Miami’s 21st season would see the Heat make a triumphant return to the playoffs with a 43-39 record - good enough for third place in the Southeast Division and a fifth-seed in the opening round of the postseason. Although the team lost in the first round, in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks, they did welcome a host of new faces to the team - but not the Top Star.
Dwyane Wade 2047.4
Wade was far and away the First Star for the 2008-09 Heat, nearly tripling the Second Star’s cumulative GameScore. He led the NBA with a 36.2% usage rate, racked up a league-third 14.7 Win Shares, rated at an NBA-third 9.7 VORP, and finished the season with a career-high and NBA-second 30.4 PER (LeBron James was first, with a 31.7). He finished third in the NBA MVP vote, was Player of the Week three times, the Player of the Month in December and in February, made his fifth straight all-star game, and for the first time was named to the All-NBA First Team. He was Miami’s First Star for the fifth straight season and appeared in the Five Stars in all six of his seasons to that point.
Wade led the NBA in field goal attempts, with 1,739 and made an NBA leading 854 of them, shooting .491 overall and a career best .317 from deep, making 88-of-278 three-pointers. He shot .765 from the stripe, ranking second in the league in attempts and in free throws made, going 590-of-771 and averaging an NBA-leading 30.2 points per game, also leading the league with 2,386 cumulative points. He was ninth in the NBA with 3,048 total minutes played for an NBA-sixth 38.6 minutes per game.
Wade also averaged a career-best and team-leading and NBA-eighth 7.5 assists per game, also leading the team with an NBA-seventh 589 total helpers. He led the Heat with an NBA-second 173 steals (an NBA-second 2.2 per game), 106 blocks (1.3 per game), and was third on the team with 398 rebounds (5.0 per game).
Flash totaled 20 double-doubles through Miami’s season, scoring 20 or more points 71 times, 30 or more points 39 times, 40 ore more 13 times, and topped 50 on three occasions. He also had 15 or more assists two times. In his worst game of the season (by GameScore), he scored 17 points with five assists in a 102-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. On February 28th, Wade led Miami to a 120-115 win over the New York Knicks by sinking 16-of-29 from the field and making all 12 of his foul shots for 46 points, with 10 assists, eight rebounds, four blocks and four steals. On March 9th, he played 50 minutes in a two-overtime 130-127 win against the Chicago Bulls, scoring 48 points on 15-of-21 shooting, with 12 helpers, six boards, four steals and three blocked shots. On April 12th, he scored a season-high 55 points with nine rebounds and four assists in a 122-105 win against the Knicks.
In Miami’s seven-game series loss to the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, Wade continued to lead the Heat in most statistical categories, with 1.2 Win Shares, a 37.2% usage rate, a 26.3 PER, 40.7 minutes per game, 29.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks. On May 1st, as the Heat took a 98-72 win to tie the series at three games apiece, Wade scored 41 points with five rebounds.
Michael Beasley 767.9
Beasley, or B-Easy, is a 6’9”, 235 lb. forward from Frederick, Maryland. Born on January 9th, 1989, he averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds in his only collegiate season at Kansas State. The Heat chose him in the first round of the 2008 NBA Entry Draft, with the second pick off the board (after Derrick Rose and before O.J. Mayo and Russell Westbrook).
As a rookie, Beasley ranked second on the team with 81 appearances, starting 19 times as a power forward for Miami. He was fourth on the team with 2,009 minutes played, second with 1,123 points scored, second with 439 rebounds, and fifth with 83 assists, 41 steals, and 37 blocks. He shot 452-for-957 from the field for a .472 success rate, and made 33-of-81 three-pointers for a long-distance mark of .407, second on the team by a sliver to Chris Quinn (.409). Beasley also made 186-of-241 from the foul line.
Beasley was one of only four players on the Heat to finish with a PER above the league average of 15.0, with a team-second 17.2 mark. His 27.7% usage rate was also second on the team, and his 3.4 Win Shares ranked fifth. Somehow, he ranked dead-last on the club with a surprising -1.2 VORP. He averaged 24.8 minutes and scored 13.9 points with 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
Going by GameScore, Beasley had 34 games worse than Wade’s worst game of the 2008-09 campaign. He had eight double-doubles, 58 games in double figures, and 16 contests where he totaled at least 20 points. On November 7th, in a 99-83 win over the San Antonio Spurs, he scored 20 points with eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a pair of blocks. He scored a season-high 28 points on March 4th, hitting 10-of-16 in 27 minutes off the bench as the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns, 135-129. He also had nine boards and two steals in the effort. On April 12th, he went 12-of-19 from the field, including all three of his three-pointers for 28 points, with 16 rebounds in the same game that Wade dropped 55 on the New York Knicks in a 122-105 win.
Beasley was less efficient in the postseason, putting up 12.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 blocks per game over the seven games against the Hawks.
Mario Chalmers 766.0
Chalmers was a 6’2”, 190 lb. point guard from Anchorage, Alaska. Thus far, “Super Mario” is the only NBA player in history to hail from our northernmost state. He played three seasons of collegiate ball with the Kansas Jayhawks, and scored an average of 12.2 points with 4.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds over 110 contests. He was named as the 2007-08 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (see video). The Heat chose him in the second round of the 2008 NBA Entry Draft with the 34th overall pick.
Although his rookie counterpart Beasley got most of the press, Chalmers finished just 1.9 cumulative GameScore points behind him, and led the Heat with an NBA-leading 82 games, all starts at point guard. He was second on the team with 2,626 minutes on the floor, and totaled a team-third 818 points, a team-second 403 assists, a team-second 160 steals, and a team-fifth 228 rebounds. He was fifth on the team with a 13.3 PER, racked up a team-second 1.8 VORP, ranked third on the team with 5.2 Win Shares, and clocked in with a surprisingly low 16.3% usage rate.
