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Heat-Warriors postscripts; Impressive distinction for Beasley; Canes, Dolphins

Several Heat items after Golden State’s wildly entertaining 123-114 victory Thursday night:

### Stephen Curry (36 points, 12 assists, 8 for 15 on threes) became only the third player to put up at least 35 points and a dozen assists against the Heat, joining luminaries Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.

“It was incredible,” Dwyane Wade said. “A few times we were in his jersey and he made shots. There is nothing you can do. You can contest it and hope he misses it.”

### David Lee (32 points, 14 rebounds) was also destructive, and Curry and Lee became the first teammates to score at least 30 points against the Heat since LeBron James (42) and Mo Williams (30) did that for Cleveland against the Heat on March 2, 2009.

### The Heat (24-8) dropped 1.5 games before Indiana for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

### Miami entered allowing 97.5 points per game, seventh-best in the league. Golden State’s 123 were a season-high by a Heat opponent.

### LeBron James had nearly as many turnovers (eight) as field goals (10)... Chris Bosh, who shot 6 for 16, failed to hit 50 percent of his shots for the first time in 11 games, which would have set a career mark.

### The four players who sit atop ESPN’s efficiency ratings for small forwards are all superstars: James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.

The fifth? He’s earning just over $1 million, averaging a career low in points and minutes, and sometimes doesn’t even play.

That Heat forward Michael Beasley has risen to fifth in that category might be surprising but isn’t shocking, considering he has improved his shooting, rebounding, defense and other aspects of his game.

Beasley ranked 30th in efficiency among small forwards two years for Minnesota and 48th (of 67) last season for Phoenix. 

Beasley also plays a lot at power forward and would rank 13th among power forwards in efficiency if ESPN had listed him at that position. But ESPN lists him as a small forward.

Regardless of what forward position he plays, his efficiency rating this season tops those of clearly above-average starters such as Serge Ibaka, Kawhi Leonard, Luol Deng and Andre Iguodola.

“He has embraced the whole thing,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Players are gaining more trust in him. The staff is gaining more trust in him.”

Beasley entered Thursday’s game against Golden State averaging 19.2 minutes per game, lowest of his career and well below his 26.4 average entering the season. He also is averaging a career-low 9.9 points, purely a function of his reduced minutes.

But his 52.6 percent shooting from the field easily tops his 44.7 career average entering the season, including a career-low 40.5 for Phoenix last season.

The biggest improvement offensively has come on shots from 10 to 15 feet; Beasley is making 47.6 percent of those attempts after shooting between 32 and 38 in each of his five previous seasons.

Spoelstra said playing “with a better team” with “better ball movement” also is a factor in his improved shooting percentage, as well “as understanding where we like to get our offense.”

A career 34.5 percent three-point shooter before this season, Beasley had made 12 of 24 threes entering Thursday.

Also, Beasley is averaging 6.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, topping his 5.4 career average.

And “defensively, he’s more focused,” forward Rashard Lewis said. 

Beasley's maturity off the court has been praised by several members of the organization. He arrives well before practice starts, even two hours sometimes, as his agent, Allegiant Athletic Agency's Jared Karnes noted.

Beasley hired Karnes a few months ago, and Karnes has done a conscientous job assisting Beasley off the court. So have Beasley's teammates, with Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers both saying they like filling the "big brother" role with him.

### Spoelstra played Beasley instead of Rashard Lewis on Thursday --- a change from the past, when Spoelstra played either both of them or only Lewis. Also, James Jones was inactive for the first time this season.

###  Warriors coach Mark Jackson called James “the greatest small forward to ever play this game. He is in the discussion for one of the greatest passers to ever play this game. He is the greatest frontline passer that we have ever seen.”

### The Heat and Nets will wear jerseys with nicknames during their Jan. 10 meeting – the first of a few games the Heat will do that this season – and at least two Heat players say they will not be able to use their nickname of choice because of copyright restrictions.

