1996–97 Miami Heat season

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1996–97 Miami Heat season
Atlantic Division Champions
Head coach Pat Riley
Arena Miami Arena
Results
Record 61–21 (.744)
Place Division: 1st (Atlantic)
Conference: 2nd (Eastern)
Playoff finish East Finals
(eliminated 1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television SportsChannel Florida, Sunshine Network, WBFS
Radio WIOD
< 1995–96 1997–98 >

The 1996–97 Miami Heat season was Miami's ninth season in the NBA.[1] Tim Hardaway had a career season with the Heat as he led the Heat in scoring with 20.3 points per game.[2] He finished fourth in MVP voting behind Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, and Grant Hill. On the defensive side, Alonzo Mourning and P. J. Brown provided leadership. The club also had a group of role players led by Isaac Austin, who was honored with the NBA Most Improved Player Award.[2] The Heat won their first division title with a record of 61 wins and 21 losses, which stood as the franchise mark until the 2012–13 season.

Off-season[edit]

NBA draft[edit]

Main article: 1996 NBA draft

The Heat did not have any draft picks in 1996.

Roster[edit]

Starters

Backup

Reserve

Inactive

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 29–12 32–9 16–8
x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 4 31–10 26–15 19–6
x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 16 26–15 19–22 13–11
x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 17 25–16 19–22 14–10
New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 35 16–25 10–31 11–13
Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 39 11–30 11–30 11–14
Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 46 11–30 4–37 1–23
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Chicago Bulls 69 13 .841
2 y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 8
3 x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 12
4 x-Atlanta Hawks 56 26 .683 13
5 x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 15
6 x-Charlotte Hornets 54 28 .659 15
7 x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 24
8 x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 25
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 27
10 Indiana Pacers 39 43 .476 30
11 Milwaukee Bucks 33 49 .402 36
12 Toronto Raptors 30 52 .366 39
13 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 43
14 Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 47
15 Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 54
z - clinched division title
y - clinched division title
x - clinched playoff spot

Schedule[edit]

Game Date Opponent Result Heat points Opponents Record Streak Notes
1

Playoffs[edit]

In the first round of the playoffs, the Heat confronted their in-state rivals, the Orlando Magic. The Heat won the first two games. In Orlando, the Magic defeated the Heat to force a fifth game. The Heat won the decisive Game 5 at home, 91–83.[2] In the following round, the Heat were matched up against Pat Riley's former team, the New York Knicks. After the first four games, the Knicks had a 3–1 series lead. The Heat won Game 5 although the game was remembered for P. J. Brown fighting with Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.[2] Some Knicks players came off the bench and earned automatic suspensions, and Brown was suspended for the rest of the series. The Heat players stayed on the bench and gained an advantage for the rest of the series. The Heat eliminated the undermanned Knicks in seven games and one of the most heated rivalries in the NBA was born.[2] In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat were vanquished by the eventual world champion Chicago Bulls in five games.

East first round[edit]

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Orlando Magic Last Playoff meeting: Not available (first playoff series)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(MIA–ORL)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 24 Miami 99 Orlando 64 1–0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 1
2 April 27 Miami 104 Orlando 87 2–0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 2 NBC
3 April 29 Orlando 88 Miami 75 2–1 Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida 3 TBS
4 May 1 Orlando 99 Miami 91 2–2 Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida 4 TNT
5 May 4 Miami 91 Orlando 83 3–2 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 5 NBC
Miami wins series 3–2

East Conference Semifinals[edit]

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) New York Knicks Last Playoff meeting: Not available (first playoff series)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(MIA–NYK)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 7 Miami 79 New York 88 0-1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 1 TNT
2 May 9 Miami 88 New York 84 1-1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 2 TNT
3 May 11 New York 77 Miami 73 1-2 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 3 NBC
4 May 12 New York 89 Miami 76 1-3 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 4 TNT
5 May 14 Miami 96 New York 81 2-3 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 5 TNT
6 May 16 New York 90 Miami 95 3-3 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York 6 TNT
7 May 18 Miami 101 New York 90 4-3 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 7 NBC
Miami wins series 4–3

East Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat Last Playoff meeting: 1996 Eastern Conference First Round (Chicago won 3–0)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(CHI–MIA)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 20 Chicago 84 Miami 77 1–0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 1 TNT
2 May 22 Chicago 75 Miami 68 2–0 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 2 TNT
3 May 24 Miami 74 Chicago 98 3–0 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 3 NBC
4 May 26 Miami 87 Chicago 80 3–1 Miami Arena, Miami, Florida 4 NBC
5 May 28 Chicago 100 Miami 87 4–1 United Center, Chicago, Illinois 5 NBC
Chicago wins series 4–1

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Regular season[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]