Yesterday the Heat added a couple more players to their quickly filling roster. Zydrunas Ilgauskas has committed to joining the Heat and Juwan Howard is on the verge of signing as well. Ilgauskas is going to get a lot more playing time, and he may end up starting at center for the Heat. Howard is going to add depth to a front line that currently includes Z, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and probably Joel Anthony and/or Jamaal Magloire.
Ilgauskas came right out and said that he picked Miami because he felt playing here would give him the best shot at winning a title. The deal will be a 2-year, $2.8 million contract with the 2nd year being a player option. That way, should the Heat come right out and win the NBA championship this coming season, he can retire, stay with the Heat and chase back to back titles or opt out and maybe return to Cleveland to finish his career. Who knows.
For now, he is ours...and that's fine by me. What we're getting is a 35-year old center who should flourish when surrounded by the cast of characters on the Heat's roster. He'll shoot between 45-50% from the field and will stretch the D with his range. We might see him hit a few treys here and there as well. Defensively what he lacks in speed he can make up for with experience, and should average over a block a game.
In Juwan Howard the Heat are getting another veteran who is looking to win a ring. He proved last season that he still has a bit of basketball left in his system, stepping up and playing some very good minutes for an injury depleted Portland front line.
To give you an idea of what he is capable of at this point of his career, here are his stats from last season: He averaged 6.0 points on 50.4% shooting, grabbing 4.6 boards and 2.7 assists in 22 minutes a game. Also, he was ranked 16th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per 48 minutes. How's that sound for your probable 3rd string power forward?
I'll quickly mention the Mike Miller situation from earlier. It was reported that teams are pressuring him to sign elsewhere, and that Miller even said his deal with the Heat was not yet done. Later on it came out of ‘Camp Miller' that he fully plans on signing with the Heat and that the hold-up was due to a ‘completion of physicals and other paperwork'. No worries, folks.
SUMMER LEAGUE UPDATE
After a late three-pointer saved the Heat in their first Summer League game, they were burned by one last night. Brian Chase hit a long trey with 12.6 seconds left, putting the Warriors up for good in a low-scoring forgettable game.
For the Heat, Kenny Hasbrouck had his 2nd straight good game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-3 from downtown. In the two Summer League games, he has hit 15-of-25 from the field and led the Heat in both points and minutes.
Jarvis Varnado had another solid game, scoring 9 points and grabbing 6 boards while adding a block (of course) in 20 minutes. Dexter Pittman is still finding his way, but turnovers and fouls are making the adjustment difficult. In the two games Pittman has scored 12 points on 2-of-10 shooting, with 7 rebounds, 8 personal fouls and 7 turnovers in about 20 minutes a game.
Jon Scheyer started the game strong but had to be taken to a local hospital after sustaining a lacerated right eyelid. Hopefully the injury doesn't keep him out long because I was really hoping he'd impress during Summer League and win one of the final spots on the roster. At this point though, it seems Kenny Hasbourck is the favorite to make the squad.
Next game is tonight at 10:30 against Detroit.