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Miami Heat Player Countdown: #76-73

In today's dispatch, we reintroduce Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Christian Laettner, Malik Allen, and AC Green.

Victor Decolongon

76. Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a 7'3" center from Kaunas, Lithuania. Born on June 5th, 1975, he made his professional debut in 1994, with Atletas Kaunas. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him in the first round of the 1996 draft, with the 19th overall pick. He played 12 seasons for the Cavs, and ranks first in team history with 771 games played, 5,904 rebounds, and 1,269 blocks. He also ranks second in team history with 10,616 points scored.

When LeBron James made his "decision" to join the Heat, he talked long-time wingman Zydrunas into defecting with him. Ilgauskas played in 72 games for the Heat, starting 51 at center and shooting 50.8% from the field. He played 16 minutes per game, averaging five points, four rebounds, and just under a block. He scored in double figures 11 times, logging three double-doubles. On November 22nd, in a 93-77 loss to the Indiana Pacers, he scored 12 points with eight rebounds and four blocks. On December 8th, he scored 16 points with 10 rebounds in 26 minutes of a 111-98 Heat win over the Utah Jazz. On December 28th, in a 106-98 win over the New York Knicks, he scored 14 points with 10 rebounds in only 14 minutes, hitting six-of-eight field goals. He played in nine playoff games, scoring 32 points with 32 rebounds in 104 minutes of gametime as the Heat came up just short of their second NBA Championship. He retired following the season to spend more time with his family. He currently works for the Cavaliers as a talent evaluator and a scout.

All-Time HEATline: One season, 72 games, 15.9 minutes, 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, 12.6 PER, 3.0 win shares.

75. Christian Laettner

Christian Laettner was a 6'11" center and power forward. A native of Angola, NY, he was born on August 17th, 1969. He played for the Duke University Blue Devils for four seasons. His last three seasons would see him average 19 points, eight and a half rebounds, and two assists per game. Before getting drafted, he was selected to the 1992 NBA Dream Team, the only college player such honored. The Minnesota Timberwolves picked him in the first round of the draft, third overall behind Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning. On reflection, the first five picks of the 1992 draft played for the Heat at some point during their career, and eight of the first 12 picks (those listed above, Jim Jackson, LaPhonso Ellis, Walt Williams, Clarence Weatherspoon, and Harold Miner).

Laettner played three and a half seasons with the Wolves (276 games), also spending time with the Atlanta Hawks (186 games), the Detroit Pistons (98 games), the Dallas Mavericks (53 games), and the Washington Wizards (206 games). The Heat signed him as a free agent during the 2004 offseason for one year at $1,100,000.

In South Beach, Laettner appeared in 49 regular season contests, shooting 58.2% from the field and putting up double figures on seven occasions. On December 3rd, he scored 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting with three rebounds and two blocks in a 105-81 win against the Chicago Bulls. He played 136 minutes over 13 playoff games, scoring a total of 29 points with 25 rebounds and four steals. The Heat lost the Eastern Conference Finals to the Detroit Pistons in seven games. It was the last time he played on an NBA roster.

Later on, Laettner founded "Blue Devil Ventures" with fellow Duke alumin. He has also invested in an AAA team in the Phoenix area, and founded the Christian Laettner Basketball Academy.

All-Time HEATline: One season, 49 games, 15.1 minutes, 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 15.0 PER, 3.0 win shares.

74. Malik Allen

Malik Allen was a 6'10" power forward from Willingboro, NJ. Born on June 27th, 1978 and a graduate of Shawnee High in Medford. He played four seasons with the University of Villanova Wildcats. As a senior in 1999-00, he scored 14 points with seven and a half rebounds and an assist per game. After going undrafted, he joined the ABA's San Diego Wildfire for one season.

Allen signed a free agent contract with the Heat for two seasons and $845,252 during the 2001 offseason. He appeared in 12 games for the Heat in 2001-02, starting two at power forward. He shot 43.1% and averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. On April 12th, in a 99-94 win over the Orlando Magic, he scored 16 points on eight-of-nine shooting with five rebounds in 15 minutes of floor time. In the season finale, he started and scored 14 points with 11 rebounds in 42 minutes for his first career double-double as the Heat again defeated the Magic 103-89.

In 2002-03, Allen started 73 of his 80 appearances at power forward. He shot 42.4% from the field, scoring 10 points with five rebounds per game. He finished in double figures just over half the time, racking up five double-doubles in the process. In the season opener, he shot nine-for-13 from the floor, scoring 22 points with seven boards in a 100-88 loss to the Magic. On November 19th, in a 97-93 Heat win over the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored 16 points with 13 rebounds in 43 minutes. He scored 23 points with five rebounds on January 18th in 47 minutes of a 102-101 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Allen signed on for two more seasons for $3,460,925 before 2003 training camp. He appeared in 45 games, starting six for the Heat. He shot 41.9%, scoring 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. On January 2nd, in a 112-101 Miami win over Orlando, he scored 14 points with six rebounds. On May 10th, in game three of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, he scored 13 points with four rebounds and two blocks in a 94-87 win against the Indiana Pacers as the Heat closed to 2-1. They eventually lost, four games to two.

Allen played 14 games for Miami to start the 2004-05 campaign, improving his field goal percentage to 46.1% to the tune of six points and four rebounds per appearance. On February 24th, the Heat traded him to the Charlotte Bobcats for Steve Smith. He played 22 games with the Bobcats, later on joining the Bulls (114 games), the New Jersey Nets (48 games) the Dallas Mavericks (25 games), the Milwaukee Bucks (49 games), the Denver Nuggets (51 games) and the Magic (18 games).

All-Time HEATline: Four seasons, 151 games, 22.1 minutes, 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 11.0 PER, 3.1 win shares.

73. AC Green

AC Green, a 6'9 power forward from Portland, OR, was born on October 4th, 1963. He graduated from Benson Polytechnic in his hometown with the Class of 1981. He joined Oregon State University for four seasons, and as a senior averaged 19.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Lakers selected him in the first round of the 1985 draft, with the 23rd overall pick.

Green played in Los Angeles for eight seasons (653 games), helping the Lakers to two NBA Championships and representing the team in the 1990 all-star game. He then joined the Phoenix Suns for three and a half seasons (273 games), the Dallas Mavericks for two and a half seasons (188 games), and the Lakers again for 82 games in 1999-00. After reuniting with the team, he earned another NBA title. The Heat signed him as a free agent on Halloween, 2000.

Green played in all 82 games for Miami that season, coming off the bench in all but one contest. He shot 44.4% from the floor, averaging 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 12 times, and registered three double-doubles over his tenure. On February 15th, in a 98-91 win over the Toronto Raptors, he scored 14 points with 10 rebounds and two blocks. In the season finale, a 103-91 victory over the Orlando Magic, he scored 19 points with 14 rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 38 minutes. It was his only start of the season. During the postseason, he scored three points with five rebounds in 21 minutes spread over three games, all losses to the Chicago Bulls. He retired following the season.

Green is the owner of the NBA record for consecutive games played, with 1,192 straight. He missed three games in 1986-87, then never took another night off. He is also famous for allegedly beginning and ending his NBA career as a virgin. Green went through his entire NBA career with chronic hiccups which only stopped when he was exerting himself. Maybe that's why he never wanted to take a day off.

All-Time HEATline: One season, 82 games, 17.2 minutes, 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.1 PER, 3.2 win shares.