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Five Stars: 1999-00

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Miami finished with their fourth straight Atlantic Division title in 1999-00.

Hornets v Heat X Majerle

In Miami’s 12th season, the Heat continued to dominate the Atlantic Division, winning their fourth consecutive division title with a 52-30 regular season record and the second seed in the postseason. After making quick work of the Detroit Pistons in four straight games to open the playoffs, the Heat ran into Miami’s natural enemy in the New York Knicks, who defeated the good guys in seven games. Still, it was a pretty good time to be a Heat fan (but isn’t it always?)

First Star

33 Alonzo Mourning 1547.2

Mourning continued to rack up the accolades in 1999-00, his eighth NBA season. He made the All Star squad for the fifth time, won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the second season in a row, and made the NBA All-Defensive first team and the All-NBA second team, finishing third in the NBA MVP Award vote. He led the league with a career high 294 blocks and with 3.7 blocks per game.

Mourning also had a career-high 1,718 points, shooting at a .551 clip by making 652-of-1184 shots from the field. His .711 success rate from the foul line would represent his best figure as a member of the Heat, making 414-of-582 overall. He started 78 games for the Heat at center, appearing in 79 total. He again led the team in rebounds, with 753, with a team-second 215 offensive boards to his credit. He also had 123 dimes and 40 steals.

Mourning’s per-game figures also led Miami for the most part, with 21.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and a team-third 34.8 minutes. He finished all but 10 of his 79 appearances with a double-digit GameScore, with 38 double-doubles, 51 games of 20 or more points, eight games with 15 or more rebounds, and 28 games with five or more blocks.

On December 10th, Mourning led the Heat to a 107-97 win over the surprisingly good Sacramento Kings (12-5), with 37 points on 15-of-23 shooting, with 11 rebounds and a staggering eight blocked shots. On February 4th, he scored 32 points on a nine-of-13 night, making all 14 of his free throw attempts, pulling down seven boards, and rejecting seven shots in a 99-92 Miami win over the Washington Wizards. His best game of the season was on February 23rd, in a 99-85 victory over the New Jersey Nets. Mourning scored 43 points by making 13-of-14 shots from the field and 17-of-24 from the line, with 16 rebounds (seven offensive) and five blocks to help take down New Jersey. On March 12th, the Heat defeated the 43-20 Indiana Pacers, 105-96 behind 35 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks from the big man.

Mourning provided pretty much the same stat line for the Heat in the postseason, starting all 10 games and averaging 21.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots in 37.6 minutes. His highest playoff GameScore from the 2000 tournament came in Miami’s Game Seven 83-82 loss to the New York Knicks, when he played 46 minutes and scored 29 points with 13 rebounds and five blocks in defeat.

Second Star

24 Jamal Mashburn 977.6

Mashburn earned his second Five Star nod in his fourth and final season with Miami, starting 76 times for the Heat at small forward. He led the team with 2,828 minutes on the court, and ranked second with 1,328 points, fourth with 381 rebounds (64 offensive), third with 298 assists, and third with 79 steals.

Mashburn shot 515-of-1158 (.445) overall and made 40.3% of his long distance bombs, making 112-of-278 from deep. He drained 186-of-239 from the foul stripe (.778) to average 17.5 points per game. He had four double-doubles, scored 20 or more points 31 times, and would have finished in the individual game Five Stars an estimated 44 times if I had been blogging way back then.

On November 11th, in a 128-105 win over Mashburn’s first team, the Dallas Mavericks, he scored a game- and personal season-high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, making three triples and grabbing five boards. On January 31st, he hit 10-of-14 shots, including a perfect three-for-three from outside in a 104-82 win against the Detroit Pistons. He also had eight rebounds and six assists in the game. On February 9th, in a 115-100 victory against the Golden State Warriors, Mashburn scored 26 points with seven rebounds and seven assists.

In the playoffs, Mashburn scored 17.5 points with 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He made his biggest impact in the postseason opener against the Detroit Pistons, scoring 29 points with five helpers and four boards as the Heat won, 95-85 on their way to a three-game sweep.

During the 2000 offseason, the Heat traded Mashburn with PJ Brown, Rodney Buford, Tim James and Otis Thorpe to the Charlotte Hornets for Ricky Davis, Dale Ellis, Eddie Jones and Anthony Mason. “Monster Mash” played four seasons with the Hornets franchise, two in Charlotte and two in New Orleans before injuries curtailed his career. In 2002-03, he would make his first and only appearance in the All Star game. He averaged 21.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game over 217 contests with the Hornets.

Third Star

42 PJ Brown 734.4

Brown played four seasons in Miami, concluding in the 1999-00 campaign, and he finished amongst Miami’s top four players each time, including three times as the Heat’s Third Star.

Brown led Miami with 80 games, playing a total of 2,302 minutes and starting each time for the Heat at power forward, and also led the club with 216 offensive rebounds. He scored a Heat-third 764 points, with a team-second 600 rebounds, a team-fifth 145 assists, a team-second 61 blocks, and a team-fourth 65 steals. He was the only player on the team to finish in the top five in each of the main five statistical categories.

Brown shot .480 from the field, making 322-of-671 overall (he missed his only three-point attempt) and .755 from the charity stripe, sinking 120-of-159 freebies. He averaged 28.8 minutes, 9.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.

