Miami Heat not bothered by All-Star snub. Wayne Ellington: ‘That’s not really our mindset’

Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat walk up the floor against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena in November. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat were so bothered by being snubbed when it came to filling out the All-Star rosters that not a word was said when the team arrived Wednesday for practice.

To take it further, James Johnson, one of the Heat’s three captains, hinted maybe the Heat didn’t deserve an All-Star among the seven Eastern Conference reserves, which were announced Tuesday.

“What did we really do to be noticed? We didn’t do nothing yet,” Johnson said. “We’re on the right track to going that way though. I love these guys. It don’t matter about All-Star selections.”

Guard Goran Dragic appeared to have the best chance to make his first All-Star team when the coaches were tasked with selecting the seven reserves, but the four guards to join starters Kyrie Irving of Boston and DeMar DeRozan of Toronto were Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s Bradley Beal and John Wall.

Some believed Hassan Whiteside had an outside shot but the Heat’s big man has missed 18 games because of injuries.

Dragic or Whiteside could be added if a player selected to the 12-man roster is injured before the Feb. 18th game in Los Angeles. The replacement is picked by commissioner Adam Silver.

The Heat (27-20) are fourth in the East and tied for the seventh best record in the league. Miami is the only team among the top eight in the East and the top 15 in the NBA without an All-Star.

“If we would have played like we have the last six weeks for the entire season, maybe more people would have noticed,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Not having an All-Star plays into the Heat’s mantra of being a “starless” team that never has to rely on one or two players. And although Dragic’s teammates were hoping he was rewarded for the first time in his 10-year career, this fuels that portrayal.

“We came a long way from the beginning of the season,” guard Wayne Ellington said. “We’re going to continue to put the work in. We still got a lot more to go.

“We still don’t get a guy in the All-Star game but that’s not really our mindset. … (that) one guy or two guys has to be the star of this thing. We’re all here together. It might be one guy one night, it might be the next guy another night. That’s our formula, that’s how we’re having success.”

The team that from 2010 to 2014 was the most hyped and overexposed in the league suffers from being not only among the most underappreciated but underexposed. The Heat have had one game televised by ESPN and TNT, that being Oct. 25 at home against San Antonio. ESPN replaced a Heat-Knicks game that was scheduled to be televised Jan. 5 with a Celtics-Timberwolves game.

Miami has three nationally televised games scheduled the last three months, two on ESPN and one on TNT.

“It’s got a lot to do with it,” Whiteside said. “The NBA pushes teams. The NBA pushes guys. The media pushes people. There’s teams that got Christmas games that stink. I’m not going to say what teams, but you all know those teams that shouldn’t be playing on Christmas.”

The Heat, who are 16-7 in their last 23 games, will continue to push through the rest of the season without a player who has ever been an All-Star, starting Thursday against Sacramento at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Nobody’s bothered or upset about it but the one thing it would do is continue to motivate us to work,” Ellington said. “We’ve got workers on this team. We’ll continue to elevate our game, we’ll continue to get better as a team. Hopefully when the season comes to an end they’ll be saying, ‘man,’ point to somebody on our team and say, ‘that guy should have been an All-Star.’”

[Heat guards Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson probable to play Thursday vs. Kings]

[No Heat All-Stars, but will they be part of weekend’s festivities?]

[Mailbag: How are Heat winning without an All-Star? Why Wayne Ellington deserves to be in 3-point contest]

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