5 Things to Take Away from Miami Heat’s Preseason Play
Five Things to Take Away from Miami Heat’s Preseason Play
With the NBA season tipping off in less than eight days, the preseason is coming to a close. So far, the Miami Heat are currently 4-2 in the preseason, with their two losses coming from the young and athletic Washington Wizards and the revamped Brooklyn Nets. With only two preseason games remaining for the Heat, Erik Spoelstra will get these final two games to play around with the roster and decide who will be part of the final 15, plus who will get a crucial spot in the rotation.
This is one of the most important seasons for the Heat in franchise history. With a three-peat on the line, everything will need to go right in order for the Heat to hoist the Larry O Brian trophy in late June. There are a lot of variables going against the defending champs this season, both internal and external.
This offseason, many teams formatted their rosters specifically to beat the Heat in a seven-game series in the playoffs. Although the Dallas Mavericks are the only team to do so since the formation of the Heat’s Big Three, last season’s playoff run exposed many of the Heat’s weaknesses. With many teams shoring up their rosters, the Heat may have a difficult time making it through the regular season at the top of their conference.
The preseason will be wrapping up in a few days, and most NBA fans are clamoring for October 29 to get here as soon as possible. With that being said, here are five things to take away from the Miami Heat’s preseason play.
5. Chris Bosh Refusing to Be Third Wheel
Chris Bosh is currently the Miami Heat's top average scorer, bringing in 17 points per game. I’ll say that again: Bosh is leading the Heat in scoring. This has to be exciting for all of the Heat organization, because it seems that Bosh isn’t content playing as the third option on offense anymore. Bosh has been extremely aggressive, crashing the boards and not just letting the offense come to him. He is dictating it. He has averaged 17 PPG, 4.83 RPG, 1.33 SPG and 0.5 BPG. If Bosh can remain this aggressive and efficient throughout the regular season, a third championship may be a lot easier to come by for the defending champs.
4. Injuries Have Affected the Lineups
The Miami Heat have not been able to put out a consistent lineup throughout the preseason due to one reason: injuries and illness. Multiple players have been nursing injuries since the start of training camp, and it seems that it will remain this way until October 29, when the Heat face off against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. It has been difficult to establish consistency and cohesion with this roster, but it seems that Erik Spoelstra will most likely be starting Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh in eight days.
3. Dwyane Wade is Reborn
With all of the chatter concerning Dwyane Wade’s knee health, you would think it would take a toll on the three-time NBA champion. Absolutely not -- with just an average of 23.9 minutes per game in the preseason, Wade is bringing in 15.67 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 1.67 SPG. What has been most impressive out of Wade so far was his dominating game against the San Antonio Spurs, where he shot 10-of-14 from the field and scored 25 points, seven assists and four rebounds. If Wade can stay healthy and play this dominantly, it will make the workload for LeBron James a lot lighter throughout the regular season and especially in the playoffs. “Flash” could be making a comeback.
2. Michael Beasley is Playing Hard
Michael Beasley has been playing like has have something to prove, or more like something to gain -- a roster spot. Beasley was signed to a non-guaranteed contract on September 12, with a make-good promise that if he performed well throughout training camp and the preseason, he could potentially nab a spot on the final 15-man roster. Beasley has made good on that promise, averaging 11.3 points, 3.67 rebounds and 0.67 blocks per game while only playing 16 minutes a game. Beasley has the potential to be a great addition off the bench for the Miami Heat especially in terms of creating his own offense, which has been an issue for the Heat’s role players in the past. Let’s hope that Beasley can stay out of his own way this time.
1. LeBron James is Taking it Easy
Don’t be alarmed that LeBron James is only the third most productive player on the roster right now. Even though James is shaking off some rust from the extended break he had from basketball over the summer, a maintenance program has been put into effect, limiting the amount of playing time he sees throughout the preseason. This is the reason for the lower-than-normal averages the reigning MVP has been putting up while on the court. With how dominant Dwyane Wade has been playing as of late, James is taking the time to physically get his body ready for the grueling stretch of an 82-game season. James has only missed one preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs so far, but has stated he will most likely miss the final bout against the Brooklyn Nets, their last preseason game.
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