Chalmers averaged 10.0 points per game for the Heat as a rookie, and played a team-fourth 32.0 minutes with 4.9 assists, an NBA-fourth 2.0 steals, and 2.8 rebounds per game. He also gave the Heat another deep threat, making 114-of-311 from outside (.367). Chalmers made 278-of-662 field goals overall (.420) and 148-of-193 from the line (.767).
Rio scored in double figures in 40 contests, scoring 20 or more points five times. On November 24th, in a 107-98 loss to the Houston Rockets, he scored a team-high tying 23 points with six assists, four rebounds and four steals. On December 30th, he scored 21 points on seven-of-nine shooting, making six-of-seven from outside and adding eight assists, three steals and three rebounds in a 105-94 win against the 26-5 LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. On February 8th, in a 96-92 triumph against the Charlotte Bobcats, he scored 16 points with 13 helpers, two steals and two rebounds.
Chalmers postseason output would see his PER dip to 11.2, and score 7.3 points with 3.3 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.2 rebounds in 33.0 minutes per contest. His best game of the playoffs was on April 25th, in Miami's Game Three 107-78 dismantling of the Hawks, when he scored 15 points with five rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Udonis Haslem 723.2
Haslem continued to show his value to Miami in 2008-09, finishing in the Five Stars for the fifth straight season. He was third on the team with 2,560 minutes on the floor, and led Miami with a .518 shooting percentage by making 333-of-643 field goal attempts. He also made 128-of-170 free throws (.753).
Haslem appeared in 75 games for Miami, starting each of them at power forward. He was fourth on the team with 794 points, led the team with 618 rebounds (and with 169 on the offensive boards), and pitched in with a team-fourth 85 assists, a Heat-fourth 43 steals, and 25 blocked shots.
Haslem averaged 10.6 points per appearance, playing a club-third 34.1 minutes. He also averaged 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He posted a 13.1 PER with a 14.7% usage rate, a team-second 5.7 Win Shares, and a 0.2 VORP.
Haslem racked up 20 double-doubles for the season, scoring in double figures 49 times. In the season opener, he scored 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds as the Heat were defeated by the New York Knicks, 120-115. By GameScore, his best performance of the season was on December 1st, in a 130-129 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors. Haslem played 41 minutes and scored 21 points on eight-for-11 shooting, with 13 rebounds, two helpers and two blocks. On March 28th, he drained eight-of-nine shots to score 16 points with 12 boards, two helpers and two steals in a 102-85 win against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Haslem stepped up in the playoffs, putting up a 15.0 PER by averaging 8.4 points with 8.7 rebounds in 29.1 minutes per game. He put up two double-doubles over the seven-game series, including 12 points and 13 rebounds on April 25th in Miami's 29-point win in Game Three over the Hawks.
Shawn Marion 473.5
Marion was a 6'7", 220 lb. forward from Waukegan, Illinois. Born on May 7th, 1978, he averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his lone collegiate season with the UNLV Runnin' Rebels before getting selected in the first round of the 1999 NBA Entry Draft by the Phoenix Suns, with the ninth overall choice.
Marion played eight and a half seasons with the Suns, making the All Star team four times while averaging 18.4 points with 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 37.8 minutes per game over 660 contests. He’s fourth on Phoenix’s all-time leaderboard with 12,134 points, third with 894 blocked shots, and second with 6,616 rebounds. On February 6th, 2008, in the second half of Miami’s 15-67 season, the Heat sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Suns with Marcus Banks. In 16 games with Miami to close out the season, he scored 14.3 points with 11.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
Marion started in 41 of his 42 appearances for the Heat at small forward, and averaged 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 36.1 minutes per game. One of just four Heat players with an “above average” PER for the season, he ranked third on the team at 15.7. He had a team-fourth 3.6 Win Shares, a team-third 1.2 VORP, and a usage rate of just 16.7%.
Marion totaled 505 points for Miami in 1,516 minutes. He was fourth on the club with 365 rebounds, and also helped out with 77 assists, 57 steals, and 45 blocks. He only made eight-of-40 shots from downtown for a .200 three-point shooting percentage, but made 215-of-466 overall from the field (.482). He was 67-of-85 from the line (.788).
Marion earned a double-double in more games than he didn’t, turning the trick 22 times. He finished in double figures 52 times, including eight times with 20 or more, and collected 15 or more rebounds five times. On November 22nd, in a 109-100 win against the Indiana Pacers, he scored 18 points with nine rebounds, six steals, and four assists. Just 10 days later, in Miami’s one-point overtime win against the Warriors, he finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and two helpers. His best game of the season for the Heat came on January 9th, when he totaled 25 points on nine-of-16 shooting, with 13 boards, two assists and two steals as the Heat dropped a 108-97 decision to the Denver Nuggets.
Exactly one year and one week after trading for Marion, the Heat sent him on (again with Marcus Banks) to the Toronto Raptors for Jamario Moon, Jermaine O’Neal, and two draft picks (De’Sean Butler and Jonas Valanciunas). After 27 games to close out the season with the Raptors (37.6 minutes, 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals), Marion spent five seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (361 games, 30.4 minutes, 11.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals) before ending his career with the 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers (57 games, 19.3 minutes, 4.8 points, 3.5 rebounds). He retired following Cleveland’s NBA Finals series loss to the 2015 NBA Champion Warriors.
Daequan Cook 407.2
Jermaine O’Neal 316.5
Chris Quinn 266.1
Joel Anthony 200.0
Jamario Moon 171.4
James Jones 160.5
Jamaal Magliore 143.5
Yakhouba Diawara 114.5
Mark Blount 38.6
Luther Head 36.8
Marcus Banks 30.6
Dorell Wright 6.6
Shaun Livingston 5.0