On Oct. 11, NBA fans were given an early morning treat from Beijing as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers played the first of a two game series as part of the league’s efforts to further promote itself globally. The game features highlight reel dunks along with a promotion involving giving out free Frisbees to fans as Miami won 94-80.
The game was used by Miami as more of a gauge to look at their bubble players. Injuries to Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman, and Jarvis Varnado have given the team an ample opportunity to do this.
Here is a look at how the Heat looked in the game:
LeBron James still is showing no signs of slowing down after one of the most successful individual seasons in NBA history. From the start of the game he dominated play whenever he was on the court and was awarded the game’s MVP award afterwards.
Dwyane Wade made his pre season debut after sitting out the first game against the Atlanta Hawks due to recorenig from knee surgery. Rust was evident when it came to shooting but Wade showed great mobility and hops. His trademark shot blocking looked to be back along with his overall defense. Wade did provide a funny moment due to missing a dunk attempt in the game.
Along with making his first appearance in the pre season, Wade also debuted his new shoe line from Chinese brand Li Ning.
Chris Bosh looks to be getting more comfortable in his new full time role at center. While still giving up size to his Clipper counterpart in DeAndre Jordan, Bosh used his quickness to his advantage. He did however get in foul trouble which might keep him out of key situations in the regular season should it become a trend.
Given their actual chances at making the roster, bubble players Rodney Carney, Robert Dozier, and Garrett Temple played well in the game. Temple stoood out the most as he showed his ability to get into the paint with ease. Both Carney and Temple showed defensive intensity that sometimes produced turnovers. Dozier showed that he is able to get into the paint for easy baskets along with maintaining a presence there.
With Pittman and Varnado out, Mickell Gladness and Josh Harrellson were given the chance to stand out from the pack. Gladness had the best showing among the two due to his energy. While still lacking an offensive game, Gladness showed off his shot blocking skill that impressed Miami’s coaching staff last season. As for Harrellson, the ground he gained in Atlanta was mostly given back. He has yet to exploit the biggest advantage he has from the other bubble big men, his long range shooting.
Bubble player Terrel Harris played late in the game and played well when he was on the floor. He played most of the game against the Hawks and was steady during that time. It appears that his main competition has emerged in Temple.
The Heat and Clippers will play the second game of the series in Shanghai on October 14 at 12:30 pm local time, meaning that it will be broadcast on NBATV at 12:30 am that day.