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Dorell Wright Hopes For Bigger Role


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From the sun-sentinel:

 

Wright hopes for a bigger role with the Heat

 

By Tim Reynolds, Sports Writer

 

MIAMI -- Unlike the vast majority of NBA players, Dorell Wright is still growing.

 

He was 6-foot-7 when the Miami Heat drafted him out of Connecticut's South Kent Prep in 2004, and didn't grow much during his first two seasons as a little-used reserve.

 

Yet this past summer, the 20-year-old Wright got noticeably taller, reporting for camp at nearly 6-9.

 

"I'm not done,'' Wright said. "I think I should be 6-foot-10 by the time I'm done.''

 

When the defending NBA champions open their preseason schedule Tuesday in San Juan against the Detroit Pistons, Wright is hoping he'll get a chance to show that his game has grown, too.

 

The Heat didn't practice Sunday, taking the day instead to travel to Puerto Rico, where they'll practice Monday. Miami coach Pat Riley has indicated that many of the Heat's regulars - including Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade - won't log major minutes during the preseason, meaning there will likely be ample opportunity for younger players like Wright to make their mark.

 

"I'm ready. I've been going the whole summertime,'' Wright said. "I play basketball year-round. It's going to be hard, but I'm grinding and grinding and grinding. I'm patiently waiting. I waited my two years. Now I think it's my turn to get a chance and show everybody that I can help my team defend the title.''

 

Wright is the only player the Heat has ever drafted straight out of high school, and he's shown flashes of great potential in limited - extremely limited - opportunities over his first two seasons.

 

He averaged 13 points in the two preseason games when he got substantial playing time last season, then started the final two games of the regular season while Riley rested many regulars. In those road matchups against Atlanta and Boston, Wright made 12 of 21 shots, 12 of 14 free throws and averaged 19.5 points and seven rebounds while alternating between playing small forward and point guard.

 

The key to Wright's future development, Riley said, is easy to identify.

 

"It's going to take time on the court. I'm going to have to give it to him,'' Riley said. "That's going to be the first step, is that somewhere you've just to throw the kid out in the fire for 20, 30, 40 games and live with the good and live with the bad. I haven't made that commitment yet.''

 

Virtually every member of last season's rotation is back this season, meaning Wright - who made 18 appearances in mop-up duty last season before getting the two late starts - will have a difficult time finding minutes.

 

But he's got at least one Heat regular rooting for him.

 

"I think he's improved a lot,'' said Wade, the MVP of last season's NBA finals. "I think he'll get a chance. I think he's deserves a chance and I think a lot of our younger guys can help us.''

 

Obviously, Wright would agree with those sentiments.

 

"I'm getting smarter out there. Not only for myself, I'm making plays for my team,'' Wright said. "And my defense has gotten a whole lot better. But I'm not satisfied. I'll keep working.''

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IMO it's time to unleach this guy, i think he's gonna be great....

 

plus wade and shaq are gonna need the help this season

 

You do realize they brought the entire championship team back, right?

 

True. Too bad Shaq, Gary, Alonzo, etc aren't getting any younger. Nothing wrong with some help, we've got nothing to lose with this guy. If he sucks, we won't give him much PT. Easy as that.

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IMO it's time to unleach this guy, i think he's gonna be great....

 

plus wade and shaq are gonna need the help this season

 

You do realize they brought the entire championship team back, right?

which means Antoine Walker is coming back. fantastic

 

plus, theyre not getting any younger

This team just won the championship. No offense, but how can you knock on ANYONE on this team???

 

They're not getting any younger, but one year isn't going to create such a huge decrease in production. I know they'll try to bring in younger guys, and Dorrell is going to get more minutes than usual...but he still has no chance to crack the normal rotation right now. There has to be an injury or serious decline in someone ahead of him.

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IMO it's time to unleach this guy, i think he's gonna be great....

 

plus wade and shaq are gonna need the help this season

 

You do realize they brought the entire championship team back, right?

which means Antoine Walker is coming back. fantastic

 

plus, theyre not getting any younger

This team just won the championship. No offense, but how can you knock on ANYONE on this team???

 

They're not getting any younger, but one year isn't going to create such a huge decrease in production. I know they'll try to bring in younger guys, and Dorrell is going to get more minutes than usual...but he still has no chance to crack the normal rotation right now. There has to be an injury or serious decline in someone ahead of him.

Just because a team wins doesnt mean all of its parts are above criticism. Walker jacks up way too many threes and shoots a pretty bad percentage, hes awful

 

And about the age factor...at this point in Payton, Zo or Shaq's careers, one year means alot. Theyre all way past their prime and will only continue going downhill

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IMO it's time to unleach this guy, i think he's gonna be great....

 

plus wade and shaq are gonna need the help this season

 

You do realize they brought the entire championship team back, right?

yea and that's what worries me, they needed another PG cause we dont know how long jwill's knee is gonna hold up and they brought back GP is isn't getting any younger and if it wasn't for that shot he hit in the finals 9 out of 10 people would not want him back... Awalker is a favorite of mine but i dont want him as a starter and that probably were he will be... so thats why i hope wright gets a fair shot to show what he can do and if it works out its only for the better and if it doesn't then he goes to the bench and we have to hope somebody steps up to help wade and shaq......

