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Five Stars: 1991-92

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Miami's fourth season would see contributions from all five positions, and the Heat's first ever playoff berth.

Bimbo Coles

This offseason, we will look into the Miami Heat's past into who made the team tick over the course of their now 28-season history. I'll be doing this via the same format as I have this past season, with the Five Stars series. I used individual GameScores from each contest, and the top five cumulative GameScores represent the Five Stars. This is the fourth chapter, covering the 1991-92 season.

Miami's fourth NBA season would see the team improve by 14 wins over their third season, and post an overall 38-44 record. They had 17 instances where they earned consecutive wins, including seven times with three or more in a row and two actual honest-to-God four game winning streaks. For their troubles, they earned their first ever playoff berth with an eighth seed, which won them a first round appointment as cannon-fodder for the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.

First Star

41 Glen Rice 1230.4

Rice winds up on the Five Stars list for the third time in his first three NBA seasons, and for the first time earns the top honor in our series. He appeared in 79 games, starting all of them at small forward and leading the Heat with an NBA 10th 22.3 points per game. He was second in the league with 155 three pointers, made on 396 attempts for a .391 success rate. He had 1,765 points for Miami that season, ranking third with 394 rebounds (84 offensive), fourth on the team with 184 assists, third on the club with 90 steals, and a team fourth 35 blocked shots. Rice made 672-of-1432 shots overall and 266-of-318 free throws (.836).

Rice started to show a penchant for team leadership, as evidenced by his remarks after a 148-80 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 17th -

I don't know what we played, but it wasn't basketball.

Rice totaled five double-doubles for the Heat in their first postseason qualifying run. On January 16th, he scored 35 points for the 16-21 Heat on 12-of-17 shots in a 102-94 win over the 14-21 Washington Bullets. In a 118-101 win over the 42-27 Spurs on March 27th, Rice led the 32-38 Heat with 35 points in 41 minutes, including a seven-of-nine clinic from beyond the arc, pitching in with seven rebounds and three helpers. On April 11th, he scored a then-record 46 points on a 19-of-32 performance from the field in 42 minutes, with nine rebounds and three steals as the 36-42 Heat defeated the 20-57 Orlando Magic, 105-101.

In Miami's first postseason experience, Rice ranked second on the team with 19 points per game as the Heat dropped three straight contests to the NBA Championship-bound Chicago Bulls.

Second Star

43 Grant Long 1110.1

Long continued to display his durability in his fourth season, and was the only player to appear and start in all 82 games, at power forward. Long led the team with a career high 3,063 minutes and averaged 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, a team-best 1.7 steals, and half a block per game. He led the team amongst players with over 84 field goal attempts with a .494 success rate, making 440-of-890 field goals, including six-of-22 from deep. Long could also boast an .807 free throw conversion rate, making 326-of-404 in total. His 691 rebounds including 259 on the offensive glass, team-second in both categories, along with a team-third 225 assists, a team-second 40 blocks, and a team-best 139 steals. His 1,296 total points scored also ranked him second on the club. His point, steal, and assist total all represented career highs.

Long logged 26 double-doubles through the season, and had 18 games with 20 or more points along with 32 games with 10 or more rebounds. He had his best game of the season on February 13th, when he scored 26 points for 23-26 Miami on nine-of-11 shooting with 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a 121-119 win over the 24-24 Atlanta Hawks. On March 22nd, he put up a season-high 29 points with eight rebounds, four assists and four steals as the 30-38 Heat defeated the 30-36 New Jersey Nets by a 107-100 final score. In Miami's next game, a 105-97 win over the 11-57 Minnesota Timberwolves, Long scored 27 points on eight-of-11 shooting with 15 rebounds.

Third Star

4 Rony Seikaly 1088.7

Seikaly made his way into the Five Stars for the fourth time in his first four seasons. He collected 934 defensive rebounds over the course of the season, ranking him fourth in the NBA. He also averaged 11.8 per game, which was good for sixth in the league, and averaged 35 minutes, 16.4 points, and 1.5 blocks per game. He appeared in 79 games in total for the Heat that season, starting 78 times at center and totaling 2,800 minutes. He hit 463-of-937 shots for a team-second .489 shooting percentage. He also greatly improved his free throw percentage for the fourth consecutive season, making 370-of-505 for a mark of .733. Seikaly also totaled 109 assists, 40 steals, and a team-leading 121 blocked shots with his 1,296 total points.

