Justin Hamilton May Give Miami Heat Frontcourt Much-Needed Boost

By Shane Phillips
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have announced that the team has released DeAndre Liggins and signed big man Justin Hamilton from the NBA Development League. Although Hamilton’s role is unknown with the team, any type of change could help the Heat at this point. The defending champs recently broke a three-game skid but have lost four out of the last five games. Those four losses are due in part to a frontcourt that has been ravaged by the giants of the league.

For the second straight year, Miami is at the bottom of the barrel in the rebounding department and still has no real post leader. The offseason signing of Greg Oden brought a touch of excitement, but given his history, he isn’t actually a leading role type player. Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen have shown promising work on the inside, however, they have been rather inconsistent in their scoring, rebounding and defending.

The Liggins’ release didn’t come as much of a surprise as he has only played one game for a total of one minute. He was really signed as a Plan D option since Caron Butler choose elsewhere and Chris Kaman never became available. With the recent doubts in the frontcourt, Hamilton’s signing might actually work out well.

Hamilton has had a stellar season in the D-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In 37 starts, he is averaging 19.3 points and 9.2 rebounds. Of course, those numbers won’t translate over to the pros, but they are impressive nonetheless and rebounding is what the Heat are really lacking.

For all we know, Erik Spoelstra‘s plan for Hamilton is an insurance policy — ride the bench in case Bosh, Andersen or Oden get hurt. I would like to see the young player get a chance, though. You never know what might happen; he could be a short-term fix for a stumbling Miami frontcourt.

Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.

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