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30 Years of Heat: All-Time All-Player Countdown #84-82

Dion Waiters headlines today’s Heat Countdown.

Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

84. Dion Waiters

Waiters, a 6’4”, 225 lb. shooting guard from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was born on December 10th, 1991. After two seasons with Syracuse, during which he averaged 9.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists over 71 contests, the Cleveland Cavaliers chose him with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Waiters played 164 games over two-and-a-half seasons with the Cavs, averaging 14.3 points with 2.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per contest. He then spent a year and a half in Oklahoma City, where he scored 10.9 points with 2.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game for the Thunder, in 125 contests. Prior to the 2016-17 campaign, the Heat signed him to a one-year, $2,898,00 contract. He was inarguably the best dollar value on the team.

Waiters appeared in 46 contests for Miami, putting up 15.8 points with 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game, all career highs. He played 30.1 minutes per game, and pitched in with 0.9 steals while shooting .395 from outside.

Injuries took their toll on Waiters through the season. He missed 20 contests with a right groin injury, three games with an ankle injury, then the last 13 games of the season with a sprained right ankle.

When he did play, Waiters’ combination of speed and fearlessness, paired with Goran Dragic’s vision, led to a fiery backcourt tandem that could never be counted out. Waiters hit several game-winning three-pointers during Miami’s epic 13-game winning streak.

I mean, Waiters has an ability to electrify the home crowd that is nearly unparalleled in the annals of Heat history. The guy will shoot from everywhere, and make more than his share. During the streak, 11 games which Waiters started, he averaged 20.6 points with 4.8 helpers and 4.1 rebounds, shooting 50% from outside. That includes a stretch of nine games where he made 28-of-50.

On January 21st, he scored a season high 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including five-of-seven from deep, three rebounds and three assists in a 12-point win over the Milwaukee Bucks. In his next appearance two days later, he again racked up 33 points, including the game-winning dagger against the Golden State Warriors. He went six-of-eight from outside with five boards and four assists.

After turning down his player option with Miami for 2017-18, Waiters recently signed a four-year deal with the Heat.

Stat Line: 46 games, 30.1 minutes, .424 field goals, .395 three-pointers, .646 free throws, 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 14.5 PER, 1.6 Win Shares

Cumulative GameScore: 466.0

83. Eric Murdock

Eric Murdock was a 6'1" point guard out of Bridgewater-Raritan High School in New Jersey. Born on June 14th, 1968, the native of Somerville went to the University of Providence, starting for four seasons. He averaged 25.6 points with 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest as a senior. After graduating with the Class of 1991, the Utah Jazz selected him in the first round of the draft, with the 21st overall pick.

After playing 50 games with the Jazz as a rookie, he joined the Milwaukee Bucksfor parts of four seasons (245 games), the Vancouver Grizzlies (64 games), and the Denver Nuggets (12 games). On September 10th, 1997, he signed a one year free agent contract with Miami for $272,500.

In Miami, Murdock played in all 82 games, the second time in his career that he accomplished the feat. He shot 42.2% from the field, including 30.8% from three-point range. In 17 minutes per game, he averaged six points with two rebounds and three assists, along with 1.3 steals. He had 20 games in which he scored double digits, and on one occasion put up double digit assists. On November 3rd, in a 112-99 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, he put up 17 points with three assists, three steals, and two rebounds. He scored 15 points with five rebounds, five assists and two steals in only 14 minutes on January 17th, in a 108-99 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. On March 31st, in a 121-95 win over the Boston Celtics, he scored 11 points with eight assists in 19 minutes. The Heat went 55-27, winning the Atlantic Division with the second seed. They lost in the opening round, three-games-to-two to the New York Knicks. Murdock averaged 9.4 points, four rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes per game. Miami released him after the season.

Murdock later logged NBA experience with the New Jersey Nets (15 games) and the Los Angeles Clippers (40 games). Two seasons after his final appearance, he played with the Grand Rapids Hoops (CBA), Kinder Bologna (Italy), and with the Jersey Squires (ABA). He was the director of basketball player development at Rutgers University from 2010-2012, and is currently involved with a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school. He was dismissed from his position after having shown recordings of coach Mike Rice using homophobic slurs against school athletic director Tim Pernetti.

Stat Line: 82 games, 17.0 minutes, .422 field goals, .308 three-pointers, .801 free throws, 6.2 points, 2.7 assists, 1.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 15.7 PER, 4.1 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 470.0

82. Chris Gatling

Chris Gatling, known also as "The Energizer," was a 6'10" power forward and center from Elizabeth, NJ. Born on September 3rd, 1967, the big left-hander three seasons of collegiate ball with Old Dominion University, averging 21.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. The Golden State Warriors chose him in the first round of the 1991 draft, with the 16th overall pick.

Gatling played 311 games for the Warriors over four and a half seasons. He averaged nine points and five rebounds playing around one and a half quarters per game. Before the 1996 trading deadline, Golden State traded him along with Tim Hardaway to the Heat for Bimbo Coles and Kevin Willis.

Gatling entered Miami's rotation right away, playing 24 games to close out the season. He averaged 23.5 minutes per game, shooting at an all-world 59.6% clip. He put up 15.2 points with 7.3 rebounds per game. He finished in double figures 21 times, putting up seven double-doubles in the process. On February 28th, in a 116-112 win over the Orlando Magic, he hit nine-of-12 shots for 18 points with 10 rebounds. On March 16th, he scored 22 points with 18 rebounds win a win against the Houston Rockets, 121-97. In a 111-98 win over the Boston Celtics on March 24th, he went eight-for-12, scoring 20 points. On the 17th of April, he went nine-for-10 for 19 points with nine rebounds as the Heat dropped a 90-86 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami earned the eighth seed at 42-40, but dropped three straight to the top seeded Bulls for a quick exit. Gatling scored 18 points with 24 rebounds in the three losses.

Gatling did not stick with Miami, opting instead to sign on with the Dallas Mavericks (44 games). He was selected to the 1997 All-Star Game before being traded days later to the New Jersey Nets. He then played for the Milwaukee Bucks (30 games), the Orlando Magic (45 games), the Denver Nuggets (40 games), and the Cleveland Cavaliers (74 games). Before the 2001-02 season, the Cavs sent him to the Heat as part of a three team trade. Miami lost Ricky Davis and Don MacLean in the deal.

2001-02 would be Gatling's last NBA season. He played in 54 games for the Heat, starting one at power forward. He shot 44.7% from the field in 15 minutes per appearance, scoring six and a half points with four rebounds per game. He put up double figures in 14 contests for the Heat. He went six-for-seven from the field on November 24th, scoring 17 points in 24 minutes of a 100-96 loss to Cleveland. On March 2nd, he scored a season high 19 points with seven rebounds in a 109-95 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Miami went 36-46, missing the postseason.

Gatling later played with CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Scavolini Pesaro (Italy). He made headlines in 2012 when he pled guilty to theft and forgery charges in connection to his having squatted at an Arizona residence for 13 months. He was caught when he tried to rent the home out on Craigslist.

Stat Line: 78 games, 17.6 minutes, .518 field goals, .714 free throws, 9.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 17.9 PER, 3.9 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 493.8