What a week in the NBA.
Dwyane Wade called out his Bulls teammates. LeBron James is frustrated in Cleveland. And the Heat are in the middle of a five-game winning streak.
Is all of this making Pat Riley smile? We answer that question and more in this week’s installment of the Heat mailbag.
@BiscayneBoss: The Heat are on a five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Dwyane and LeBron are frustrated with their situations. How happy is Pat Riley right now?
Anthony Chiang: I wouldn’t necessarily say Pat Riley is happy. But the fact that all of this Dwyane Wade and LeBron James stuff is happening in the middle of the Heat’s best stretch of the season does make for an interesting storyline. Dwyane called out his Bulls teammates Wednesday for not caring enough about wins and losses, and LeBron is reportedly frustrated with Cavaliers leadership’s reluctance to spend more money to improve the roster. And as all this is going on, the Heat are in the middle of a five-game winning streak.
So, is Pat happy? I don’t know what’s going through his head right now. But I’m sure he’s not losing any sleep over all of the issues surrounding Dwyane and LeBron.
@CPoTweetsStuff: Is Dion Waiters the best shooting guard Goran Dragic has ever played with?
Anthony Chiang: I see what you did there. Before the start of the season, Dwyane Wade called Rajon Rondo “the best point guard I’ve ever played with.” Three months into the regular season, Rajon isn’t even Chicago’s starting point guard. I don’t think Dwyane’s comment was meant as a shot at Goran Dragic, but some saw it as one.
So now, you Heat fans want to turn it on Dwyane. I see the humor in this. I really do, believe me. But if I’m going to answer the question seriously, Dwyane is still the best shooting guard Goran has ever played with. In fact, most consider Dwyane to be one of the best shooting guards ever. But hey, Dion Waiters is on quite the run. There’s no denying that. He’s averaging 23.8 points on 56 percent shooting from the field and 60 percent shooting from three over the five-game winning streak. So if you’re isolating the question to just these last five Heat games, maybe Dion has a case.
@byBrianGoins: Is Okaro White a #HeatLifer?
Anthony Chiang: Okaro White sure did look like a #HeatLifer in Wednesday’s win in Brooklyn, didn’t he? Making huge defensive plays down the stretch, helping put guys in the right spots in the middle of offensive possessions, and then hitting a big go-ahead 3-pointer with less than minute left in the game. That’s the stuff the Heat love to see from their players, especially from a guy who was just called up from their D-League affiliate last week.
But is there a long-term spot on this roster for Okaro? Well, I don’t think Miami wants to send him back to the D-League where he would be open to sign with other NBA teams. So what are the Heat’s options to keep him? Okaro’s first 10-day contract expires Thursday, but Miami can sign him to a second 10-day contract before it has to sign him for the remainder of the season or release him. If the Heat choose to sign Okaro for the rest of the season and beyond, they will have to open up a roster spot. That can be done by cutting ties with Derrick Williams, who has had a very limited role with the Heat this season. I don’t see Miami making room for Okaro by getting rid of Udonis Haslem or eating the player option year with Josh McRoberts.