Mario Chalmers said he wanted to use “Super Mario,” but the NBA said he could not because Nintendo has copyright ownership of that name. He instead will use “Rio.” Shane Battier wanted to use Batman but instead said he had to settle for Battle, which was his family name before it was changed.

The Nets announced Thursday that their nickname jerseys will go on sale next week, with prices ranging from $50 to $110. The Heat also is expected to sell its nickname jerseys but hasn’t announced details or the full list of nicknames that will be used.

FINS, CANES

As of late Thursday afternoon, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had made no decisions about staff changes after hours of meetings earlier in the day, but news could come as early as Friday, with Ross in favor of assistant coach changes on offense, unless he can be talked out of it by Joe Philbin. A Ross associate mentioned how openly exasperated Philbin was during games about some of Mike Sherman's play calls.

Meanwhile, Al Golden –-- being courted by Penn State --- has told some of his staff that he’s staying at UM, according to one Internet report (CaneInsight.com). Also, Canesport.com reported Golden is "listening" to what Penn State has to say, and that Penn State's search committee is targeting Golden.

Among UM athletic department employees, opinions vary about what Golden will do. Some administrators still believe he will stay put, but one prominent member of the athletic department (and a friend of Golden) believes the job holds appeal to him, at least enough to consider it.

Golden made no comment about Penn State on Thursday but clarity should come shortly, because Penn State said it wants its coaching search to be resolved within days. Vanderbilt's James Franklin and former Colts coach Jim Caldwell are among other reported candidates.

Please see my comment below, in the comment section, about the sanctions Golden would be facing if he goes to Penn State. It's more severe than what he faces if he stays at UM, which has been docked a total of nine scholarships over the next three years --- which UM considers a management amount.

### Palm Beach Cardinal Newman four-star receiver Travis Rudolph orally committed to FSU on Thursday, choosing the Seminoles over UM, UF, Alabama and Auburn.

If you missed it, please see the previous late Thursday morning post for more Dolphins and Canes notes. 

Comments

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Penguin

I'm not so fond of Sarah Palin, but to quote her, just getting rid of an assistant coach to improve the team would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

That said, good for Ross for taking his time, and not being a part of Black Monday. Even if the team does need some systemic changes, it's good to take the time to make sure that those changes also happen to be improvements.

rboud

Barry - Do you know what sanctions Penn State has left. I know they may be lessened, but what is on the books. This is the big question. I can't imagine why Golden would want to walk into 2 more years of sanctions. I imagine any candidate for the job is trying to get a quick read on how much the NCAA will retract some of the sanctions. I'm not sure they can get a quick answer. UM will have a worse record next year and Golden may think his value may decrease. This would be the only reason I can see him leaving now.

Barry Jackson

Rboud: Penn State has bowl bans the next two years, unless the NCAA changes its mind. Some scholarships were restored, but Penn State can have only 75 scholarship players in 2014 (10 below what's allowed for schools that haven't been docked scholarships), 80 in 2015 and the full 85 in 2016. Penn State originally wasn't allowed to get back to 85 until 2018, but those sanctions were eased in September.

Quijote

Most agree that, despite all the horrid allegations and repercussions, the Penn State head coaching job is still a better gig than the UMiami head coaching job. That is pretty remarkable and frankly confirms that UMiami is no longer relevant in college football.

UCF has now officially taken over as the state's third most relevant program. Just think that five or six years ago, UCF was today's FIU. And just a matter of time until starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university, like UCF in the not too distant past. Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Quijote

Most agree that, despite all the horrid allegations and repercussions, the Penn State head coaching job is still a better gig than the UMiami head coaching job. That is pretty remarkable and frankly confirms that UMiami is no longer relevant in college football.

