shane Battier, Michael Beasley, and Rashard Lewis could each concievably take a break in favor of him, but coach Spo hasn't deemed it necessary. He got his first game action of the season on Tuesday night against the Bucks, and came through by hitting one-of-two three-point attempts in 3:36. I think we can safely say that if called upon, he'll continue to drain long shots on games which are either well-in or well-out of hand.
Joel Anthony - four games, 26 minutes, one-for-two field goals, four rebounds (one offensive, three defensive), four blocks, three personal fouls, two points, 9.1 PER.
The Warden is giving what he always has. Another guy deep on the bench who is called on once in a while to provide a presence in the paint on the defensive end of the court. He's unlikely at this point of his career to start learning new tricks, and will collect more blocks than points from now until it ends. His 9.1 PER this season is comparable to his career mark of 9.3. He made his first appearance of the season in Miami's one point loss to the Brooklyn Nets, coming off the bench for 3:19 and failing to accumulate a single statistic. Four nights later, he played a season high 8:54 against the Toronto Raptors, gathering two defensive rebounds and blocking one shot along with two personal fouls. On Tuesday, he played 5:26 and made his only field goal (his only points of the season), collected one defensive rebound, and blocked a shot versus the Bucks. Last night against the Bobcats he played 8:34, collected an offensive rebound, missed a field goal, drew a foul, and blocked two shots.
Roger Mason Jr. - three games, 45 minutes, three-for-nine field goals, three-for-seven three-pointers, three-for-three foul shots, five defensive rebounds, five assists, four turnovers, four fouls, 12 points, 6.2 PER.
Mason is a shooting guard out of the University of Virginia with nine seasons of NBA experience, and is here to back up both guard positions. He started on October 30th in his first game action of the season, looking hopelessly out of place against Philadelphia. In 14:38 against the 76ers, he made two turnovers to his two assists, was called for one foul, made one-of-two three-pointers and missed his only two-point shot attempt. He looked a little better in his second game, against the Bucks on Tuesday. In 9:49 he delivered two assists and turned the ball over once, grabbing one defensive board and missing a two-point attempt. Last night, in Miami's 16-point win over the Bobcats, he scored a season high nine points on two-of-five deep shots, drained all three free throws, collected four defensive rebounds, dished out one assist, committed two fouls and turned the ball over twice.
Udonis Haslem - six games, 96 minutes, eight-for-19 field goals, two-for-five free throws. 15 rebounds (six offensive), one assist, one steal, one block, four turnovers, 13 fouls, 18 points, 3.4 PER.
UD hasn't looked very good this season. In the season opening win over the Bulls, he scored a season high six points on two-of-four shooting with two made free throws, three rebounds (one offensive), three turnovers and three fouls in 21:28. The next night against the Sixers, he sunk his only field goal and missed his only foul shot, turning over the ball once in 11:32. He played 9:27 in the loss to the Nets, making one-of-four from the field and missing both free throws. He made one rebound with a steal, and committed five fouls. On November 3rd, he made four rebounds, an assist and a block, committing one foul and draining half of his four field goal tries. On the 5th against Toronto, he played a season high 21:47 and missed all four of his shots, grabbing five rebounds (four offensive) and finishing with three fouls. In 15 minutes against the Clippers on November 7th, he made both field goals, committed a foul and grabbed two boards (one offensive). He's missed Miami's last four games with "back spasms," which may go a long way into explaining why he hasn't looked very good thus far. We shall see what he has left in the tank when his play resumes, but surely we can expect something closer to his career 13.3 PER, and further away from this season's pathetic 3.4 rating. At 33-years of age, however, we may be nearing the end of the party for Miami's all-time leader in rebounds.
Michael Beasley - five games, 71 minutes, 25-of-42 field goals (.595), five-for-10 three-pointers, one-of-four free throws, five rebounds (one offensive), four assists, three steals, two blocks, five turnovers, eight fouls, 56 points, 25.3 PER.
