Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive where we dig into the box score of each Heat game and pick apart the numbers under the numbers. The top five players are the Five Stars, regardless of which team they player for. I used the GameScore metric, with a slight adjustment for plus/minus to help rank the players. This article is about Miami’s four-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on December 23rd.
Anthony Davis (NOP) 29.4
Davis played 36 minutes for the Pelicans and racked up the fifth highest GameScore from across the NBA on Friday night. He scored 28 on 10-of-17 shooting, including two-of-three from outside and six-of-nine from the foul line. Seven of his 22 rebounds were pulled off the offensive glass, and he added four blocks, an assist, a steal, and a Pelican’s starter’s-leading plus-4 rating. He also had a game-high estimated PER of 29.4.
We had a lot of miscommunication on defense, but we had a whole other quarter left. We always play to the end, no matter what the score is. Coach just told us, “We got to make a run,” we ended up pulling it off. - Davis
Jrue Holiday (NOP) 17.1
Holiday had an estimated 23.7 PER in just 26 minutes, scoring 22 points on a nine-for-17 performance. New Orlean’s starting point guard, Holiday made one-of-two from outside the arc and three-of-five from the stripe, with six helpers, two defensive boards, two steals and a minus-2 rating.
Goran Dragic (MIA) 14.6
In Dragic’s 14th time in the Five Stars, he led the Heat with 23 points, scored on a 10-for-17 night. He made half of his four three-point shot attempts and just one-of-three foul shots, with a team-best five dimes, four defensive boards, a 15.9 estimated PER, and a minus-5 rating in 33 minutes.
I feel like we controlled the game for 35 minutes and then they came out really aggressive and they played excellent defense. We didn’t execute and in the end we fell short, no excuses. We need to do more. - Dragic
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 10.2
Whiteside earned a double-double for the Heat in 35 minutes on the floor, but just barely. He totaled just 10 points on four-of-10 shooting, making two-of-six from the foul stripe along with 18 rebounds (seven offensive). Whiteside rejected two shots and dished out two helpers, closing out with a minus-8 rating and a 10.5 estimated PER.
We’ve been in so many of these close games. Our guys really care. It’s kind of disappointing that we are not able to get the result. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Tyreke Evans (NOP) 8.1
Evans didn’t have a good game by any stretch, earning the Fifth Star simply by being better than whoever was left after each team’s top two players. In 14 minutes, he made one-of-seven shots, including one-of-two from three-point distance. He totaled seven points, by adding his four-for-four performance from the foul line. He added five defensive rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a plus-7 rating for a 20.8 estimated PER. I guess scoring isn’t everything.
Derrick Williams (MIA) 5.3
After Anthony Davis, Williams had the highest remaining estimated PER in the game, with a mark of 23.9. He made two-of-three shots including a made three pointer, along with five rebounds and an assist in just eight minutes.
Tim Frazier (-0.8), Buddy Hield (-0.9), and Solomon Hill (-1.0)
This trio of Pelicans totaled eight points in 51 minutes on the floor, making three-of-18 shots with seven boards, two assists, and two steals.
Five Star Standings
Hassan Whiteside 158
Goran Dragic 85
Tyler Johnson 67
Dion Waiters 34
James Johnson 29
Justise Winslow 16
Josh Richardson 11