With two NBA games under their belts, the Miami Heat have started their three-peat quest at 1-1. The defending champions looked focused and healthy in their victory over the Chicago Bulls, but under estimated the Philadelphia 76ers.
The first two games have given us very little insight into Miami and what the squad is capable of. What we can take away from the beginning of the new season is that Erik Spoelstra has and will continue to try different combinations. New roster addition Roger Mason Jr. got to start in Philly as Dwyane Wade took a precautionary night off, and Rashard Lewis made an extended appearance with 11 points.
It is clear that Spoelstra will continue to try new lineups early, but it is unclear when Michael Beasley will make his regular season debut. So far, Beasley’s second stint in South Beach can be deemed a success, but the only major news to report is that the forward made the 15-man roster. There has been much praise for Beasley from his teammates, coaches and analysts. Many believe he could be a big contributor and a possible X-factor for the Heat. So when will he play?
There is a method to Spoelstra’s madness. The normal and more common rotation for Miami was played in the opener against Chicago. He used a more experimental lineup against Philly, expecting it to be an easy game and a good opportunity to try something new. I would not expect Beasley to play against the Brooklyn Nets. This is an important game as a new rivalry has begun to flourish between the two teams.
After Miami is finished in Brooklyn, they take on the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors. Beasley will most likely make his debut in one of those two matchups as the Wizards and Raptors are not seen as threats. Spoelstra will probably stick with a traditional lineup against the Nets, but expect him to experiment against Washington and Toronto and expect Beasley to finally get some playing time.