B Eazy was a low-risk, extremely high-reward free-agent acquisition. With his history and skill, the worst case scenario is that Miami wasted a roster spot and the veteran's minimum. The truth is a lot closer to the best case scenario, at least this far. After sitting on the bench for Miami's first four contests, he made his season debut on November 5th in Miami's win over the Raptors, hitting two-of-three three-pointers and missing a field goal attempt while making a block, all in just four minutes. He also turned the ball over and made one foul. After another game off, he returned to the court against the Celtics on the 9th, going five-for-seven for 10 points with a turnover and a foul in 8:16. On Tuesday against the Bucks, he played 19:39, scoring 19 points on eight-of-12 shooting (two-of-three from deep), making one-of-four free throws with a rebound, three dimes and two fouls. In the Miami win over Dallas on Friday night, he hit three-of-five shots in 15:50 for six points, along with a rebound, two steals, a block, two turovers and a foul. Last night against Charlotte, he sunk half of his 14 field goal tries, making one-of-four from deep with three rebounds (one offensive), an assist, a steal, a turnover and three fouls. He represents yet another option for the HEAT off the bench, and is capable of scoring a point per minute at any time.
Shane Battier - 10 games, 225 minutes, 16-of-41 (.390) field goals, 10-for-31 (.323) three-pointers, seven-of-nine free throws, 24 rebounds (three offensive), seven assists, seven steals, six blocks, 24 fouls, ZERO turnovers, 49 points, 9.2 PER.
Shane Battier stated before the season started that this would be his last campaign, and after a pretty good opening night has looked ready for the retirement home. In the opener against the Bulls, he hit all four of his three-point shots, sinking one-of-two two-point attempts. He scored 14 with two rebounds, an assist, and three fouls in 22:10. The next night in Philly, he missed all seven of his three-point tries, making his only two-point shot with two rebounds (one offensive) and four fouls in 23:41. On November 1st, he missed both three-point tries and made four rebounds and an assist with two fouls in 14:41. Two nights later against the Wizards, he missed four three-pointers, committed three fouls, and dished out two assists with a rebound in 20:26. He looked a little better against the Raptors on the 5th, making two-of-three from deep and one-of-one from not-deep, with two boards, two dimes, one steal, one rejection, and four fouls in 19:37. He scored seven points against the Clippers on the 7th, shooting two-for-four overall, two-for-four from the stripe, and one-for-three from three-point range, with one offensive rebound, an assist, a steal, and a foul in 22:04. In Miami's loss to the Celtics on the 9th, he hit one-of-two three-point shots in 27:02, with one board, two blocks, and three fouls. On Tuesday against the Bucks, he played 26:51 and scored six points on two-of-six shooting (one-of-four from outside), grabbing three rebounds and two steals with one personal foul. Friday against the Mavs, he missed a three-pointer and went one-of-three from two-point range, making both his foul shots with a season high five rebounds (one offensive), two steals, a block and two fouls. Last night in Charlotte, he made all three of his shots, a three-pointer and two from the foul line with three boards, a steal, two blocks and a foul. This season, he looks to be good for an all-world mustache, an occasional three-pointer, a few drawn charges, and 20 minutes per game.
Rashard Lewis - nine games, 160 minutes, 18-for-36 field goals, 10-for-21 three-pointers, seven-for-10 free throws, 24 rebounds (three offensive, 15 assists, six steals, 17 fouls, four turnovers, 53 points, 15.0 PER.
Lewis presents the HEAT with options off the bench. Now in his 16th NBA season, he's performing exactly as expected thus far this season. After sitting out the opener, he scored 11 points on four-of-eight shooting against the 76ers on October 30th, going one-of-four from deep and two-for-three from the free-throw line, with a rebound, a steal, a turnover, two fouls, and five assists in 20:08. In Miami's loss to the Nets on November 1st, he collected two rebounds and made two fouls, grabbing two rebounds with an assist and a steal in 6:14. He played 5:08 against the Wizards on the 3rd, he went one-for-three from long-distance with a board, a dime, a steal, and a foul. In the HEAT's nine point win over the Raptors on the 5th, he sunk one-of-four overall and one-of-two from deep, making one-of-two foul shots with five assists, a rebound, a turnover and three fouls in 21:18. When Miami defeated the Clippers by five on the 7th, he got on the floor for 7:36, making a three pointer and a free throw with three rebounds and two fouls. Two nights later against Boston, he made one-of-two free throw and one-of-two three-pointers, missing two two-point attempts and fouling four times with one rebound in 13:54. On Tuesday, he played just under a half against the Bucks, sinking a three-pointer and two-shorter shots without missing, with three rebounds (one offensive), an assist, two steals and a foul. In 28:36 against the Mavs, he went four-for-six overall, including three-of-five three-pointers with three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a turnover and a personal foul. Last night against the Bobcats, he played a season high 33:15 and scored nine points on three-of-seven shooting (one-of-three from deep), making both his free throw attempts and leading the team with nine rebounds (two offensive). He also committed a foul and a turnover in the 16-point win.
