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Five Stars: Opening Night

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At the dawning of a new era of Heat basketball, three returning players stood out.

NBA: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a series of articles where we use the GameScore metric to see how everyone measured up in each Heat game through the season. Players are rated and ranked regardless of the team they play for. This article is for Miami’s season opening win over the Orlando Magic, 108-96.

First Star

Nikola Vucevic (ORL) 19.1

Vucevic did his best in a losing effort for the Magic, scoring 17 points for Orlando in 35 minutes. He drained seven-of-14 from the field and three-of-four from the stripe, with a game-high tying 14 rebounds (five offensive). He added three assists and two steals, leading the Magic with an even plus-minus rating.

Second Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 16.0

Johnson took a good first step on the road to justifying his offseason megadeal, coming off the bench to shoot seven-of-11 from the field. He missed his only three pointer and made his only foul shot in 28 minutes of gametime. He also had six rebounds, three assists, and two steals with a plus-3 rating.

Third Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 15.9

Whiteside picked up right where he left off last regular season, with a double double and a series of impressive blocks. Starting at center, he played 30 minutes and scored 18 points with 14 rebounds (four offensive). He made nine-of-16 shots and missed all four of his free throws, bringing up uncomfortable memories of his historic lack of success from the line up through last season’s all-star break. Whiteside had a plus-5 rating, four blocks, and a single assist.

Fourth Star

Evan Fournier (ORL) 13.9

Fournier, Orlando’s starter at shooting guard, played a game-high 39 minutes and scored a game-high 20 on seven-of-19 shooting. He made two-of-six from outside and four-of-seven while standing at the line, with four rebounds, four helpers, two steals and a minus-3 rating.

Fifth Star

Justise Winslow (MIA) 13.2

Winslow, who only made the Five Stars six times in all of last season, stepped up to fill the void left when Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson all left town for assorted reasons. Winslow played a Heat-high 33 minutes, scoring 15 points on seven-of-15 shooting (including three embarrassing air-balls). He made his lone foul shot and missed both of his three-pointers, with eight rebounds (three offensive), four assists, two blocks, and one steal, with a game-high tying plus-15 rating (with Rodney McGruder).

Notable

Willie Reed (MIA) had the highest GameScore per minute on the team, finishing with a value of 11.8 in just 17 minutes. He made five-of-six from the field, grabbed three rebounds, dished out an assist and blocked one shot.

Wednesday’s Worst

Orlando’s Mario Hezonja played 14 minutes, and laid an egg by going just one-of-five from the field and making one-of-two from the line for a game-low GameScore of 2.2

Seasonal Standings

Tyler Johnson 8
Hassan Whiteside 6
Justise Winslow 2

Next up for the Heat, their home-opener on Friday night, against the Charlotte Hornets. In the meantime, you can always check out HHH for everything you could possibly want to know about your favorite Miami-based NBA basketball team.