On Wednesday night the Miami Heat held their annual pre season public scrimmage at American Airlines Arena. The event drew a sold out crowd wanting to see how the Heat looked so far in preparing to defend their NBA championship with new player additions in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. The fact that Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, and Joel Anthony didn’t take part in the scrimmage due to injuries left a small window for the team’s bubble players to show that they belong on the roster.
Here are a few items to take away from the scrimmage:
Allen moved real well throughout the game. He showed that he understood head coach Erik Spoelstra‘s system well early on. Allen showed little problems with his ankles as he is still recovering from surgery. Not only did Allen show his ability to get open from beyond the arc is not being bothered by recovery, but he also moved to the paint with no visible strains.
Mike Miller continues to surprise with how well he is moving after deciding to not have back surgery in order to play this upcoming season. He didn’t grab his back in pain on the court as much as he did last season when it was a regular occurrence. He also didn’t spend as much time on his back while on the bench, another good sign.
Lewis is still getting his legs back after knee problems have plagued him the last few seasons. He missed all of his shots from the perimeter but did score once by going to the paint. It looks like the plan with Lewis is to have him at the perimeter while LeBron James and Chris Bosh work inside. He did show a willingness to go inside and rebound, which is a plus.
Among the bubble players overall, it was Terrel Harris who had the best showing. He scored, defended, and facilitated the ball well. He showed that he can play the point and knows the system. The scrimmage may provided him an opening at the roster as the third string behind Chalmers and Norris Cole, something the Heat didn’t have last season.
Among the bubble players who are big men, not much was shown from them. Mickell Gladness played the best among them by showing his energy on both sides of the floor.
Between Josh Harrellson and Dexter Pittman, neither showed much to impress. Not showing much might be a welcome sign for Pittman as it may show less fouls being drawn from him. Harrellson did show some grit when it came to defense but didn’t show his biggest potential asset to Miami, his long range shooting. The main conclusion from both thus far can be they they are still in fact projects.
Jarvis Varnado did show some energy, but he also show edthat he needs to adjust more to NBA style play.
While this scrimmage did show some bright spots for players, it’s still only one step the Heat have taken in camp. The next big step is the first pre season game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.