|History|| Miami Heat |
|Arena||American Airlines Arena|
|Team Colors||Red, Black, Flame orange and Yellow|
|Head Coach||Pat Riley|
|Division Titles||6 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006)|
The Miami Heat (or the Miami HEAT as the display name is officially rendered, and referred to as that on their official website) are a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, USA. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
In 1987, after some influence from Billy Cunningham, the NBA voted to expand itself by adding four new teams: the Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, and Miami Heat. The Heat came into the NBA for the 1988-89 season with an unproductive first year, reflecting a roster full of young players and journeymen. Among the players on the inaugural roster were first round picks Rony Seikaly and Kevin Edwards, fellow rookies Grant Long and Sylvester Gray as well as NBA vets Rory Sparrow, Jon Sundvold, Pat Cummings, Dwayne Washington and Billy Thompson. The team started out the season by losing its first 17 games, an NBA record. The team ultimately finished with a league-worst 15-67 win-loss record under former Detroit Pistons assistant coach, Ron Rothstein.
The Heat picked Glen Rice from the University of Michigan in the first round of the 1989 NBA Draft and Sherman Douglas of Syracuse University in the 2nd round and the team also moved from the Western Conference (Midwest Division) to the Eastern Conference (Atlantic Division) for the 1989-90 season. However, the Heat continued having problems in the NBA and never won more than two consecutive games, en route to a 18-64 record.
The 1989-90 season saw Miami awarded with the 3rd pick overall, only to parlay via two trades (first with the Denver Nuggets and later with the Houston Rockets into getting the numbers 9 and 12 picks, with which Miami selected Willie Burton of the University of Minnesota and Alec Kessler of the University of Georgia. Neither of which panned out long-term for various reasons. Burton because while he was a small forward in college, the Heat insisted on playing him at shooting guard, and Kessler due to injury problems as well as not being physical enough to be a quality NBA power forward.
While Rice, Seikaly and Douglas all showed improvement from the previous year, Miami still only went 24-58 and remained in the Atlantic Division basement, with coach Rothstein resigning at the end of the season.
Rothstein resigned before the 1991-92 season and the Heat picked Kevin Loughery, an NBA coach with 29 years of experience both as a coach and a player, to be their new head coach. For the 1991 NBA Draft, the team selected Steve Smith from Michigan State, who provided an agile guard to a more matured Heat team. With the help of rookie Smith, Rony Seikaly, and a more experienced Glen Rice, the Heat finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a 38-44 record and made the playoffs for the first time. Playing the league-best Chicago Bulls, the Heat were swept in three games. Steve Smith made the NBA All-Rookie team and Glen Rice finished 10th in the NBA in scoring.
The 1992-93 NBA Season included the additions of draft choice Harold Miner of the University of Southern California as well as trading a 1st round pick (which would turn into the #10 overall pick the following season) for Detroit Pistons forward/center John Salley. While Salley's addition was first met with optimism because of the role that he played on two championship Detroit Pistons squads, it became apparent quickly that Salley was a quality role player for a good team, but not a quality player for a mediocre team like Miami was at the time. Salley would eventually have his playing time diminish, ultimately resulting in him being taken by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 expansion draft. As for the season itself, it started off poorly, with Smith missing time with a knee injury and Burton being lost for most of the year with a wrist injury. Upon Smith's return, Miami posted a winning record in February and March, but it wasn't enough to dig themselves out of the 13-27 hole they began in. They finished 36-46 and would not return to the playoffs.
A healthier squad fared better in 1993-94, posting their first-ever winning record at 42-40 and returning to the playoffs as the #8 seed versus the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta rallied from a 2-1 series deficit to win the best-of-5 series. After that season, Steve Smith would be selected as a member of the 2nd Dream Team, the collection of NBA All-Stars who were selected to compete in the 1994 World Basketball Championships in Toronto as Team U.S.A.. Dream Team II, also made up of future Heat players Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Dan Majerle and Tim Hardaway, would go on to win the tournament.
Also, at this time came a power shift in Heat's front office. On February 13, 1995 the ownership interests of Billy Cunningham and Lew Schaffel were bought out by the Arison family, who to that point in time had been silent partners in the day-to-day operations of the franchise until the buyout. Micky Arison was named Managing General Partner, with Arison's first act as MGP removing Loughery as head coach the next day and replacing him with Alvin Gentry on an interim basis to try and shake up the 17-29 Heat. Gentry went 15-21 for the remaining 36 games of the season for a 32-50 record overall, 10 games off the previous year's mark.
