Should the Heat explore a sign-and-trade deal for DeMarcus Cousins?

DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the second half of a game against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center on February 23, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

MIAMI — It looks like there will be a few disgruntled stars and a handful of teams that will try to make big changes this offseason. In other words, the NBA trade market could be wild.

But considering the combination of the Heat’s lack of financial flexibility, draft picks and top-end trade assets on the current roster, there are teams that have more to offer. That means the top names who have already been mentioned in trade rumors — players like Kawhi Leonard and Karl-Anthony Towns — will probably be out of Miami’s reach.

Then there’s New Orleans big man DeMarcus Cousins, a 27-year-old star who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and could be available at a cheaper price than previously expected. That’s because Cousins suffered an Achilles tendon tear on Jan. 26, which is perhaps the most devastating injury that can happen to a basketball player. Continue reading “Should the Heat explore a sign-and-trade deal for DeMarcus Cousins?”

Five takeaways: Heat begin ’24 game sprint’ with painful overtime loss to Pelicans

Miami Heat forward James Johnson, center, gets rid of the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)

NEW ORLEANS — Coach Erik Spoelstra referred to Miami’s remaining regular-season schedule as a “24-game sprint.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s an important stretch for the playoff-minded Heat.

And the Heat (30-29) didn’t get off to a fast start, as they returned from the All-Star break to begin this “24-game sprint” with a 124-123 overtime loss to the Pelicans (32-26) at Smoothie King Center on Friday. Miami has now lost three straight and eight of its past nine games. Continue reading “Five takeaways: Heat begin ’24 game sprint’ with painful overtime loss to Pelicans”

What to know about tonight’s game: Will Heat start critical post-All-Star break stretch with win vs. Pelicans?

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) is seen during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 104-102. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)


When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 30-28, New Orleans 31-26

Line: Pelicans favored by 2.5 points



F: Josh Richardson

F: Justise Winslow

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic


F: E’Twaun Moore

F: Anthony Davis

C: Emeka Okafor

G: Jrue Holiday

G: Rajon Rondo

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) and Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery). Kelly Olynyk (left shoulder strain) is listed as doubtful. McGruder, who recently returned to full contact practices following preseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left leg, will play two games in the G League on Saturday and Monday in Southern California and will participate in two practices. McGruder is expected to return to Miami next week. … The Pelicans will be without Alexis Ajinca (right knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rupture), Solomon Hill (left hamstring tear) and Frank Jackson (right foot fracture). … New Orleans has won three consecutive games and is 5-5 in its past 10 games. … The Pelicans have posted the league’s eighth-best offensive rating this season, scoring 107.7 points per 100 possessions. … Since Pelicans All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on Jan. 26, fellow All-Star Anthony Davis has picked up his play with 31.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game over the past nine games. … The Heat have lost seven of their past eight games. … Dwyane Wade is averaging 7.0 points on 32.1 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in three games since being traded to the Heat. … The Heat and Pelicans have faced off once this season, with the Pelicans winning that game 109-94 on Dec. 23 in Miami.

[With Heat regaining health, Erik Spoelstra has decisions to make when it comes to rotation]

[Rodney McGruder to play two games for Sioux Falls before making season debut with Heat]

[Mailbag: With Bam Adebayo’s success will Heat trade Hassan Whiteside? More on Dwyane Wade]

[Heat to support Marjory Stoneman Douglas by wearing uniform patch for rest of season, Wade hoping for change]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Tonight’s matchup: Shorthanded Heat to be challenged by Pelicans’ talented front line

Guard Wayne Ellington shoots a 3-pointers against the Pelicans in the Heat’s win last March in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) The Associated Press


When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 17-15, New Orleans 16-16



F: Josh Richardson

F: Kelly Olynyk

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Wayne Ellington

G: Tyler Johnson


F: Anthony Davis

C: DeMarcus Cousins

G: Rajon Rondo

G: Jrue Holiday

G: E’Twaun Moore

Scouting report: Already down six players, the Heat lost guard Dion Waiters early in Saturday’s win oover Dallas. Waiters left in the first quarter after spraining his left ankle and did not return. X-rays were negative and his status for tonight is unknown although it is highly unlikely he plays. … Miami also is expected to be without Goran Dragic (sore left elbow), Justise Winslow (strained left knee), Hassan Whiteside (left knee bruise), James Johnson (right ankle bursitis), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and Okaro White (left foot surgery). … The teams split their two games last season with each winning at home. Anthony Davis averaged 27.5 points and 15.0 rebounds against the Heat. … DeMarcus Cousins is sixth in the league in scoring with a 26.2. average, one spot ahead of Davis at 25.4. They are the second-highest scoring tandem in the league behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Cousins is third in rebounding (12.2) and Davis is eighth (10.6). Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said they are putting up “video game numbers.” … The Pelicans are fifth in scoring with 110.7 points per game. They are allowing the second most points in the league (111.4). … The Pelican snapped a three game losing streak Friday with a 111-97 win at Orlando. … … The Heat are playing the second game of their lone home back-to-back of the season. … Wayne Ellington stepped in for the injured Waiters on Friday and equaled his career high of 28 points with the help of a career best eight 3 pointers.

