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Miami Heat Playoff Series Recap: Player Scorecards, Part 2

The Heat-Celtics series recap continues with a look at the rest of the playoff roster and how they individually fared. For Part 1 of the recap, including analysis on Dwyane Wade, Jermaine O'Neal and Mario Chalmers, click right here. Quentin Richardson/Dorell Wright: The Heat’s two small forwards (and Wade’s closest friends on the team along with Udonis Haslem) had a decent series and even though it was one of the weaker positions coming into the regular season the two managed to up their value in contract years. Neither was expected much from the two when Richardson was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Mark Blount but having Quentin start was a decision that provided immediate dividends with his perimeter defense (which was atrocious last year) and gave the Heat a reliable shooter which was needed even before Daequan Cook was put in deep freeze. In addition it freed Wright to thrive in the second unit with his ballhandling, improved 3-point and free throw shooting and some tenacious D with those long arms. Almost all of this at some point or another was on display during the playoff series against Boston but the trouble was that it was inconsistent throughout. Quentin put up some great shooting numbers in game 1 (15 points, 3-6 three point shooting) and game 4 (20 points, 4-6 three point shooting) but only 14 points in the other three games combined and only 4 of 5 free throws total for the series isn’t going to cut it for that position of need in the playoffs. His defense against Paul Pierce was average, not enough to nullify Pierce but also good enough to prevent Pierce from really hurting the Heat by himself (the rest of the team helped him dominate the series). Although the two seemed to be more interested in showing up the other instead of just concentrating on the games at hand, at the very least it was enough to rattle Pierce off his game at times. Wright is a different story. While he was also plagued with inconsistency, Wright did a lot of the little things and hustle plays that don’t really translate into a box score. His ballhandling was sorely needed with Arroyo’s ineffectiveness as well. Unfortunately, coach Erik Spoelstra decided not to use Wright as much as he could have and Wright’s average of 22.2 minutes, while a slight increase over his regular season average of 20.8, could have arguably been increased seeing as how he could have been plugged in for longer stretches in a "point forward" role instead of forcing the issue with Arroyo for as long as he did. Final score: 6.5 Joel Anthony: Had a disappointingly pedestrian series against the Boston, which may not have been so crucial to the Heat’s chances if it wasn’t for the fact that Jermaine O’Neal was a detriment to his team. Anthony may be one of the last NBA players you can turn to for offensive help so the Celtics were free to concentrate on Wade and pack the paint without worrying about any production from that spot throughout the entire series. What Anthony does well, blocking or altering shots and grabbing rebounds, was on short display in the playoffs and was outplayed on both ends of the court by Boston’s bigs. While grabbing six offensive rebounds was helpful, how could he only grab 3 defensive rebounds for the entire series? Anthony may have won a chance of returning to the Heat next season but it wasn’t because of this series. While he wasn’t bad, his offensive deficiencies were more evident in light of O’Neal’s struggles and while precious few NBA teams have true centers that are difference-makers, the Heat must do whatever it can to upgrade at this position with a player that can at least be something of a threat to keep the opposing team’s defense honest and provide some more spacing for the perimeter players. Getting outhustled by Big Baby Perkins is also inexcusable when the primary reason Anthony is on the team to begin with is because of his energy and tenacity by the basket. Final score: 4 Carlos Arroyo: Completely blew his chances of returning to the Heat next year with a very poor series. We all knew he was going to get killed by Rajon Rondo and that a matchup with similarly slow-footed Mike Bibby of the Atlanta Hawks would have been preferable but his solid play during the last third of the season brought a sliver of hope that he could at least be productive to a degree against the Celtics. Not a chance. Rondo blew by him at just about every opportunity throwing the Heat’s defense out of sorts on just about every possession. His jump shot that had been so reliable during the Heat’s long winning streak at the end of the season was shaky and his lack of athleticism didn’t help the Heat in what was supposed to be an edge for the younger team. When Chalmers and Wright outplay you without doing much themselves then there isn’t much of an argument to bring him back next year, even as a reserve. The Heat would be wise to look at other options to round out the bench. Final score: 3 Udonis Haslem: An average series overall, but with Michael Beasley’s struggles (and to paraphrase the Heat’s catchphrase this season) good enough wasn’t enough. He grabbed his usual rebounds and tried his best to stop the Celtics from doing whatever they wanted in the paint but was largely ineffective for the duration of the series. More offensive production was needed than 13 field goals for the season and it seemed like he spent more time hanging his head and complaining than just playing ball. Perhaps because of his championship experience, it seemed like the coaches simply had him out there longer than Beasley just because of that rather than because of what Udonis was actually providing for the team. Reputation aside, the coaching staff put the Heat at a serious offensive disadvantage with Haslem on the floor and Beasley on the bench while Wade was also resting. Suffice to say, Haslem’s dribble-drive penetration is not part of his usual offensive repertoire for a reason. Give credit to the Celtics’ Garnett, Perkins and Davis because they made every Heat frontcourt player look bad in this series and Haslem was even more disappointing than the others precisely because of his playoff experience which didn’t make one difference for a team counting on him in light of Beasley and O’Neal having the series that they had. Final score: 5 Michael Beasley: What hasn’t been said about Beasley in this series already? For more on my thoughts about Beasley in this series and his unfair treatment at the hands of the coaching staff and the media read here. As far as his future with the team goes, that’s a full article for another day. Final score: 4