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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-01-09

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-01-09

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-01-09
The Heat sent guard Shaun Livingston and cash considerations to Memphis in exchange for a 2012 conditional second-round draft pick on Wednesday. But really what the Heat did was clear about $400,000 under the luxury tax, open a roster spot and get a trade exception.

"Now we have flexibility to sign somebody, if we choose to," coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Miami could use the $400,000 to sign a player such as veteran center Alonzo Mourning to a pro-rated portion of the veteran's minimum. And it now has the roster spot to use for Mourning, who could be ready to return in about a month or so. Mourning is recovering from a serious knee injury he sustained last season.

The draft pick might not be much of a help to the Heat. It is protected from Nos. 1 through 55. So the Heat only gets the pick if it is between Nos. 56-60, the last five picks of the draft.

Livingston was signed by Miami on Oct. 3. He played in four games and averaged 2.3 points and 1.0 assists in 10.3 minutes per game. Livingston was selected fourth by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2004 draft out of Peoria Central (Ill.) High School. He played two-plus seasons with the Clippers but sustained a devastating knee injury in February 2007 in which he tore three ligaments and dislocated his left kneecap. The Heat was hopeful Livingston could contribute next season.

"We saw some progress over the last three weeks, in particular," Spoelstra said.

NUGGETS 108, HEAT 97: Two statistics were significant to Miami's loss: It had a 15-point deficit at the free throw line and it allowed Denver a season-high 35 fast-break points. The second figure is really mind-boggling when you consider the Heat had a 36-30 edge in points in the paint.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat's defense was "horrible."

"Defensively, it was one of our poorer performances of the season," he said. As for the free throw difference, Miami was 15-for-16 (93.8 percent) while Denver was 30-for-40 (75 percent).

Dwyane Wade (31 points) said he had nothing to say about the free throw disparity. Asked if he had any thoughts on the free throw difference, Wade took the high road.

"No thoughts at all," he said.

Spoelstra wasn't as conservative. He admitted Denver was the aggressor on most plays, but also added "there were some other ones it seemed like cheap fouls were called against us."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 9, 2009


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