26. James Jones
James Jones is a 6'8" small forward and three-point shooting specialist from Miami, FL. Born on October 4th, 1980, he attended American High in Miami before joining the Miami Hurricanes in college. He played four seasons at the U, and as a senior in 2002-03 averaged 16.9 points with six rebounds per game. After graduating, he was chosen by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the draft, with the 49th overall pick. He played two seasons with the Pacers (81 games), later joining the Phoenix Suns (151 games) and the Portland Trail Blazers (58 games). He ranked third in the NBA with a 44.4% three point success rate with Portland in 2007-08. Miami signed him to a two year contract for $8,330,000 during the 2008 offseason.
In 2008-09, Jones started one game at small forward, appearing 40 times overall. He shot 36.9% overall and 34.4% from three point range playing 15.8 minutes per contest. He averaged 4.2 points with 1.6 rebounds per game. Miami went 20-20 with him in the rotation, scoring 10 or more points six times. On April 7th, in a 93-87 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, he scored nine points on three-for-four three point shooting with six rebounds. He scored 13 points with five rebounds on April 15th, in a 102-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Miami finished up the season with a 43-39 record, earning the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami lost the opening series in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks. Jones started all seven games, scoring 9.6 points per games, sinking 11-of-22 three pointers with 2.3 rebounds per appearance. He converted at least one from long distance in each game.
2009-10 would see Jones start in six of his 36 appearances, shooting 36.1% from the field and 41.1% from three point range in 14 minutes per game. He scored four points with 1.3 rebounds per contest. He finished in double figures three times, helping Miami to a 21-15 record. On November 25th, he scored a season high 16 points, going four-of-seven from deep with four rebounds in a 99-98 victory over the Orlando Magic. Miami's last pre-"big three" iteration posted a fifth seed clinching 47-35 record, losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round, four-games-to-one. Jones made one playoff appearance, scoring two points in nine minutes.
Jones saw his most extensive game action for the 2010-11 Heat, starting eight times and appearing in every game but one over the course of the season. He played 19.1 minutes per night, shooting 42% overall and 43% from long distance. He scored 5.9 points with two rebounds per contest. In a 129-97 Heat win against the Minnesota TimberWolves on November 2nd, he scored 17 points with six rebounds. Miami clinched the second seed with a 58-24 record before advancing to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Jones appeared in 12 postseason contests. On May 1st, he racked up 25 points, shooting five-of-seven three pointers in a 99-90, game one win over the Boston Celtics.
In 2011-12, Jones played in 51 games, starting 10 times at shooting guard. He scored 3.6 points with one rebound per appearance, shooting 38% from the field overall and 40.4% from three point distance. He scored in double figures three times, helping the Heat to a 37-14 record in his appearances. On April 8th, he scored 18 points on six-of-eight three point shooting with four steals in a 98-75 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Miami posted a strike-shortened 46-20 win-loss record, earning the second seed and eventually winning the franchise's second NBA title. Jones appeared 20 times through the playoffs, scoring a total of 51 points with 20 rebounds.
2012-13 would see Jones' role further reduced, appearing 38 times off the bench for 5.8 minutes per game. He shot 34.4% overall and hit 16-of-53 three point attempts (.302), totaling 60 points, 22 rebounds, and 13 assists through the campaign. Miami took the top overall seed in the playoffs, going 66-16 before claiming their second consecutive NBA title, and third overall. Jones appeared in nine games total, scoring nine points in 33 minutes. He is currently signed through the upcoming season.
All-Time HEATline: Five seasons, 246 games, 14.5 minutes, 4.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 10.1 PER, 10.7 win shares.
25. John Salley
John Salley was a four year starter for the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets. A 6'11" center from Brooklyn, NY, the "Spider" is perhaps best known for being an integral part of the great Detroit Pistons teams of the late 80's that won two championships. Born on May 16th, 1964, he played 125 games in college, scoring 12.7 points with 6.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest, graduating with the Class of 1986. The Pistons chose him with a first round pick they had previously acquired from the Sacramento Kings, 11th overall. In six seasons with the Pistons, he had a franchise fifth-best 709 blocks, and appeared in 459 regular season contests. During the 1992 offseason, the Pistons traded him to the Heat for Isaiah Moris and a draft pick (Lindsey Hunter). With Salley, Miami also took on his six-year, $13,733,000 contract, in its second year.
In Salley's first season with Miami, he played 51 games, starting 34. He shot 50.2% from the field in 27.9 minutes per game. He put up 8.3 points with 6.1 rebounds (team third), 1.6 assists, and a team leading 1.4 blocks per game. Miami went 21-30 with him in the lineup, with 21 games in double figures and five double doubles. On November 20th, he scored 13 points with 11 rebounds, three blocks, three helpers, and two steals in a 129-128, three overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The next night, in a 123-111 Miami loss to the Charlotte Hornets, he scored 20 points on eight-of-11 shooting, adding a season high eight assists with three rebounds. He scored a season high 23 points on eight-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds, two steals and two assists on February 9th in a 106-105 win over the Pistons. In a 116-107 loss to the Hornets on February 12th, he scored 18 points with 11 rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. Miami missed the playoffs by five games with a 36-46 record.
In 1993-94, Salley started 45 times at power forward and 31 more times off the bench. He scored 7.7 points per game on 47.7% shooting, adding 5.4 rebounds (team fourth), 1.8 assists and one block (team second). He collected six double doubles and had 24 games in double digit points. On December 11th, in a 111-80 win over the Boston Celtics, he collected 13 rebounds, scoring seven points with six assists, four steals, and two blocks. On December 30th, he shot eight-of-12, scoring 20 points with 16 rebounds and two steals in a 108-100 loss to the Orlando Magic. In April 11th, in a 99-97 loss to the Hornets, he scored 21 points with 11 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists. The Heat earned the last seed by going 42-40 before losing three-games-to-two in the opening round to the Atlanta Hawks. Salley led the Heat with 40.2 minutes per game on the floor, averaging 11 points, eight rebounds, and one block.
1994-95 would see Salley average 26.1 minutes per game, appearing 75 times with 50 starts at center. He scored 7.3 points per game on 49.9% shooting, with 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and a team leading 1.3 blocks. He scored 10 or more points on 22 occasions with three double doubles and helped the Heat to a 28-47 record while in the lineup. In a 109-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on November 16th, he set season highs with 21 points and with 12 rebounds. Miami finished well out of the hunt at 32-50.
Salley split the following season between the Toronto Raptors (25 games) and the Chicago Bulls (17 games), where he earned his third ring. He played in Greece in 1996-97 before retiring for two seasons. He came back to play for the Los Angeles Lakers for 45 games in 1999-00, helping the team to win a championship (his fourth). He has since appeared in all manners of pop culture, in movies, game shows, reality shows, and as a co-host on The Best Damn Sports Show.
All-Time HEATline: Three seasons, 202 games, 26.2 minutes, 7.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.2 blocks, 12.0 PER, 11.1 win shares.