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Miami Heat Player Countdown: #34-33

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In today's dispatch, we review former big man Matt Geiger and long time change-of-pace small forward Dorell Wright.


34. Matt Geiger

Matt Geiger was born in Salem, MA on September 10th, 1969, and grew into a 7' center in Countryside High in Clearwater, FL. Initially, he attended college in Auburn, and played for the Tigers for two seasons. As a sophomore, he averaged 16 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He transferred to the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets for the 1990-91 season, and played another two seasons. Miami picked him with a second round pick they recieved from the Los Angeles Lakers in return for not selecting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the expansion draft, with the 42nd overall pick in the 1992 draft.

As a rookie in 1992-93, Geiger started twice at center, appearing 46 times off the bench. He shot 52.4% from the floor in 11.5 minutes per game with 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds. Miami went 19-29 with Geiger in the rotation, he finished in double digits six times. On November 27th, he scored 14 points and seven rebounds in a loss to the Houston Rockets, 101-93. On December 8th, he scored a season high 18 points with five rebounds in a 126-112 Heat win over the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat missed out on the playoffs with a 36-46 record.

Geiger appeared 72 games off the bench for the Heat in 1993-94, playing 16.7 minutes per game. He shot a career high 57.4% from the field and scored 7.2 points with 4.2 rebounds per appearance. He scored 10 or more points 17 times with four double doubles as the Heat racked up a 37-35 record with him in the game. In a 114-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets on November 27th, he scored 15 points with 13 rebounds in 35 minutes. On January 8th, he sunk nine-of-15 shots, scoring a season high 23 points with 11 rebounds in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, 109-90. He scored 22 points with 14 rebounds just four days later, in a 100-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Miami clinched the eighth seed by one game, finishing the season, 42-40. Miami lost the opening series to the Atlanta Hawks, three-games-to-two. Geiger scored one point with four rebounds in 11 minutes of action over two games.

Geiger increased all of his cumulative based statistics in 1994-95, scoring 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He played 23.1 minutes per game, starting in 43 of his 74 appearances and shooting 53.6% overall. He accumulated 11 double doubles, scored 10 or more points 25 times, and helped the Heat to a 29-45 record in his presence. In a 117-113 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on January 4th, he shot eight-of-10 field goals for 16 points, adding 10 rebounds and three blocks. On February 3rd, he scored 21 points with 12 rebounds and three blocks as Miami defeated the Washington Bullets, 105-95. The Heat finished well out of the playoff hunt, at 32-50.

Starting in 1995-96, Geiger spent two seasons with the Hornets (127 games), joining the Philadelphia 76ers for four seasons afterward (154 games) before knee injuries forced his retirement in 2002. He is currently a real estate agent in Tarpon Springs, FL.

All-Time HEATline: Three seasons, 194 games, 17.9 minutes, 7.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 14.1 PER, 8.4 win shares.

33. Dorell Wright

Dorell Wright originally from Los Angeles, CA, was born on December 2nd, 1985. The Heat drafted him right out of Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, CA in the first round of the 2004 draft, with the 19th overall pick. He signed his initial contract for three years and $3,716,040.

Wright appeared in three games as a rookie in 2004-05, scoring a total of seven points in 27 minutes. He scored all his
points in the last game of the season, playing 22 minutes and adding two assists and three steals in a 109-103 win over the Orlando Magic. Miami won all three games that Wright appeared in, and posted a 59-23 overall record for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami swept the New Jersey Nets and the Washington Wizards before losing in seven games to the Detroit Pistons. Wright did not appear.

In 2005-06, Wright started in two of his 20 appearances, playing 6.6 minutes per game and scoring 2.9 points with 1.6 rebounds. He shot 46.5% from the floor and sunk three-of-six three point attempts. Most of his impact occured in the season's final two games. In a 103-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on April 18th, he scored 19 points with seven rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. The next night, he scored 20 points with seven boards, three assists and two steals as the Boston Celtics won, 85-78. Miami went 52-30 and went on to win the NBA Championship by defeating the Chicago Bulls in six games, the Nets in five games, the Pistons in six games, and the Dallas Mavericks, also in six games. As in the season before, Wright did not play in the postseason.

2006-07 would see Wright's role increase exponentially, starting 19 times and appearing in relief 47 times. He shot 44.5% overall, scoring six points with 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Miami went 32-34 with Wright in rotation, finishing in double figures 19 times with four double doubles. In a 107-04 loss to the Orlando Magic on November 24th, he scored 12 points wtih 13 rebounds and three helpers in 38 minutes. On December 27th, he scored 17 points with 14 rebounds and four assists in a 109-103 loss to the Bulls. Two nights later, in a 91-81 loss to the Nets, he achieved season highs with 21 points, six blocks, and four steals, also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Miami made the playoffs as the fifth seed with a 44-38 record, but lost four straight in the opening round to the Bulls. Wright saw his first playoff action in game four, playing 48 seconds as the Heat were eliminated, 92-79. Wright resigned with the Heat for three more years and and $7,403,581.

Wright played 44 games in 2007-08, starting 34 times and playing 25.1 minutes per game. He scored 7.9 points on 48.8% shooting with five rebounds, 1.4 assists and nearly a block per appearance. Miami went 15-67 overall, and 7-37 with Wright. He had 13 double figure games, with four double doubles. In a 120-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors on December 7th, he scored 19 points on eight-of-14 shooting with 18 rebounds and three blocks. On December 10th, he scored 16 points with 12 rebounds, four asists and two steals in a win over the Phoenix Suns, 117-113. On February 12th, in a 114-113 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets, he scored 19 points with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Wright was limited to only six games in 2008-09, playing 73 minutes and scoring a total of 18 points with 20 rebounds. The Heat went 43-39 before getting eliminated in the opening round of the postseason by the Atlanta Hawks in seven games. Wright got into one game, playing three minutes.

In 2009-10, Wright played his last season in South Beach. He appeared in 72 games, starting once. In 20.8 minutes per game, he scored 7.1 points with 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists, shoing 46.3% from the field. For the first time, he made more than five three-point shots on the season, hitting 61-of-157 (.389). The Heat went 40-32 with Wright, as he finished 22 games in double figures. His best showing of the season was February 23rd, when he hit six of his seven three-point attempts, scoring a season high 26 points with seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals in a loss to the Minnesota TimberWolves, 91-88 (see below). The Heat lost four out of five games to the Boston Celtics to open the playoffs. Wright scored 25 points with 19 rebounds and nine assists.

Dorell Wright magic night 20 pts (clutch shot in 4th quarter, 8 pts in OT) vs Miami Heat 01/10/2012 (via dorell15)

Wright signed with the Golden State Warriors before 2010-11, establishing himself as one of the NBA's premeire three-point shooting specialists. In his first season there, he led the league with 516 attempts and with 194 made. He played a total of 143 games there, joining the Philadelphia 76ers last season (79 games). He is currently in a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

All-Time HEATline:
Six seasons, 211 games, 19.5 minutes, 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks,
13.4 PER, 8.4 win shares.