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Heat still searching for help in the middle

The Sports Xchange
 
Heat still searching for help in the middle · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report
 

Five months into the season, and the Heat still finds itself with uncertainty in the middle.

Having already cycled through three starting centers and having played five true centers this season, the Heat granted a recent tryout to former New York Knicks center Eddy Curry.

While Heat President Pat Riley confirmed the workout, he said it merely was one of many such sessions the team has attended, terming anything beyond that speculation.

So far this season, the Heat has started Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and now Erick Dampier in the middle, and also has utilized centers Jamaal Magloire. In addition starting power forward Chris Bosh and starting power forward LeBron James also have received minutes in the middle.

News of the Curry workout caught several of the Heat's big men off-guard.

"We show up and do the best we can," said Ilgauskas. "Any position on this team you can obviously improve."

Asked if the Heat currently has enough in the middle, Ilgauskas said, "If we win a championship, then, yes, we have enough."

The news of the overture to Curry might have proved inspiring. Dampier closed Sunday's 108-94 victory over the Nets with 10 points and 14 rebounds, supported off the bench by 11 points from Ilgauskas.

Moved by the Knicks to the Timberwolves at the trading deadline, Curry is playoff eligible because he has not been on an NBA roster after March 1. He would be eligible for the postseason provided he is on the roster prior to the regular-season finale in two weeks.

Among those who could be excised in favor of Curry is Dexter Pittman, the 2010 second-round draft pick out of Texas. Pittman only now is returning from February arthroscopic knee surgery.

"It's a business and by being a business, you've got to make business decisions. There's always rumors. Some are true," said Pittman, with the Heat next facing the Bucks on Wednesday night.

Riley has been weighing whether Curry, with his ongoing conditioning issues, could emerge as a playoff contributor.

In order to add Curry or any other player, the Heat would have to cut a player, since the team already is at the NBA's 15-player limit.

Due to injury, conditioning and chemistry issues, Curry has played a total of 10 games over the past three seasons, including none this season.

HEAT 108, NETS 94: Despite losing guard Dwyane Wade for part of the first half with a bruised thigh, the Heat were able to work off an early 21-point lead to make it 11 victories in their last 13 games. The victory that finished off a 3-1 road trip clinched the eighth division title in the franchise's 23 seasons.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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