Norris Cole - 10 games, 239 minutes, 30-for-61 field goals (.492), seven-for-16 three-pointers (.438), six-for-eight free throws, 31 rebounds (two offensives), 29 assists, eight steals, one block, 12 turnovers, 17 fouls, 73 points, 12.6 PER.
NoCo started out the season on a tear in the opener against the Bulls, hitting five-of-seven shots, including all four two-point attempts and collecting seven rebounds, dishing out three assists, a steal, and committing three turnovers in 21:10. The next night against the Sixers, he hit five-of-eight shots overall, missing both three-point shots in 26:57. He committed four fouls and two turnovers, making three rebounds and three assists. When Miami played the Nets on November 1st, he scored six points on three-of-five shooting in 17:28, making five assists and grabbing one rebound, with a turnover and a foul. On the 3rd, in 21:40, he shot three-for-four from deep, missing two shorter shots with a rebound, two assists, two steals, and two fouls. He went three-for-seven with a missed three-pointer, three rebounds, two dimes, a steal and a foul on the 5th against Toronto. In 27:04 on the 7th against the Clippers, he went scoreless, missing five shots including a three-pointer, with three rebounds (one offensive), three assists, a turnover and four fouls. He was a little better on November 9th against the Celtics, scoring five points in 19 minutes on two-of-four shooting, including one-of-one from long distance with a rebound, two assists, and a blocked shot. In Miami's 23 point win over the Bucks on Tuesday, he went three-for-five (one-of-two from deep), missing his only free throw with four rebounds, four assists, a turnover and two fouls in 23 minutes. In Friday's six point win over the Mavs, he tied his season high with 11 points on three-of-four shooting, making one-of-two three-pointers and sinking all four free throws with a rebound, three steals and three turnovers in 26:25. Last night, he played a season high 35:46, going three-for-10 from the field and making both his foul shots. He had seven rebounds (one offensive) with five assists, a steal, a turnover and three fouls. Although he's far from an all-star, his play has improved significantly from seasons past. He's unlocked his three-point shot, and with 29 assists to 12 turnovers now has a somewhat more palatable than last season 2.5-to-1 A/TO ratio. Plus he has an awe-inspiring flat-top.
Chris Andersen - 10 games, 174 minutes, 24-for-36 (.667) field goals, 18-for-24 (.750) free throws, 45 rebounds (13 offensive), six assists, four steals, 10 blocks, 12 turnovers, 23 fouls, 66 points, 17.7 PER.
The Birdman has produced as advertised, playing 1.5 quarters per night and adding intimidation and a rock-solid field goal success rate along with a block or two per game. He started out the season hitting three-of-five with eight boards (one offensive), two steals, two blocks and two fouls in 16:33 of Miami's 12 point win against the Bulls. He played 13:45 the next night against Philly, going scoreless with an assist, three turnovers and three fouls. He committed five fouls in 13:35 on November 1st against the Nets, scoring four points on one-of-three shooting and two-of-three from the line, with a rebound, an assist and a steal in 13:35. On the 3rd against the Wizards, he scored eight points in 16:37, hitting two-of-three with four-of-six foul shots, five rebounds (three offensive), a block, a turnover and two fouls. In 17:19 of court time against the Raptors on the 5th, he went three-of-four overall with three rebounds (one offensive), two turnovers and four fouls. He played 18:50 against the Clippers on November 7th, he hit all three field goals and four-of-five free throws with three rebounds (one offensive), an assist, a block, two fouls and two turnovers. In Miami's loss to the Celtics, he went four-for-five from the field, two-for-four from the line, grabbed four rebounds (two offensive) with two blocks and a turnover in 16:40. He played 19 minutes on Tuesday against the Bucks, draining four-of-six shots with seven boards (three offensive), two assists, two blocks, two turnovers and a foul. In 18:13 against the Mavs, he sunk two-of-four shots with seven rebounds (one offensive) and two fouls. Last night in Charlotte, he scored 10 points for the third time this season, playing a season high 23:52 and hitting all eight of his shots (two two-pointers and six foul shots) with seven rebounds, an assist, a steal, two blocks, a turnover and two fouls.
