Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Mid Season Report Card
Here are my mid-season grades on the team. Overall, I think we have NBA level talent top to bottom, capable of being a 50 win team if we could get 8 guys to play their role at an A or B level. Some guys are performing better than last year, but we are going to need some guys to break out if we are going to surpass last year's accomplishments - #5 seed and a first round series that lasted 7 games. The ship has sailed on winning 50 games and fighting for a top 4 seed, but the final grades will not be in the mail until the season ends... these guys all have some work to do:
Jermaine O'Neal, C
His 54% shooting shows his growth as a basketball player as it is well above 5% higher than his previous career high. A 6'11" offensively gifted PF/C must shoot over 50% or he is displaying poor judgement... i.e. - forcing too many shots. Count me amongst those who was hoping for 17 points 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game out of JO this season. In limited minutes he is providing 13-7-1.4. Coach Spoelstra has actually done a great job of keeping Jermaine healthy and fresh for a post season run... if you increase his minutes by 25% in the playoffs into the 36 minutes a game range without a decrease in productivity you could expect 16-9-1.8 out of your starting center.
Michael Beasley, PF
Mike is putting up 15.5 points and 6.6 rebounds a game in just over 30 minutes a game. I had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block as his target going into the season. His numbers per 36 minutes based on his current numbers are 18-7.5-o.6 -- pretty close to what you would expect. I don't like that his FG and 3 point percentages have dropped this season, but that can be attributed to his minutes as a backup small forward where he has not been nearly as efficient. He has done a solid job as a full time starter and for my liking has done enough to show that he has the ability to play Small Forward in a big lineup, something we may see as early as later this week if Pat Riley can swing a deal for Amar'e.
Quentin Richardson, SF
Q won the starting position coming out of camp and was poised to have a great season, but has come down to earth after a hot start. He is averaging 8 points and 4.5 rebounds and playing solid defense. Call me crazy, but if Q is going to remain on the court I would like to see him be more aggressive offensively. Obviously, I love it when he posts up and takes it to the basket, but I actually miss the days when he would shoot 5 threes per game. Considering he has been our most dependable threat from deep at nearly 39% I think he should get the green light.
Dwyane Wade, SG
His numbers are slightly down across the board from last year's MVP-worthy performance. I have noticed that he no longer likes to shoot from 3/4 court because it kills his 3 point %, which is disappointing. He should not worry about proving the doubters wrong about his 3 point shot and should focus more on his free throw percentage, which at 75.5% is the lowest since his rookie year.
Rafer Alston, PG
It's hard to believe Rafer has been on the team for 21 games now. Sad to say his 34% shooting is only 4% below his career average. He has been a solid addition, but like Q is more of a role player than a difference maker at this point in his career.
Udonis Haslem, PF
He is what we thought he was! Has done a great job off of the bench with 10 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. When he shoots a wide open jump shot it is money and Wade loves him. Maybe he is worth keeping around beyond this season. I wonder what the going rate for grit and hustle will be?
Dorell Wright, SF
Dorell has proven to be a better talent than Jamario Moon by providing all of the steals, blocks and rebounds but also bringing the playmaking ability. His jumpshot has finally reached the level of consistency necessary to play the Small Forward position on this team. He has earned the right to get the Udonis Haslem treatment - 28 minutes off the bench.
Mario Chalmers, PG
C- ...on second thought (thanks KB) D+
Mario has not improved since last year, but he also has not regressed. He hit the bench because he has a lot to learn. He is definitely an asset, but he is not the diamond in the rough we were hoping for. Finding a way to lose his starting position after having the starting position gifted to you for the second straight year automatically earns you a failing grade.
DaeQuan Cook, SG
His 32% shooting makes Rafer look good. He seems to be snapping out of the slump and is earning minutes again. His regression/season-long slump has really let this team down. The gap between Miami and the elite teams in the East would not be as wide if the 3 point specialists could spread the floor.
James Jones, SF
In limited minutes he is hitting 43% of his 3 point shots. He seems to have put an end to the shooting woes that plagued him most of last season. He is not playing because he cannot defend as well as the guys ahead of him in the rotation. His signing has been a questionable because of his partial guarantees beyond this season. If he is not going to be in the rotation, he must be moved.
Carlos Arroyo, PG
Our best PG by the numbers this season. Is doing an excellent job with the second unit. His 4-1 assist to turnover ratio and good shooting percentages have been a stabilizing force that has allowed the bench to flourish as of late.
Joel Anthony, C
Below average at most basketball skills, however, he gives excellent screens offensively and provides fantastic help defense. He is a hustle guy making less than $1 million a year, he has proven to be a worthy piece of the puzzle when he is surrounded by talent. There is no way to hide his shortcomings when our entire second unit is struggling, however.
Jamaal Magloire, C
Our secret weapon Jamaal only plays occasional minutes, but his presence is always felt. He is the most physical player on the roster and an excellent option as the #3 center, definitely good enough to be #2.
Yakhouba Diawara, SF
He has not played enough to be evaluated. He needs to jump on that energy bus AND hope for a multi-player trade or he won't play any minutes the rest of the way.
What are your thoughts on the second half? Will anybody do enough in the second half to improve their grades and the team's fortunes? If we stand pat at the deadline can these guys get hot and surprise people at the end? It seems so long ago that the team started the season hot, is it possible that they can end the season hot too?