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Steve Smith: 30 Years of Heat

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Steve Smith comes in at number 19 on the all-time, all-Heat countdown.

Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons
Steve Smith is #19 on the list of all-time Heat players.
Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

19. Steve Smith

Steve Smith was a 6'7" shooting guard from Highland Park, MI. Born on March 31st 1969, he played for Pershing High School in Detroit. He signed on with the Michigan State Spartans in college, started for four seasons, and graduated with the Class of 1991 as the school's all-time scoring leader, with 2263 points. He averaged 18.5 points with 6.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Miami picked him in the first round of the draft that season, with the fifth overall pick.

As a rookie, Smith started in 59 of his 61 games, playing 29.6 minutes (team fourth) and scoring 12 points (team fourth) with a team leading 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and one steal (team fourth) per game. He shot 45.4% from the floor and 32% from long distance. He finished in double digits 39 times, and helped Miami to a 29-32 record while in the rotation. On November 2nd, in an opening day 107-93 Heat win over the New York Knicks, he shot eight-of-11, including two three-pointers for a season high 24 points with six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. He scored 23 points with seven assists and six rebounds in a 118-112 win against the Kings on November 22nd. On December 18th, in a 118-112 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers, he scored 19 points with eight assists and seven rebounds. He scored 11 points with eight assists and four steals on March 18th in an overtime loss to the Pacers, 116-111. Miami went 38-44 to take the eighth seed. They lost three straight to the Bulls in their first ever trip to the playoffs. Smith averaged 16 points and five assists.

In 1992-93, Smith played 48 games, starting 43. He shot 45.1% overall, and a team leading 40.2% from long distance. Playing 33.5 minutes per game (team fourth), he averaged 16 points(team third), a team leading 5.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds (team fifth), and one steal (team third). He scored failed to tally in double digits only seven times over the season, with four double doubles and helped the team to a 26-22 record. He scored 21 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds on February 15th in a 130-129, two overtime win against the Denver Nuggets. In a 102-91 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on February 24th, scored 15 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. On March 3rd, he hit 12-of-15 shots, including all four three point attempts for 30 points, along with nine assists and eight rebounds as the heat set down the Washington Bullets, 125-106. He scored a season high 31 points with nine assists on April 4th in a win over the Orlando Magic, 124-106. Miami went 36-46, finishing out of the postseason.

1993-94 would see Smith play in 78 contests through the regular season, starting in all but one. In 35.6 minutes per game (team second), he scored 17.3 points (team second) with a team leading 5.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds (team fourth), and 1.1 steals (team third). He shot 34.7% from three point range and 45.6% overall. He scored 10 or more points 69 times with nine double doubles. He scored 32 points in a 108-102 loss to the Golden State Warriors, pitching in with four rebounds and four assists. In a 115-112 win against the Seattle SuperSonics on February 17th, he tied his season high with 32 points, also making four assists and grabbing three rebounds. He scored 27 points on nine-of-13 shooting with 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 101-94 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 15th. Miami clinched a playoff berth at 42-40, but lost in the opening round of the postseason to the Atlanta Hawks, three-games-to-two. Smith led the Heat with 19.2 points through the series, with six rebounds and 2.2 assists.

In 1994-95, Smith started the first two games of the season with Miami, scoring 41 points. On November 7th, the Heat traded him with Grant Long and a draft pick (Joe Vogel) to the Hawks for Kevin Willis and a draft pick (Walter McCarty). Smith played the best basketball of his NBA career with the Hawks, appearing in 339 games over the next four and a half season and making the 1998 All Star Team. He later played with the Blazers (163 games), the San Antonio Spurs (130 games), the New Orleans Hornets (71 games), and the Charlotte Bobcats (37 games). He closed out his career back with Miami, scoring 23 points in 13 games in 2004-05.

Stat Line: 202 games, 31.5 minutes, .451 field goals, .346 three-pointers, .802 free throws, 14.4 points, 4.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 15.4 PER, 13.4 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 2268.0