Barry Jackson

Heat in tough draft position; Haslem the Godfather; Whiteside can make history

If the Heat doesn’t get help from the Hawks or Nets tonight, and misses the playoffs, then there’s a 98.2 percent chance that Miami would pick 14th in the June draft.

The Heat would have a 0.5 chance of moving up to the first pick in the weighted lottery, a 0.6 chance of moving up to the second pick and an 0.7 chance of moving up to the third pick.

In some ways,finishing with the worst lottery draft pick (14th) is the worst possible scenario with regard to the draft. Since the turn of the century, the overall quality of players selected 15th and 16th (first two playoff teams) has been better than players picked 14th.

A list of players taken 14th:

2016 Denzel Valentine Michigan State; Chicago Bulls

2015 Cameron Payne Oklahoma City; Murray State

2014 T.J. Warren NC State; Phoenix Suns

2013 Shabazz Muhammad UCLA Utah

2012 John Henson North Carolina Milwaukee

2011 Marcus Morris Kansas Houston

2010 Patrick Patterson Kentucky Houston

2009 Earl Clark Louisville Phoenix

2008 Anthony Randolph LSU Golden

2007 Al Thornton Florida State L.A. Clippers

2006 Ronnie Brewer Arkansas Utah

2005 Rashad McCants UNC Jr. Minnesota

2004 Kris Humphries MinnesotaFr. Utah

2003 Luke Ridnour Oregon Jr. Seattle

2002 Frederick Jones Oregon Sr. Indiana

2001 Troy Murphy Notre Dame Jr. Golden State

2000 Mateen Cleaves Michigan St. Sr. Detroit

1999 William Avery Duke So. Minnesota

1998 Michael Dickerson Arizona Houston

1997 Maurice Taylor Michigan LA Clippers

1996 Predrag Stojakovic Greece Sacramento

1995 Eric Williams Providence Boston

1994 Yinka Dare George Washington New Jersey

1993 Scott Haskin Oregon State Indiana

1992 Malik Sealy St. John's Indiana

1991 Rich King Nebraska Seattle

1990 Travis Mays Texas Sacramento

1989 Tim Hardaway Texas-El Paso Golden State

1988 Dan Majerle Central Michigan Phoenix

1987 Tellis Frank Western Kentucky Golden State

1986 Walter Berry St. John's Portland

1985 Alfredrick Hughes Loyola (IL) San Antonio

1984 Michael Cage San Diego State LA Clippers

1983 Clyde Drexler Houston Portland

1982 Lester Conner Oregon State Golden State

1981 Herb Williams Ohio State Indiana

There are a few exceptional players on that list, led by Drexler and Hardaway, a few very good ones, led by Majerle and Stojavovic.

There are alo several good players, including the Suns’ Warren (averaging 14.4 points this season), Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris.

But there were also plenty of busts like Alfrederick Hughes.

The Heat end the regular season Wednesday against the Wizards. April 12, 2017.

• Hassan Whiteside is trying to become only the third player this century to lead the NBA in two different statistical categories in consecutive seasons.

Whiteside, who led the league in blocks last season, goes to the All-Star break leading the league in rebounding at 14.1.

“This would be something very impressive,” he said. “Leading the league in anything is really tough. Night in, night out, you have a group of coaches telling their whole team: This guy is the best in the NBA at doing this and every night they're trying to stop you from doing this. Leading the NBA in anything is a very hard feat.”

Per Elias, Chris Paul led the NBA in steals in 2012-13 and assists in 2013-14.

Dwight Howard led in rebounds in 2007-08 and blocks in 2008-09.

Hassan Whiteside tapped in a rebound off a Goran Dragic shot as the buzzer sounded Tuesday leading the Miami Heat to a 97-96 win.

• Erik Spoelstra said the same players would be available against Washington as against Cleveland, meaning no Dion Waiters. Among Waiters, Josh McRoberts and Luke Babbitt, Spoelstra is expecting none to contribute tonight.

• Spoelstra gave an eloquent testimonial to all Udonis Haslem has meant to this team, despite not playing in 30 games in a row.

“Udonis is the equivalent of the Godfather of our culture,” he said. “I trust his message without even hearing it. It’s in line with what I would say. Professionalism, being on time, shirt in, for every single practice. This selflessness. He find great joy in Hassan playing well. He has ultimate respect from teammates. He is one of the great all time teammates. If there is a Hall of Fame for teammates, he would [be in].”

Spoelstra mentioned how Haslem stayed late to play one-on-one defense on Waiters after practice and then running sprints with him.

“Of 450 guys, only three would do that,” Spoelstra said.