In the 1995 offseason, the Heat hired Pat Riley from the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers and the 1990s New York Knicks to be their new president and coach. Riley was the mastermind behind the blockbuster deal that sent Glen Rice and Matt Geiger among others, to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for All-Star center Alonzo Mourning. In a flurry of midseason deals, Riley acquired several players including Tim Hardaway, Chris Gatling and Walt Williams. The Heat finished with a winning record with Mourning among the league leaders in scoring and rebounding but lost in the playoffs in a 3-game sweep against the 72-10 Bulls. The following season, the Heat finished with a franchise-best 61-21 record with new additions, Dan Majerle, P.J. Brown, Jamal Mashburn, and Voshon Lenard. They took out Riley's former team in seven games, rallying from a 3-1 series defecit, partly due to several Knicks players leaving the bench (leading to several suspensions) during a fight that occurred between P.J. Brown and Charlie Ward after Ward was body-slammed by Brown, leading to a brawl. The Heat were however ousted from the playoffs in five games (after falling into a 3-0 series deficit) by the Bulls for the second consecutive year, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat celebrated their 10-year anniversary in the 1997-98 season and captured their second straight Atlantic Division title. However, in what would become a heated rivalry, the Heat lost in the first round against coach Riley's former team, the New York Knicks after Mourning would miss the deciding Game 5 via suspension after getting into a Game 4 altercation with Larry Johnson and with Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy literally hanging onto Mourning's leg in an attempt to intervene.
The next year, a lockout-shortened season, provided identical results with the Heat losing to the Knicks after Allan Houston hit a game-winning jumper in Game 5 to decide the series. The Knicks would go on to play in the 1999 NBA Finals, losing to the San Antonio Spurs
As a result of their success on the court, the Heat moved into the American Airlines Arena in 1999 with seats for over 20,500 fans. The Heat again lost in a deciding Game 7 to the Knicks by a single point.
The subsequent season, the Heat missed Mourning for 69 games, due to his diagnosis of a rare kidney disorder. They managed to win 50 games with help from Eddie Jones, Anthony Mason and emotional leader Tim Hardaway, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.
However, the Heat's line-up changed in 2003. Pat Riley stepped down as coach of the Heat to focus more on being team president and promoted assistant coach, Stan Van Gundy to the head coaching position. More changes occurred when the Heat drafted Dwyane Wade in the 2003 NBA Draft, and signed troubled players Lamar Odom and Rafer Alston. Odom revived his NBA career by averaging over 17 points per game. Wade brought energy to the team and broke many rookie NBA records, while being compared to other rookie superstars, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. The Heat found themselves in the 2004 NBA Playoffs, where they beat New Orleans 4-3, then lost to the Indiana Pacers 4-2 in the conference semifinals.
The Heat acquired superstar center Shaquille O'Neal on July 14, 2004 in a historic trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in which Miami shipped Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant out west. Wade and O'Neal worked well as a pair and each solidified their position as NBA elites with both averaging over 20 points per game. The season also reunited several former club members. Ron Rothstein, the Heat's inaugural head coach, became their assistant coach and both Steve Smith and Alonzo Mourning rejoined the team as role players. The Heat had their second best record in franchise history: 59-23. They were seeded first in the playoffs, and swept through the first two rounds by winning eight consecutive games against New Jersey and Washington and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals against defending champion Detroit. The teams split the first four games, before Miami pushed the Pistons to the brink of elimation with an easy 92-78 victory in Game 5 - but in the process lost Dwyane Wade to a strained rib muscle suffered on an attempted crossover. Without Wade, the Heat were routed, 91-66, in Game 6 in Detroit, setting up a deciding Game 7 in Miami. In that game, Wade returned, and the Heat held a 6-point lead with 7 minutes remaining before a series of missed shots and turnovers down the stretch cost the Heat the game and the series to the Detroit Pistons, 4-3.