UCF has now officially taken over as the state's third most relevant program. Just think that five or six years ago, UCF was today's FIU. And just a matter of time until FIU starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university, like UCF in the not too distant past. Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2014/01/heat-warriors-postscripts-impressive-distinction-for-beasley-canes-dolphins.html#storylink=cpy

Bob Griese 12

It is no big secret, in order to be successful you have to have great hungry players who have a desire to succeed, along with good coaching. Look at FSU then look at Texas, if one component is not holding up you will not succeed. If you are not consistently recruiting ESPN top 300 guys, then you sure as heck better be able to coach and develop what you have.

Harleyray

It is quite obvious that the main reason that Penn State would like Al Golden as their head coach is that Golden has proven he can deal wifh NCAA sanctions and mediocre talent. His stay in Miami has not been all fun and games,so why would he not consider PSU?

Dashi

Crazy how the World turns, Now it is Beasley that has a Brighter Future than D.Rose.

The Heat lost, but I am willing to admit Spo is doing a good job this year. Years past Hasbeen and J.Anthony will still be seeing minutes over more talented players.

yuma

Only Barry provides relevant stats on players. Keep up the good work!

Gary

As a UM grad it's sad to see the decline of this once great program. I have been a big supporter of Al Golden. Clearly he can not bring in make a difference defensive players. So I don't see a huge drop if he leaves for Penn State.
Also to Quijote, your inferior FIU education shows. FIU may be large student wise but not very selective. FIU is at the bottom of college football with a tight grip on staying there. Their only high point was a coach they fired! Lots of luck at the asylum your in.

Rightttttttttt

still laughing at the UCF marketing departments last comment lol and he even admits it himself " jus five years ago we were FIU " and since the knights got a beatdown by the canes in there place; on the 7th largest campus mind you not to long ago ...lmfasaaoooooooo but somhow 1.... I SAY AGAIN ONE! BCS WIN AND YOUR THIRD NOW IN THE STATE BAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Loser

Hey Quijote, YOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE WENT 1-11!!!!!!

UCF?

Quijote is a rabid UM hater and an FIU fan.

He's just glomming on to UCF because he's miserable and bitter and looking, as always, to keep thinking he's a knight fighting giants when he's just a miserable hater with nothing positive to say about his commuter school's athletic program.

UniversityOfChickenFarts

Hey Quijote---UM never did recuit top coaches...it MADE them.

No duh....a small private school like UM can't afford to pay coaches what other big schools can. Hence going somewhere else may be considered more attractive to coaching candidates.

UCF football will likely be back with FIU mired in obscurity three years from now.

Quijote

Loving all the defensiveness and fear.

I'll only address Gary as everything else is noise and I'm not going to engage delUsional fans. FIU is actually the most selective school in the state, Google it. FIU only accepts about 37% of applicants. UM is amongst the least selective, you can Google that too. If you're white and have lots of family cash, you're in! Ironically though, their fan base is mostly made up of the exact opposite. Tools.

Owned, and done.

Enough said.

FIU is a diploma mill commuter school with infinity community college applicants.

UM is the best college in the state and a top 50 college in the country.

FIU doesn't crack the list's top 200.

The U is Good for the Community


Donna - now that AG has one foot out the door, wish him luck and good graces. In no way should you convince him to stay.

On the contrary try to put differences aside work things out with Butch.

If not Butch, make it happen with either Schiano, Chudzinksi, Petrino, Jay Gruden, Ed Orgeron, Jim Leavitt, Jim Haslett, or Pat Narduzzi. A package of a few above to coach the offense and defense as well would be great.

Let Blake get a consesus of whom to hire by deferring to Jimmy, Janckovich, Mike Irvin, Randall Hill, Lamar Thomas, Bennie Blades, Ken Dorsey, Clinton Portis, Phillip Buchanon, Cortez Kennedy, Warren Sapp, Jeremy Shockey, Duane Starkes, and other ex canes that are willing to render advice.

Form a UM Football Advisory Board to help in these decisions and hold present and future coaches accountable.

Donna/Blake go get'em

Da Troof

Ross's vacillating & indecision have long been apparent & are no virtue.

He's incapable of making tough decisions. His indecision & disorganization is mirrored by the Fins on the field.

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