Ray Allen - seven games, 194 minutes, 28-of-54 field goals (.519), 11-of-30 three-pointers (.367), 10-for-12 free throws, 23 rebounds (two offensive), 23 assists, five steals, one block, six turnovers, 10 fouls, 77 points, 17.6 PER
Allen has been and will be Miami's not-so-secret weapon off the bench. Despite being in his 18th season, he seems to be playing a lot younger than his 38 years. He started the season scoring 11 points in 26:19 against the Bulls, going three-for-six from three-point distance and missing one shorter shot. He also made both his free throw attempts, collected a rebound, led the team with seven assists, blocked a shot, turned the ball over three times and finished with four personal fouls. The next night against the Sixers, he set a season high with 19 points on seven-of-13 shooting, along with a four-of-nine night from deep and one free throw. He dished out one assist, grabbed six rebounds (one offensive), and stole two balls in 27:51. On November 1st against the Nets, he played 29:08 and scored 12 points on four-of-six shooting and one-of-two three-pointers. He made three-of-four from the charity stripe, collected four boards, two assists and a steal. The the Heat hosted the Wizards on the 3rd, he finished two-of-five from the field, missing two three pointers and dishing out six dimes with two fouls and three rebounds (one offensive). He scored 14 points on five-of-11 shooting in 29:34, going three-for-seven from deep with one free throw, four rebounds, two helpers, a steal, two turnovers and three fouls against the Raptors. On the 7th, he missed three three-pointers, but made all five of his two point attempts and two-of-three free throws with a rebound, a steal, and two assists against the Clippers. He scored five in 24:27 against Boston, going two-of-four including a missed three pointer and one made free throw with four rebounds, three assists, a turnover and a foul. He's missed the last three HEAT games with the flu, but we can expect him to pick up where he left off when he comes back, presumably sometime later this week.
Mario Chalmers - nine games, 247 minutes, 27-of-64 field goals (.422), 15-for-29 three-pointers (.517), 18-of-21 free throws (.857), 25 rebounds (seven offensive), 45 assists, 19 steals, one block, 19 turnovers, 26 personal fouls, 87 points, 16.9 PER.
He made three-of-eight shots in the opener, going one-for-three from deep with six-of-seven free throws in 26:50 against the Bulls with three boards (two offensive), four helpers, five steals, three turnovers and two fouls. The next night, he scored a season high 16 points on six-of-13 shooting (four-for-six from deep), with five rebounds (two offensive), four assists, three steals, two turnovers and four fouls in 30:35. In 31:51 against Brooklyn, he scored 12 points by hitting three-of-four three-pointers and all three free throws (missing all four two point shot attempts) with a rebound, three helpers, two steals, three turnovers and three fouls. He played 27:56 on the 3rd against the Wizards, going two-of-four from the field (all three-pointers). He also got two boards, dished a season high eight dimes, made three steals to two turnovers and three fouls. In 27:52 against the Raptors, he went one-for-three from deep and one-for-three from not-so-deep, collecting four rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two turnovers and three fouls. Against the Clippers on the 7th, he went two-for-five overall and one-for-two from three-point range, with one free throw, two boards (one offensive), six assists, two turnovers and four fouls in 23:13. He played 29 minutes on November 9th, scoring 10 points on three-of-six shooting. He hit both of his three-pointers and both of his one-pointers, with two rebounds, three assists, a steal, a turnover and a foul. In Miami's 23 point win over the Bucks, he hit four-of-six overall and one-of-two from deep, with six-for-eight from the stripe and four rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three fouls. In his last game, against the Mavs, he missed all three three-point shots, going two-for-five otherwise and scoring four points with two rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block, four turnovers and three fouls before getting kicked out of the game on a flagrant-2 on Dirk Nowitzki. He'll return after a one-game suspension. He's improved almost every facet of his game due to a recommitment to getting faster, dropping 15 pounds during the offseason and improving his three-point stroke.
