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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-28

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-28

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-11-28Even when Quentin Richardson's play tapered off after an encouraging start, there hardly was a groundswell to get James Jones into the Heat starting lineup. But with Richardson sidelined by back spasms, Jones has made his move to reclaim the starting position at small forward he held at the end of last season.

An impending lineup controversy, with the Boston Celtics looming Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena?

Not on this team, and certainly not now, with a brutal four-game Western swing pending. Jones, though, now believes he finally has found his shooting stroke, with two more three-pointers Friday against the Wizards in his 36 minutes.

"It's always great to play and to be able to find a rhythm and to be able to let the legs burn, let your wind burn, play to where it becomes instinctual and every single second isn't pivotal," Jones said of the extra minutes he has received amid Richardson's absence.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said he appreciates how spot minutes earlier this season proved limiting.

"It's the first time he's gotten an extended stretch," Spoelstra said. "I think that has a lot to do with it. Last year, in the playoffs, he played well when he was finally given the opportunity to play extended minutes and for consecutive games.

"Shooters need rhythm. He's too good a shooter to continue to struggle."

Considering Dorell Wright has fallen into witness protection, it appears a tag team between Richardson and Jones will round out the lineup at small forward, regardless of who starts.

As to whether Richardson regains the starting spot at small forward that has been claimed by Jones, Spoelstra said it would be a matter with Richardson of "how long will it take him to get back to full speed."

Even then, Spoelstra cautioned, "we'll analyze it, see how it plays out."

WIZARDS 94, HEAT 84: With Dwyane Wade struggling to get into the paint and to the foul line, the Heat was unable to overcome its 48-36 rebounding deficit and 41.5 percent shooting. Washington had entered 0-2 this season against the Heat, but that was without sidelined Antawn Jamison, who is back and went for 24 points and 13 rebounds Friday.

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Added: November 28, 2009


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