Posts Tagged ‘Dorrell Wright’

In Season Of Strides, Miami Steps Back

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Schadenfreude largely has been off the menu so far this season for members of the Miami Hate, that splinter group of NBA fans who emerged last season in response to The Decision and the hubris around the Super Friends edition of the Miami Heat.

Hate-able moments are hard to come by when a team that came within two victories of winning the NBA championship starts out 8-1 in its second season since formulation. The Heat has been defending great (third in defensive field-goal percentage), scoring in bunches (first in points and shooting) with a dominant 10.1 points differential. LeBron James picked up his 33rd Player of the Week award, on the heels of his 32nd, and has doubled his post-up opportunities to produce some killer stats near the rim.

But a blast from Miami’s past cost them in their 111-107 overtime loss at Golden State and gave the anti-Heat rooters something to latch onto: A miserable fourth quarter. Leading by 17 points with 1:49 left in the third quarter, Miami went belly-up with 2-of-17 shooting in the last 12 minutes of regulation, leaky defense at the least opportune time and five of what would be 22 turnovers overall.

James also breathed some life into the old jokes (“Don’t ask LeBron to break a dollar, ‘cuz he’ll only give you three quarters”) by taking no shots in that final period. It was reminiscent of his deer-in-the-headlights moments late in The Finals last June. He went 0-for-0 in 6:34 in the fourth, while Chris Bosh was 0-for-2 and Dwyane Wade – whose 34 points were almost a bonus, given the uncertainty of his foot injury – shot 1-of-8 in the quarter.

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Right Place, Right Time

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When the credits rolled on the wild and crazy Summer of 2010, the names Dorrell Wright and Hakim Warrick were barely legible compared to the bold type afforded guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, David Lee and many others.

Yet when the midseason report cards get handed out, both Wright and Warrick will be on the honor roll.

While some of the more high-profile movers from the summer are still trying to settle into their new digs, Wright (in Golden State) and Warrick (Phoenix) have made seamless transitions with their new teams.

It’s clearly a case of the right player being in the right place at just the right time. The 19th pick in their respective drafts (Wright in 2004 and Warrick in 2005), neither player had found the right fit, until now. And their new teams are reaping the rewards of these unions in ways their former teams wish they could.

The Warriors uncovered a true gem in Wright, a prototypical small forward who can defend on one end and more than hold his own on the other end with dynamic scorers like Monta Ellis and Steph Curry dictating the pace and tempo. It’s a totally different look for Wright, who was used primarily as a defensive specialist in Miami, if he was used at all.

A casualty of the Heat’s huge summer haul, Wright’s career numbers (15.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 37.6 minutes) must look pretty good to a Heat team scrambling right now to find solid role players to complement James, Wade and Bosh. Wright spent six seasons with the Heat, the team that drafted him, but never could find his niche playing alongside Wade. (more…)