Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony Doubtful for Sunday

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Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Heat are hitting the road to play their first preseason game of the 2012-13 NBA year against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 7 at Phillips Arena. While they are traveling with the team, Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Joel Anthony won’t take the court due to injuries.

Wade is an obvious scratch from the lineup because Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra stated at the start of training camp that he will miss most of the preseason while still recovering from knee surgery. Wade will likely also travel with the team as they head to China to play two games against the Los Angeles Clippers. It will be interesting to see if he is held out of both of those games given his rumored endorsement deal with Beijing-based shoe company Li Ning.

As for Chalmers and Anthony, neither have a risk of losing a roster spot due to not playing. With their absence being felt, it gives Miami time to evaluate bubble players in actual game situations.

With Chalmers, who suffered a quadriceps injury in camp, out of the lineup Norris Cole will start in his place. Cole can show his improvement on the court that have been praised by many in camp. It can also serve as another chance for bubble player Terrel Harris to show the team that is worthy of a roster spot.

Anthony has been limited in camp due to a hamstring injury, but is most likely already secured the primary backup center role with Chris Bosh having moved to that position. With him out of the lineup, it will give another change for the Heat bubble big men to impress. Save for a small showing by Mickell Gladness, none of the bubble bigs stood out in Miami’s Red & White scrimmage on Oct. 3.