Chris Bosh - nine games, 261 minutes, 47-for-88 field goals (.534), nine-of-19 three-pointers (.474), 39-for-48 free throws (.813), 52 rebounds (12 offensive), nine assists, four steals, 13 blocks, 13 turnovers, 30 fouls, 142 points, 20.9 PER.
The NBA's best paid third-best player seems to have added three-point shooting to his already impressive arsenal, but also seems to have forgotten how to rebound. He made six-of-11 shots in the opener against Chicago, making one-of-two three-pointers in 31:22. He made three-of-four from the line and grabbed six rebounds (one offensive) with three blocks, three fouls and a turnover, finishing with 16 points. He played 34:15 the next night against the Sixers, sinking eight-of-13 shots, two-of-three from outside, and all four free throws. He committed four fouls and turned the ball over four times with 10 rebounds (three offensive), one assist and one steal for 22 points. He played a season high 34:28 on November 1st against the Nets, scoring 17 points on four-of-eight shooting, including one-of-two from three-point distance. He made all eight free throws and grabbed four rebounds with an assist and a block, three turnovers and five fouls. In 31:23 against the Wizards, he scored a season high 24 points on an eight-of-12 night, sinking two-of-three from deep and six-of-eight free throws. He collected seven rebounds (three offensive), two assists, two blocks, two turnovers and a foul. In Miami's win over the Clippers, he hit half of his shots, making four from the field, one from three-point range, and three from the line with six boards (two offensive), an assist, a block, and four fouls, scoring 12 points in 29:10. After taking the next game off for the birth of his daughter, Dylan, he returned to play 31:21 in Miami's loss to Boston, scoring 20 points on seven-of-12 shooting, missing both three-pointers and making six-of-eight from the line with seven rebounds (one offensive), one assist, one steal, two blocks and one foul. He played just under a half against the Bucks, scoring 10 points on four-of-11 shooting, sinking all six free throws and missing his only three-pointer for 14 points, four rebounds (one offensive), one steal, two blocks and four fouls. He committed five fouls in only 15:34 last night, scoring seven points on three-of-four shooting and one-of-two from deep with three rebounds and two turnovers.
Dwyane Wade - nine games, 299 minutes, 59-of-123 field goals (.480), two-of-seven three-pointers (.286), 30-of-49 free throws (.612), 42 rebounds (six offensive), 47 assists, 22 steals, seven blocks, 31 turnovers, 20 personal fouls, 150 points, 18.5 PER.
