Barry Jackson

Charles Barkley offers blunt assessment of Heat and advice for Wade

Charles Barkley shared his take on NBA superstars joining up to create super teams
Charles Barkley shared his take on NBA superstars joining up to create super teams AP

A six-pack of Heat notes on a Tuesday:

After watching Philadelphia dispatch Miami in five games of their first-round playoff series, Heat president Pat Riley knew his roster needs to be augmented before even watching a minute of the 76ers-Celtics Eastern Conference semifinal.

But Boston’s 3-1 edge in the series — an advantage the Celtics have built despite missing All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward — should reinforce that notion.

"They played against a bad Miami team, so they looked better than they are,” TNT’s Charles Barkley said of the 76ers after they fell behind 2-0 in the Celtics series. “Miami stinks."

Barkley also delivered a message to Dwyane Wade, who is mulling whether to continue his career.

“I hope Dwyane retires because it is a different animal between Dwyane Wade and [San Antonio stars Tony] Parker and [Manu] Ginobili,” Barkley said. “Those guys were good players. Dwyane Wade is one of the greatest ever. To see one of the greatest ever coming off the bench, that’s not fun for me. Dwyane Wade is on a whole other level that those other guys. To see him coming off the bench for another couple of years — that would not be fun for me.”

(Parker and Ginobili haven't said if they will continue their careers.)

But TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal, who won a title with Wade in 2006, said a case could be made for Wade to continue playing.

“He still has a little left in the tank,” Shaq said. “It’s hard for me to say you should stop playing. For us superstars that have always put up big numbers our whole career, towards the end of the career, when you put up nine, 10 points, it really doesn’t feel good. If you feel you love it… you feel you can go play. Because once you retire, it’s over.”

Wade, who has a career average of 22.5 points per game, averaged 12.0 in 21 regular-season games for the Heat this past season and 16.6 in five playoff games.

The reasons for internal frustration with Hassan Whiteside extend well beyond his public complaints about playing time. There’s also frustration with the unevenness of his play and his screen-setting.

And if you missed this, Dion Waiters suggested to ESPN’s Jalen Rose last week that Whiteside shouldn’t have complained publicly about his minutes.

“As far as Hassan," Waiters said, "sometimes I think the best thing to do is just bite your tongue sometimes at the end of the day, because either you're gonna back it up with your play or then, once again, the internet, like I said, [is] a gift and a curse.

"So I think he should learn from this. But at the end of the day, it should motivate him. At the end of the day, you don't cry about that.

"Me, personally, whatever happens, whatever went on, I'd have gotten right in the gym: 'I'm gonna prove myself. I'm going to prove to everybody else.' "

Waiters was disappointed he couldn’t play against his hometown 76ers.

"For me, personally, it was tough," he said, "because that's something I always dreamed about, just being home, in Philly, in the playoffs, the atmosphere, you know my family, my friends, everybody who watched me grow up, I wasn't able to partake in that.

"It was so hard to watch. I felt I let my team down, but there's nothing I could do but just try to get better and come back stronger next year."

Who were the Heat’s best players in the clutch during the regular season, defined by the NBA as the final five minutes of games with a margin of five points or fewer?

Though he often sat down the stretch of close games, Whiteside was the Heat’s highest-percentage shooter in the clutch (13 for 21, 61 percent), and Miami outscored teams by 23 points in his 76 clutch minutes.

The Heat’s best clutch plus/minuses were 1. Kelly Olynyk, who was plus-53 in 112 clutch months; 2. Josh Richardson, who was plus-47 in 210; 3. Wayne Ellington, who was plus-40 in 115.

Bam Adebayo was worst on the Heat in this area; Miami was outscored by 30 points in his 56 clutch minutes.

Wade, by the way, had a plus/minus of zero in 40 clutch minutes but scored 39 points on 46.9 percent shooting (13 for 28) and shot 13 for 13 on clutch free throws, though he missed a free throw late in Game 4 of the playoff series.

After Whiteside, the players who shot the best in the clutch (minimum 10 attempts) were James Johnson (25 for 47, 53.2 percent, including 7 for 16 on threes) and Waiters (18 for 35, 51.4 percent, including 7 for 14 on threes).

Only Justise Winslow (5 for 18, 27.3 percent) shot below 42 percent from the field in the clutch. Tyler Johnson and Olynyk were each at 50 percent.

Goran Dragic led the Heat in clutch points with 92 in 196 minutes, shooting 44.3 percent from the field.

With the Orlando summer league going out of business, the Heat will field a summer league team in Sacramento (a new league) and Las Vegas in July. Miami will play few games in Sacramento just before the Las Vegas summer league begins July 6.

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