[Five takeaways from Heat-Mavericks: Shorthanded Heat find a way behind one of best shooting nights in franchise history]

[Heat’s Kelly Olynyk on headband vs. manbun: Let it flow, let it rock or keep it high and tight]

[Heat still without six players – three starters – for consecutive home games against Dallas, New Orleans]

[Miami Heat staying busy in the community during holiday season]

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Five takeaways: Heat use big performance from Goran Dragic to start important homestand with win over Pelicans

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) prepares to shoot over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

MIAMI — Goran Dragic couldn’t see out of his injured right eye just a few days ago. On Wednesday, the Heat’s starting point guard couldn’t miss.

Dragic was unstoppable with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting to lead the Heat past the Pelicans 120-112 on Wednesday to open a critical five-game homestand. Miami (33-35) has now won 22 of its past 27 games since an 11-30 start to the season. Continue reading “Five takeaways: Heat use big performance from Goran Dragic to start important homestand with win over Pelicans”

Heat will face Pelicans’ struggling Twin Towers of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis for first time


The pairing of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis has not translated into many wins for New Orleans. (Getty Images)

MIAMI – The New Orleans Pelicans were expected to climb in the Western Conference standings when DeMarcus Cousins was acquired from Sacramento in mid-February.

Pairing the 6-foot-11 Cousins with the 6-10 Anthony Davis, two players averaging more than 25 points and 10 rebounds a game, was going to cause opponents’ fits.

But something happened on the road to challenging the Warriors and the Spurs in the West.

The Pelicans were 23-34, 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West the day the deal was made. They entered Tuesday’s game against Portland having lost 6-of-9 since the trade and falling to 5.5 games behind No. 8 Denver.

New Orleans will face the surging Heat (32-35) Wednesday, a team that has won 21-of-26 to pull to within a half game of the final playoff spot in the East.

“Rome wasn’t built in one day,” Heat guard Dion Waiters said about the Pelicans. “You got two dominant forces down there who need the ball. Between them somebody’s got to make a sacrifice. They’re figuring that out. There’s only one basketball.”

Waiters knows what it is like to join a new team and require time for things to click.

It happened this year, when he came to Heat and wasn’t the player for the first month that he became after returning from an injury in early January.

“Even though I went through training camp and I did everything, it’s still about figuring out when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive, what guys like to do, where a guy likes the ball,” he said. “Then I was able to get comfortable.”

The reason. …

“It just so happens I’m on a team with a bunch of unselfish guys. We don’t really care who gets the ball on this team. We built that chemistry.

“I know them guys are probably close, they talk, they went to the same school (Kentucky), but you still got to build that chemistry on the court. Once they build that chemistry and one sacrifices for the better of the team that could be a scary team down the line.”

[Heat guard Goran Dragic expects to play Wednesday after swelling in eye subsides]

[Miami Heat’s Rodney McGruder climbing in Rookie of the Year conversation]

But nobody has been scared of the Pelicans since the Twin Towers were formed. Although they are the highest scoring and rebounding duo in the league it has not translated into wins.

The two combine for 55 points per game (Davis at 28.1) and 22.6 rebounds (Davis at 11.8) but New Orleans’ scoring has dipped since the trade, from 103.4 points per game to 99.9 and its rebounding has increased by just one per game.

Still, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is preparing for the team everyone thought would take off after the trade.

“It’s unique,” he said. “It’s like old-school NBA of the ‘90s. Their skill sets allow that to happen. Both of them can play on the perimeter. Either one of them can play down low. They’re a load.”

The Heat have played against both this year with mixed success. In two games against Miami while with the Kings, Cousins is averaging 21.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 12-of-31 from the field. Center Hassan Whiteside did not play in the game at Sacramento in which Cousins was held to 13 points and six rebounds.

Davis dominated the Heat with 28 points and 22 rebounds in the teams’ lone meeting this year, a 91-87 Pelicans win in New Orleans.

While Whiteside said Davis is “a lot quicker” and “a lot more you got to deal with” than Cousins, he added the Pelicans will have to adjust to the Heat, too.

One of the bigs will be forced to guard Luke Babbitt, the Heat’s power forward who is shooting 60 percent on 3s in his last 14 games.

“We’re not going to get too caught up in their front court,” Whiteside said. “They got to worry about us, too. They got to worry about our guards and what we bring.”

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Goran Dragic goes down after tripping on ref Bill Kennedy

Goran Dragic survived a scary play Tuesday after tripping on referee Bill Kennedy. (Getty Images)
Goran Dragic survived a scary play Tuesday after tripping on referee Bill Kennedy. (Getty Images)

As of now, this doesn’t sound like a major problem for Goran Dragic, but injuries like this often get worse overnight.

Dragic went down late in the second quarter of the Heat’s 113-99 win at New Orleans on Tuesday after landing on referee Bill Kennedy’s foot. He stayed in the game and played 36 minutes, but said he believed he sustained at least a mild left ankle sprain.
Continue reading “Goran Dragic goes down after tripping on ref Bill Kennedy”

Heat’s next opponent, Pelicans, shuts down Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis won't be a problem for the Heat on Tuesday. (Getty Images)
Anthony Davis won’t be a problem for the Heat on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

The Heat‘s visit to New Orleans on Tuesday was already a game they should handle with little trouble and it just got easier.
Continue reading “Heat’s next opponent, Pelicans, shuts down Anthony Davis”