We've all heard what everyone says. Wade is too old. He's lost a step. His killer instinct is gone. His knees are gone. Whatever. The truth of the matter is that he is still the second best player on the best team in the NBA. He played 36:07 in the opener, scoring 13 points on five-of-13 shooting with one three-pointer and two-of-five free throws. He made four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, three turnovers and four fouls. After taking off the next night in the second game of a back-to-back, he came back to score 21 points on five-of-12 from the field, going one-for-two from deep and 10-of-11 from the stripe in 37:35. He grabbed five rebounds (two offensive) with four assists, two steals, three turnovers, and four fouls. On the 3rd, he played 34:52, scoring 20 points on eight-of-15 from the field, with two missed three-pointers and four-of-eight made free throws, five rebounds (one offensive), five assists, two steals, two blocks, five turnovers and one foul. On November 5th, he played 33:31 and again finished with 20 on nine-of-19 shooting, making both free throws and missing his only three point attempt. He also grabbed six rebounds (one offensive) with five dimes, two steals, two turnovers and one foul. He scored a season high 29 points against the Clippers, shooting 13-of-22 overall and missing his only deep shot, draining three-of-four from the line with four rebounds (one offensive), seven assists, three steals, one block, seven turnovers and one foul. He made half of his 14 field goal tries against Boston, and half of his eight free throw attempts, playing 33:48 with three rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one turnover and one foul, finishing with 18. In Miami's blowout win over the Bucks, he finished with eight points on four-of-seven shooting, but contributed in other ways, leading the team with eight rebounds and also making five assists with two steals, two blocks, three fouls and six turnovers. He bounced back for 17 points against Dallas, making seven-of-14 overall and three-of-seven from the line with five rebounds (one offensive), eight assists, two fouls, and a career high eight steals. Last night against the Bobcats, he played 22:58, finishing with four points on one-of-seven shooting and two-of-four from the line, with two rebounds, three assists, one block, four turnovers and three fouls. Yes, he's had bad nights and good through the first eighth of the season, but is still capable of playing above the rim when he needs to and taking over a game when he's feeling it. We can look for him to sit out the second half of back-to-backs against other-than-elite teams as the season wears on.
LeBron James - 10 games, 360 minutes, 102-of-164 field goals (.622), 15-of-29 three-pointers (.517), 54-of-70 free throws (.771), 54 rebounds (five offensive), 69 assists, seven steals, three blocks, 39 turnovers, 15 fouls, 273 points, 30.2 PER.
Still the best player in the NBA, no matter what anyone says. LBJ plays a different level than anyone else. In the opener against Chicago, he played 38:01, scoring 17 points on five-of-11 shooting, missing a three-pointer and hitting seven-of-nine free throws with six rebounds, eight assists, two turnovers and one steal. The following night, he put up 25 points on nine-of-17 shooting, making four-of-seven three-point shots and three-of-four free throws with 13 assists, four rebounds, four turnovers and three fouls. He scored 26 on the Nets, going 11-of-19 overall and one-of-two from deep with three-of-five made free throws. He collected seven rebounds (one offensive), six assists, five turnovers, two steals, two fouls and a block in 42:14. On November 3rd against Washington, he played 34:41, scoring 25 points on nine-of-14 shooting, going three-for-five from three-point distance and four-of-five from the foul line, with six turnovers, five assists, three rebounds, two fouls, and one steal. In Miami's next game, he put up 35 points on 13-of-20 shooting, making one-of-three from deep and all eight foul shots. He dished out eight assists, grabbed eight boards, committed two fouls, one turnover and made one block in 36:01. He played 37:09 in the win over the Clippers, scoring 18 points on six-of-13 shooting. He made one-of-three from three-point distance and five-of-nine foul shots, dishing out six dimes with five boards, four turnovers, four fouls and one steal. He played 36:32 in the loss to the Celtics, draining nine-of-13 shots from the field and seven-of-nine from the line, with 10 helpers, eight rebounds (one offensive), five turnovers, and one foul. In the win over the Bucks, he made 13-of-21 shots in 29:58, draining four-of-seven from deep and three-of-six foul shots. He made three rebounds, three turnovers and two assists, finishing with 33 points. He scored a season high 39 points in 36:58 in the win over the Mavs, making 14-of-18 shots and 10-for-11 from the stripe, making his only three-pointer. He had six rebounds, six turnovers, four assists and one steal. Last night, he played 31:55, scoring 30 points on the Bobcats in 13-of-18 shooting. He made all four of his free throws and dished seven times with four rebounds (one offensive), three turnovers, one steal, one block, and one foul. Even on his worst night, he's better than 95% of the league. At this point, improvement should be impossible, I mean really, what more do you want? Take a look back at his last four games, though. He's made 49 of his last 70 shots. That's 70% - and it's not all from inside. He has shot over 50% from the field in eight of the first 10 contests.
So, yeah, the HEAT still look pretty good. It's funny to say this of a two-time defending champion, but the team looks better than they did last season - and Greg Oden hasn't even suited up yet! If James Jones is so deep in your rotation that he plays in less than 1% of the available minutes, then I think your team looks pretty good.