What to Watch For in Miami Heat’s Second Preseason Game
Miami Heat vs. Detroit Pistons: 5 Things To Watch For In Preseason Game
The perception of the NBA preseason depends on who you are. For the superstars, it is meaningless. For the bench players, it is a chance to move up the pecking order. For the NBA hopefuls, it is a chance to make life-long dreams come true.
For the Miami Heat, it is a bit different than all of those descriptions
As the defending champions attempt to become the sixth three-peat in NBA history, this preseason has more riding on it than in years past.
The roster has yet to be decided. Miami has 13 players with guaranteed contracts, leaving two spots for seven dreamers. Every preseason game is like a playoff game for them
Chris Bosh and his “superstar” status is an uncertainty. Bosh had the worst numbers of his career last season and disappeared in the playoffs.
Even Dwyane Wade and his health are up in the air. Wade underwent OssaTron shock treatment in the offseason. His knees have proven to be a reoccurring issue and almost cost Miami the championship.
So, this preseason is more important than many may think.
We got some answers in the opener against the Atlanta Hawks. Miami walked away with a 92-87 victory with Bosh as the leading man. However, Wade was a last-minute scratch from the lineup as leg soreness grounded the All-Star.
Tonight will provide more answers as the Heat take on the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons have undergone some big changes in the offseason and may have a shot at the playoffs. This will prove to be a better test for Miami than Atlanta was.
Here are five things to watch for as Miami looks to start the preseason 2-0.
5. Norris Cole's Attitude
Norris Cole has had a busy week in Miami. Trade rumors surrounded the third-year guard, but Pat Riley and the defending champs decided to exercise the 2014-15 option on Cole’s contract. He is now the only player on next season’s roster for the Heat.
Watch for Cole to be aggressive tonight in Detroit. Although the trade rumors are probably nothing more than rumors, he will want to show Erik Spoelstra, Riley and Miami that he deserves to be in South Beach.
4. Roger Mason Jr.
Miami still has some decisions to make when it comes to the 15-man roster, but Roger Mason Jr. is trying to make that easy. The veteran guard came out strong in his first preseason game with 14 points and six rebounds for the Heat.
Mason Jr. is fighting for a roster spot and is making a strong campaign. If he has another solid outing tonight, he is all but guaranteed to be playing ball in South Beach come November
3. Michael Beasley
Oh, the ongoing saga of Michael Beasley continues. He did not play in the preseason opener, citing calf soreness as the reason. It is unknown if Spoelstra will play the troubled forward tonight, but Beasley needs to start stating his case.
Beasley’s contract has no guarantees and leaves him fighting for a spot on the roster. All signs point to him making the team, but it was a surprise when Miami signed him. Just keep a close eye on Beasley -- you never know what he might do.
2. Chris Bosh's Resurgence
Chris Bosh has vowed to have his best season this year and it is off to a promising start. The Heat forward had 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the preseason win against the Atlanta Hawks.
That is a good sign as Bosh attempts to reassert himself as one the league's dominant players. I expect another big game out of him tonight because he needs to -- not for the team, but for his own self-confidence.
1. Dwyane Wade's Debut
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, animals of all ages, this is the moment you have all been waiting for: The return of “Flash”!
Dwyane Wade is expected to make his preseason debut tonight after being scratched from Monday’s opener. This is the first time we will get to see Wade after offseason knee treatments.
We all know of the bone bruises, tendinitis and weak knees that doomed Wade last season, but now the Miami star is said to be the healthiest he has been in years. It will be interesting to see how much Wade plays and how healthy those knees actually are.