Brown posted 18 double-doubles for Miami that season, scoring 20 or more points three times. On December 14th, Brown scored a season-high 25 points with 13 rebounds and three assists in a 92-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks. He scored 19 points with 10 rebounds and four assists on January 16th, in a 94-83 win against the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Brown started in all 10 of Miami’s playoff matchups, and put up 7.5 points with 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. His best game was Miami’s Game Three, 77-76 road win over the Knicks, when he scored 14 points with 12 rebounds in 42 minutes.

After the season, Brown was shipped off to the Hornets in the aforementioned Mashburn trade. Brown played six seasons for the Charlotte/New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, averaging 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 475 regular season games. He spent 2006-07 with the Chicago Bulls (72 games) before finally taking home a ring in his final season, with the then-World Champion Boston Celtics.

Fourth Star

9 Dan Majerle 598.0

“Thunder Dan” Majerle was a 6’6”, 215 lb. shooting guard and small forward from Traverse City, Michigan. Born on September 9th, 1965, he was the first round selection of the Phoenix Suns in the 1988 NBA Draft, 14th overall out of Central Michigan University.

Thunder played seven seasons in Phoenix, making three All Star teams and averaging 14.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.4 steals over 530 regular season games. Over his last four seasons with the Suns, Majerle played in every game but two, totaling 377 contests including the playoffs. The Suns traded him with Antonio Lang and a draft pick (Brevin Knight) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for John “Hot Rod” Williams. Majerle played in every game for the Cavs and averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists off the bench for them. Cleveland released him after the season closed, and Miami signed him to a five-year, $16,650,000 deal.

Majerle was a good role player for his first three Heat seasons, starting 96 of his 156 appearances and shooting at a 40.9% success rate for 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, but he didn’t really put it all together for the Heat until 1999-00.

The 34-year-old Majerle started in each of his 69 total appearances for the Heat that season at shooting guard, ranking third on the team with 2,308 minutes on the floor. He scored 506 points, grabbed a team-fifth 333 boards, dished out a team-fourth 298 helpers, and snatched a team-third 79 steals.

Majerle averaged 7.3 points per game for Miami, with 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.4 minutes. He made 170-of-422 shots from the field (.403), 110-of-304 from outside (.362), and 56-of-69 from the foul line (.812).

Majerle’s two best games of the season came back-to-back for Miami in January. On the 8th, he scored 20 points with six rebounds and two assists in a 90-89 loss to the New Jersey Nets, then three days later, he scored a season-high 33 points on 11-of-13 shooting, including an incredible nine-of-10 from three-point distance along with five rebounds, five assists, and two steals as the Heat defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 116-106.

Majerle scored 9.0 points with 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game over Miami’s 10 postseason contests, including three double-doubles (he had zero through the regular season). In Miami’s Game Four, 91-83 loss to the Knicks, Majerle scored 13 points with 12 rebounds and four steals.

Majerle played another season with the Heat, playing just over a half per game and shooting just .336 from the field. During the 2001 offseason, he signed with Phoenix to close out his career where he started it. He later went into broadcasting, then eventually gravitated to the sideline, where he served as a Suns’ assistant coach from 2008 through 2013. He currently serves as a head coach with the Grand Canyon University Antelopes.

Fifth Star

10 Tim Hardaway 582.3

Hardaway was slowed by knee problems in 1999-00, and thus only appeared in 52 games for Miami, starting each of them at point guard. He still managed to lead the Heat with 385 assists. He played 1,672 minutes and scored a team-fourth 696 points, with 150 rebounds, 49 steals, and four blocked shots.

Hardaway shot 246-for-638 overall for a .386 shooting percentage, and came pretty close to matching that with a .367 three-point success rate, his highest as a member of the Heat by making 94-of-256. He also led the team with an .827 free throw rate, making 110-of-133 from the foul line. His per-game totals were down as well, with 13.4 points, 7.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and under a steal per game for the first time in his career.

Hardaway finished the season with nine double-doubles, scoring 20 or more points eight times. Over the first six games of the season, he averaged 18.5 points with eight assists, 3.8 boards and 1.5 steals, including a 32 point, five assist, five rebound performance in a 128-122 season opening win over the Detroit Pistons. On February 20th, in an 85-80 win against the Charlotte Hornets, Hardaway put up 23 points, including a six-for-eight night from outside along with 12 assists, four rebounds and two steals.

Hardaway only played in seven of Miami’s 10 postseason matchups (he missed the Pistons series), and shot a dismal .294 from the field (20-of-68) along with an even worse .206 three-point rate (seven-for-34). He had an 8.7 PER and averaged just 7.7 points with 4.7 assists and 2.1 rebounds. But Hardaway wasn’t quite done yet - so tune in next time for Miami’s 13th season, coming up sometime this week.

The Rest

35 Clarence Weatherspoon 545.9

25 Anthony Carter 480.2

21 Voshon Lenard 396.0

5 Mark Strickland 221.5

52 Otis Thorpe 174.0

12 Bruce Bowen 96.0

32 Rodney Buford 92.6

23 Rex Walters 61.8

4 Duane Causwell 49.6

6 Harold Jamison 8.6

40 Tim James 5.9