The Miami Heat is off to a pretty crappy start to the 2016-17 NBA season.
Littered with injuries, a patchwork supporting cast, and a core void of proven superstars, this is clearly a team far from contention. That said, there are still some entertaining individuals oozing with personality on the roster.
Let’s rank them in order of pure entertainment value, from least to most, in what will be an annual tradition.
14. Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is a classic Pat Riley reclamation project, attempting to revive an underachieving Top 5 pick on the cheap after infusing him with some good ole Miami Heat culture.
Like Michael Beasley before him, the experiment with the former No. 2 overall pick has failed thus far, with a career-low .431 True Shooting Percentage and his typically atrocious defense.
And Dos Minutos’ wife despises him.
Me: "How do u feel about Derrick Williams tonight?" Wife: "What do u mean? Same way I always feel about him, he's trash."
— Dos Minutos (@DosMinutos) November 29, 2016
13. Rodney McGruder
Besides possessing a last name a couple letters off from Macgruber, which holds a special place in my heart considering the 2010 film was the movie my current wife and I watched on the first night we met, the D-League import is rather vanilla.
But he’s a solid 3-point shooter and plays his ass off.
12. Josh McRoberts
McBob, how far we’ve fallen, though he’s on an incredible streak of four consecutive games playing 24 minutes or more.
Just writing that sentence has probably doomed his season. He’ll wake up from his pre-game nap in Cleveland in a few hours and shred his achilles getting out of bed.
McBob’s passing is undoubtedly his most entertaining attribute, considering he decided to cut out the Jesus hairstyle.
11. Josh Richardson
I like Josh’s game and upside as a two-way contributor. He’s athletic, hungry, and talented.
Drafted in the second round he approaches every game with something to prove. The Richardson-Winslow combo usually engenders excitement but we haven’t seen much of it this year due to injury.
10. Udonis Haslem
That red gas light may have popped up on Udonis Haslem’s dashboard years ago but I feared for my life not having the Heat enforcer in the Top 10.
Armed with elite old-man strength, UD could still probably take on 95 percent of the league in a battle to the death.
9. Willie “Showtime” Reed
A man with the nickname “Showtime” must be in the Top 10. From a defense and rebounding perspective, he’s a poor man’s Haslem in a longer, more athletic frame.
8. Wayne Ellington
Wayne Robert Ellington Jr. gives off the ring of a legendary poet.
Yet the 3-point marksman must have a dark side considering he’s playing for his seventh team since 2012.
What’s Wayne’s deal? Is he a serial sleep-with-coach’s-wife kind of guy? Does he have such terrible Irritable Bowel Syndrome that his farts create a hectic work environment?
7. James Johnson
Is anyone else shocked at how skilled this dude is? He’s like a bigger Russell Westbrook, only if Westbrook was drained of 70 percent of his super powers.
When James Johnson has the ball in the open court you have no idea what’s coming. This makes him enjoyable to watch. If only he pulled back a little bit.
I think the second-degree black belt will become some contender’s high-quality small ball five off the bench in the near future.
6. Justise Winslow
Who cares if his shooting remains suspect, he’s got tremendous hair.
I can’t stand the Justise slander. Just because wins in basketball are decided by whichever team scores the most points it doesn’t mean an inefficient shooter is a lousy player.
Winslow is an impactful basketball player and still SO young, at 20. He’s savvy enough to play multiple positions on both ends of the floor. His defensive ability is elite. He’s a good passer who plays with a team-first mentality.
Winslow is an entertaining player as well in that he’s among the NBA’s finest defensive specimens. I know defense isn’t sexy to most fans but watching Winslow lock down the perimeter gets my blood flowing.
5. Luke Babbitt
It’s like watching myself hoop over a decade ago, being the prototypical “lanky white dude who can shoot” at Miami Palmetto.
Like Luke, I couldn’t run, jump, or handle all that well.
Like Luke, I had/have a pasty complexion, wore high socks, and frequented Supercuts.
Observing him “attack” off the dribble — sometimes I think the feed is in slow motion — sends nostalgic chills down my spine.
Luke Babbitt gives young white children hope that they too can one day possibly become a professional basketball player, pending they hit 6-foot-8 and possess a lethal jump shot.
4. Goran Dragic
Dragic is one of the league’s most underrated players and it’s hard not to rationalize it’s because of his appearance and style.
Goran rarely plays the game above the rim, which is incredible considering there aren’t many better finishers in the league from the guard position.
More snake than dragon, he’s entertaining with the ball, displaying an uncanny ability to slither through the lane and puncture a defense with his shot-making and unselfish mentality.
3. Tyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson is the basketball version of a coke bottle after pouring in a sleeve of mentos. It’s like they have him connected to an IV brewing with coffee on the bench.
With how hard he plays, Tyler will have dentures by the age of 30.
— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) October 27, 2016
2. Dion Waiters
Where do we begin with the Dion Waiters Experience?
He clearly considers himself the NBA’s finest talent…
When Dion Waiters informed teams he was looking for a max contract https://t.co/98iRTw5kSh
— Funny 2k (@Funny2K_EA) July 26, 2016
He has more trouble with layups than threes…
He screams “AND ONE” on every drive…
— Heatdex (@heatdex) November 26, 2016
He has a video tribute featuring his lowlights with Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ playing in the background…
He shoots more air balls than you do…
— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) November 22, 2016
He single-handedly keeps Shaqtin’ a Fool afloat…
— St. Ballin-tine (@Kobes_Lakers) December 9, 2016
He’s never afraid to shoot and clank a last-second shot…
Dion Waiters for the BUZZER BEATER https://t.co/SQbXhMaVMq
— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) November 18, 2016
And then he’ll do things things like this…
— Marcus Reynolds (@MarcusReynolds6) November 2, 2016
1. Hassan Whiteside
Whether it’s snatching shots out of the air…
Hassan Whiteside with the block of the year! https://t.co/iVMxy4XD7q
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) November 5, 2016
or flexing after an and-one dunk like Hulk Hogan…
Hassan Whiteside is, by far, the most entertaining member of this year’s Miami Heat. He’s the only reason I have Snapchat downloaded on my phone.
He’s also the main reason to watch this team play.
Not to mention his quote game remains elite, referring to Wayne Ellington, who is two years older than Whiteside, as his son.
— mfr24 (@mfr234) December 2, 2016
And ain’t nobody else doing it with blocks.