2000-01: HEAT Shines Even In Dark Hours
After capturing Olympic glory at the 2000 Summer Games, Alonzo Mourning missed the first 69 games of the season after being diagnosed with the kidney disorder focal glomerulosclerosis. Mourning made his 2000-01 debut against Toronto on March 27 and appeared in Miami's final 13 games. In those 13 games, Mourning averaged 13.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and and a team-high 2.38 blocks per game.
Even in Mourning's abscence, the Miami HEAT continued its winning ways. The HEAT's 103-91 win over the Orlando Magic in the final game of the season marked Miami's 50th win of the 2000-2001 campaign. The 50 wins represented the fourth highest single-season total in franchise history. This was due in part to the array of weapons the team acquired over the summer of 2000. The additions of Anthony Mason, Brian Grant and Eddie Jones allowed the team to surpass expectations and make the NBA Playoffs for the sixth consecutive year.
HEAT Head Coach Pat Riley earned his 1,000th career win on opening night vs. the Magic, becoming only the second coach in NBA history to earn 1,000 victories. Along the way, he has coached against every team in the league and has amassed 40 or more victories against 11 teams. By guiding the HEAT to a berth in 2001 Playoffs, Riley also kept his record of leading teams to the playoffs intact. Riley lead each of his 19 teams to the playoffs, which set an NBA record for most consecutive trips to the playoffs. The previous high for consecutive playoff appearances was 18 straight, set by Red Auerbach from 1949 through 1966 (one with Washington, one with Tri-Cities and 16 with Boston).
Tim Hardaway started all 367 games in which he played for the HEAT, which placed him fourth on the HEAT's all-time games started list. HEAT assistant coach Keith Askins is the HEAT's all-time leader in games played at 486 and games started with 461.