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You have to defend your trophy with the same team that won it just 4 months ago. I don't see any logic in messing with a championship team until they prove that they can't win together.

 

The problem is that the rest of the league isn't the same as it was 4 months ago. We should win the East easily, but Phoenix will get better if Amare is at or near his old level and Dallas gave us an incredibly tough series in the Finals that could have gone either way. There's no reason why we shouldn't have upgraded (and trading Walker would have meant an upgrade).

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. zing.

 

Detroit stayed with the same crew for three years because it worked. After last year they realized it was time for a change because they weren't contending. So, what did they do? They fixed it.

 

But fresh off a championship, I don't know how much is really necessary to change. Another PG, yes--maybe trade Doleac for something...but nothing big.

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. zing.

 

Detroit stayed with the same crew for three years because it worked. After last year they realized it was time for a change because they weren't contending. So, what did they do? They fixed it.

 

But fresh off a championship, I don't know how much is really necessary to change. Another PG, yes--maybe trade Doleac for something...but nothing big.

 

How many championships has Detroit won since their championship? Heck, they were lucky just to make it back to the Finals the year after they won it.

 

Also, Detroit's offseason moves didn't really fix anything (they made them worse), but that's going off topic.

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. zing.

 

Detroit stayed with the same crew for three years because it worked. After last year they realized it was time for a change because they weren't contending. So, what did they do? They fixed it.

 

But fresh off a championship, I don't know how much is really necessary to change. Another PG, yes--maybe trade Doleac for something...but nothing big.

 

I dont think we should trade Doleac. Shaq and ZO are unrealiable to stay healthy we need him available cause he is a very good back up.

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1) Wright is awesome. He's always improving. Every time he comes into a game he always looks sharp. Don't play him now unless someone get's injured. Our team is still great.

 

2) I can't believe people are complaining about this team that just won a Championship. No one is getting younger. All the opponents that caused the Heat problems last year aren't getting younger, Wade isn't getting younger, you aren't getting younger, and I'm not getting younger. I always hated that stupid argument. These guys can all still play. If they couldn't, they wouldn't have won us a Championship.

 

3) Doleac is a joke. He's good as the 11th man but no higher. He should not be above anyone with any NBA experience except Antonio Burks.

 

4) GO HEAT.

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Dorell got his 1st start of the preseason at SF tonight (Heat won, 109-95 & Wade had 19) and his statline looks very solid:

 

31 Minutes:

  • 3-5 FG
  • 2-4 3P
  • 5-7 FT
  • 10 Rebounds
  • 2 Blocks
  • 2 Steals
  • 2 Assists
  • 2 Turnovers
  • 1 Foul
  • 13 Points

Impressive as hell to see the young guy attack the rim and get to the line 7 times in 31 minutes, as well as show some range by connecting on 2 downtown. Oh yeah, 10 rebounds in 31 minutes as a SF? I see the new height is paying off! Also nice to see him get 2 blocks and 2 steals and only commit 1 foul in doing so. Must have played under control tonight, certainly giving some hope for the future.

 

Some quotes fom the recap:

Dorell Wright is getting his opportunity this preseason. So far, so good.

 

Taking advantage of a rare start, Wright had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Miami Heat beat the New Orleans Hornets 109-105 in an exhibition game Tuesday night.

 

Wright's best moments included a block from behind of a Desmond Mason layup, and a 3-point conversion on a kick-out pass from Wade.

 

"I think I'm doing a good job of just playing the game, not making too many mistakes and just doing what I have to do -- rebound, defend and things like that," Wright said.

 

Wright -- a little-used player in his first two seasons who hopes to earn a spot in Miami's regular rotation -- played a game-high 31 minutes, shooting 3-of-5 from the floor.

 

All 10 of his rebounds were on the defensive end, and he added two steals and two blocks.

 

"He made some very good plays," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "He still has a long way to go but I think he has a package there that could be very versatile for us."

 

Wright started in place of Antoine Walker, the only Heat regular to be given the night off. It's expected that Wade, who has been bothered by a hand injury, won't play Friday when Miami visits Memphis -- part of a four-game, six-night stretch to end the preseason.

 

From Sun-Sentinel Heat Reporter Ira Winderman and Chris Perkins of The Palm Beach Post:

-- Not only did Dorell Wright get off to an energetic start in opening in place of Antoine Walker, but showed an early chemistry with Dwyane Wade. There may yet be hope for the team's potential backcourt of the future.

 

Playing with the starters might have been a big key for Wright because he didn't have to press to make plays as he was sometimes doing while playing with the reserves.

 

With the starters on the court, Wright was able to play off the skills of guards Dwyane Wade (team-high 19 points) and Gary Payton, for example, instead of trying to fill their shoes.

 

"It was a big difference," he said. "I was able to go out there and defend and rebound."

 

And do it well.

 

Wright added two blocks and two steals as well as two assists.

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