Joe Johnson.

Dwyane Wade's Miami sales pitch to Joe Johnson: 'Live in the best place'

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Joe Johnson made a winning start to life with the Miami Heat on Sunday night, slotting straight into the starting lineup and scoring 12 points as the South Florida franchise defeat the New York Knicks 98-81.

The win keeps Miami fourth in the Eastern Conference and a full 16 wins ahead of his former team, the Brooklyn Nets.

Sales pitch

Johnson certainly looks to be heading for playoff basketball this season, and it will certainly have played a part in his decision to join the Heat. Franchise star Dwyane Wade, however, revealed his sales pitch didn't centre around on-court issues.

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As reported by Miami Herald reporter Ethan J. Skolnick, Wade focussed on the finer things in life:

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Miami, located in the southern tip of the 'Sunshine state', can offer its players tropical weather and sandy beaches - a far cry from the New York City climate Johnson has just departed after four years with the Brooklyn Nets.

With the colder climates of Toronto and Cleveland said to have be in the running for the seven-time All-Star before he committed to Miami, it seems Wade used the city's selling points to convince his new teammate over the weekend.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks

Playoff potential

Of course, the Heat's current position in the higher echelons of the Eastern Conference will also have been an attractive proposition to Johnson. 

Eric Spoelstra's team may be 8.5 games behind the conference-topping Cavaliers, but they are well-placed to land a favourable playoff seed at this stage of the season. 

With 23 games remaining, they are six games behind Toronto and just 1.5 behind the Boston Celtics, although they are currently dealing with the absence of Chris Bosh who had been leading the team in scoring this season.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets

The addition of Johnson will then provide Miami will some much-needed experience as they look to finish of the regular season strong.

Spoelstra, speaking yesterday, had his say on Johnson's arrival:

"The skill set that he has fits very much," Spoelstra said. "He can play a lot of different positions. ... just fit in. Be aggressive. Be who you are. We'll adapt to him."

"We've brought him here to play a significant piece to what we're trying to do.

"We're in a very competitive race right now in the Eastern Conference ... to be able to add a player of his caliber, we need him in the mix. We can fast-track it."

One thing is for certain. If Miami can make a deep run in the playoffs, it won't just be the weather the veteran point guard is celebrating over the summer.

Eastern Conference
Dwyane Wade
Miami Heat
Southeast Division

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