Seikaly had 15 or more rebounds on 21 occasions through the seasons, and logged a double-double more often than not, 53 times in total. On December 13th, in leading the 9-11 Heat to a 112-108 win over the 6-16 Charlotte Hornets, he scored 28 points with 14 rebounds, including six off the offensive glass. Eight days later, he totaled 26 points and 13 rebounds as the 12-13 Heat defeated the 17-7 Boston Celtics, 112-101. In his best game of the season, on February 5th, he racked up 28 points, eight rebounds on each end of the floor, three assists and two blocks in a 126-124 win over Tim Hardaway and the Golden State Warriors.

Seikaly led Miami with 20.7 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in Miami's ill-fated best-of-five series versus the Chicago Bulls.

Fourth Star

12 Bimbo Coles 677.6

Vernell Eufaye Coles, otherwise known as "Bimbo," was born on April 22nd, 1968 in Covington, Virginia. a 6'1", 180 lb. point guard, he played his prep level ball at Greenbriar East in Lewisburg, WV, then joining Virginia Tech for four seasons of collegiate ball. The Sacramento Kings selected him in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft, with the 40th overall selection. Moments later, the Kings sent him to the Heat for Rory Sparrow. Coles averaged 4.9 points, 2.8 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 16.5 minutes per game for Miami as a rookie in 1990-91, and was the only player to appear in all 82 games.

In 1991-92, Coles took a big step forward from his rookie campaign. He averaged 10.1 points per game and totaled a team-fifth 816 points, starting 28 times at point guard and appearing in 81 games overall. He made 295-of-649 shots for a .455 success rate, and made 216-of-262 foul shots, ranking third on the Heat with an .824 foul shot percentage. He led the team with 366 assists, averaging 4.5 per game in just 24.4 minutes average, which was a total of 1,976 for the season. He also pitched in with 73 steals, 189 boards (69 offensive), and 13 blocked shots.

Coles put up at least 10 assists on four occasions, and scored over 20 points three times. His best game was on January 15th, when he led the 15-21 Heat to a 134-115 drubbing of the 17-17 Milwaukee Bucks with 20 points, 12 helpers, three rebounds and three steals.

Fifth Star

21 Kevin Edwards 588.6

Edwards earned the Fifth Star for the third consecutive season, and along with Rony Seikaly, was the only Heat player to appear amongst the top five for the first four seasons of the franchise. He played in 81 games at point guard for Miami, only starting once at point guard. He averaged 22.7 minutes, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, a team-second 1.2 steals, and 10.1 points per game. He made 325-of-716 shots from the field for a then-career best .454 shooting success rate, seven-of-32 three-pointers, and made a team-best 84.8% of his free throws, sinking 162-of-191 in total. He totaled 819 points, 211 rebounds, 170 assists, 99 steals, and 20 blocks overall.

Edwards' best game of the season was probably his performance on January 2nd, when he scored 26 points on seven-of-11 shooting. He made all 12 of his free-throw attempts, along with four steals and an assist as the 14-16 Heat dropped a 113-109 overtime matchup to the 15-13 Seattle SuperSonics. On February 28th, he scored 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting, grabbed six steals, and totaled four rebounds and two assists in a 108-92 loss to the 27-28 Los Angeles Clippers. The setback dropped the Heat to 27-30 on the season.

Edwards played 40 games the following season for the Heat, but did not appear again in a Five Star Heat season. He did earn a second or maybe third star for his 1993-94 campaign after signing in the 1993 offseason with the New Jersey Nets. Edwards later also made NBA appearances with the Orlando Magic and with the Vancouver Grizzlies.

The Rest

3 Steve Smith 561.5

34 Willie Burton 487.2

22 Brian Shaw 268.8

33 Alec Kessler 267.2

2 Keith Askins 169.9

53 Alan Ogg 80.6

23 John Morton 54.0

11 Sherman Douglas 28.4

00 Milos Babic 14.8

30 Winston Bennett 1.3

20 Jon Sundvold 0.8

Check back here on Friday as we continue to roll on through the Miami Heat's first 28 seasons with a look at the 1992-93 bunch. Leave some comments below, vote in our neat poll, and always keep your browser dialed in here at Hot Hot Hoops for all breaking Heat news.