Southeast Notes: Heat, Williams, Rice Jr.

The Heat are a better team with Dwyane Wade on the court, but him missing time due to a hamstring injury has helped build chemistry amongst the team’s newcomers, Shandel Richardson of The Sun Sentinel writes. “When you don’t have that guy [Wade] on the court, it’s a huge void that you have to fill,” Chris Bosh said. “I think it’s both a good and a bad thing. We want him out there, but at the same time our rookies are gaining a ton of experience and our new guys are gaining a ton of experience. It’s forcing the chemistry to happen a lot sooner.”

Here’s the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat president Pat Riley deserves credit for taking a chance on signing Shawne Williams, despite some of the criticisms Riley received for fully guaranteeing this season’s salary, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald opines. Williams is rewarding Riley’s faith by averaging 11.4 points and is currently fifth in the league in three-point percentage, bombing away with a 50.9% success rate, notes Jackson.
  • Glen Rice Jr.‘s D-League assignment by the Wizards has less to do with his verbal outburst directed toward coach Randy Wittman and is more about the player’s overall development, J. Michael of writes. With the season underway, there isn’t enough practice time to fully develop younger players like Rice, who hasn’t seen any game action since November 7th, Michael adds.
  • Despite his lackluster performance during last year’s playoffs, the Heat re-signed Mario Chalmers, but his role and the team’s expectations of him have changed, Surya Fernandez of FOX writes. Chalmers had started every game that he’s appeared in the previous three seasons but is now coming off the bench. “That’s a requirement when you have a championship-level team,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So nobody feels badly for anybody that has to sacrifice when you have an opportunity to be a part of a great team. That’s the hardest part of great teams is getting guys to sacrifice. So now the role has to be a little different with this team. He’s embraced that role and he’s been able to produce in this role. I think some of the experiences he went through the last six years have helped him get to this point.”
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