After an 11-10 start and with O'Neal hurt, Riley became coach of the Heat for the second time on December 12, 2005, after Van Gundy stepped down due to personal and family reasons. The team went on to win its first three games under Riley until losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cleveland loss encouraged the Heat to finish up the month of December strong. They concluded the month with 4 wins and 2 losses. The Heat though were still criticized, however, for being unable to to beat the top caliber teams of the NBA. This criticism though would just grow more and more on the Heat come the month of January. Although they finished the month of January with 10 wins and 5 losses, they still could not beat the top tier teams. They suffered a loss to Detroit in late January, and in February were blown out by Phoenix twice and lost to the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. The months of February and March were very successful for the Heat, including a stretch of 15 wins in 16 games which began with a crucial victory over the Eastern Conference powerhouse Detroit Pistons. Dwayne Wade was electric and Shaquille O'Neal stepped up his game up in a tremendous fashion, helping the Heat resurge and finish with a 52-30 record, earning the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Earning the second seed in the 2006 playoffs, the Miami Heat drew the seventh seed Chicago Bulls as their first round opponent. The Heat won the first two games of the series at home, despite Udonis Haslem being ejected in the first game and suspended in the second for throwing his mouthpiece in the area of the referee. Also, Alonzo Mourning did not play until the third game of the playoffs due to a hurt calf and Derek Anderson missed the first two games with the flu. The team lost both games three and four in Chicago, but bounced back to win game five at home. After winning game six in Chicago, the Heat eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs and went on to face the Nets in the second round. The teams split the first two games in Miami before moving to New Jersey for games three and four. Miami won both games in New Jersey and went on to defeat the Nets in Game 5, 106-105 in Miami. The Heat subsequently advanced to their second Eastern Conference Finals in as many years. The Heat opened up the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals in Detroit on Tuesday, May 23 by facing the Detroit Pistons in a rematch of last year's Eastern conference Finals. The Heat came out victorious in Game 1, 91-86 but lost the second game 92-88 after trailing by eighteen at one point. However, Miami won both Game 3 (98-83) and a decisive Game 4 (89-78) at home and lead the series 3-1. With a victory, the Heat would eliminate Detroit and move on to its first ever NBA Finals.
- Rory Sparrow made the first basket in franchise history.
- Harold Miner won the Slam Dunk contest twice (1993 and 1995) as a member of the Heat.
- For seven games in the 2005-06 season, the Heat will wear 1971-1972 Floridians jerseys as part of the NBA's Hardwood Classics series. Additionally, the Heat dance team will also wear the Floridian bikinis and white go-go boots during these games. 
- During the 2004-2005 season, the Heat possessed the Top 3 draft picks of 1992 NBA Draft:
- O'Neal, who was drafted 1st to Orlando
- Mourning, who was drafted 2nd to Charlotte
- Christian Laettner, who was drafted 3rd to Minnesota
- Further, at various points over the 14 years since the 1992 NBA Draft, Miami has had 9 out of the first 12 players selected in that draft on their roster: O'Neal (2004-Present), Mourning (1995-2003, 2005-Present), Laettner (2004-05) Jim Jackson (2001-02), Laphonso Ellis (2001-03), Walt Williams (1996), Todd Day (1997-98), Clarence Weatherspoon (1998-2000) and Harold Miner (1992-95).
Players of note 編輯
Not to be forgotten: 編輯
- Keith Askins
- P.J. Brown
- Bimbo Coles
- Rex Chapman
- Sherman Douglas
- Brian Grant
- Tim Hardaway
- Damon Jones
- Eddie Jones
- Grant Long
- Dan Majerle
- Jamal Mashburn
- Anthony Mason
- Harold Miner
- Billy Owens
- Glen Rice
- John Salley
- Rony Seikaly
- Brian Shaw
- Steve Smith
- Kevin Willis
(The Heat retired number 23 in tribute of Jordan's contributions to the league, despite the fact that Jordan never played for the club.)
|Ron Rothstein||1988/89 – 1990/91|
|Kevin Loughery||1991/92 – 1994/95|
|Pat Riley||1995/96 - 2002/03|
|Stan Van Gundy||2003/04 – 2005|
|Pat Riley||2005/06 – present|
- 1988-89: 15-67
- 1989-90: 18-64
- 1990-91: 24-58
- 1991-92: 38-44
- 1992-93: 36-46
- 1993-94: 42-40
- 1994-95: 32-50
- 1995-96: 42-40
- 1996-97: 61-21
- 1997-98: 55-27
- 1998-99: 33-17
- 1999-00: 52-30
- 2000-01: 50-32
- 2001-02: 36-46
- 2002-03: 25-57
- 2003-04: 42-40
- 2004-05: 59-23
- 2005-06: 52-30