The Miami Heat’s preseason kicked off Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami will open its defense of back to back titles against the Atlanta Hawks. The Heat will have seven more games after Monday’s game to get prepared for the regular season opener. The Heat will assess some of its new faces for depth on the roster over the course of the next three weeks.
Don’t expect too much from Dwyane Wade in the beginning of the preseason as he will miss Monday’s contest against the Hawks. Wade who had been battling a bone bruise in his knee has been deemed healthy and should be more valuable this season than in the past few seasons. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will not be shy about resting his players and letting them get to full strength for the beginning of the regular season.
It was announced before their game against Hawks that Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen and Michael Beasley would join Wade on the bench. Haslem, a Heat co-captain, is still recovering from knee surgery and will join the team when he gets his conditioning up to par. Andersen will be held out as a precautionary measure because of minor foot ailment. Beasley’s much anticipated return to South Beach will have to wait for another day. The team will rest his mild calf injury and hope he is ready for the next tune up.
LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen are just a few returnees scheduled to play in the exhibition opener. The Heat will play in front of their home fans at AA Arena for the first time since Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Miami has been searching for some veteran help to fill out the roster. They will be looking at Roger Mason, Jr. and Larry Drew II to serve as backcourt reserves behind Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. Mason is a steady guard who can knock down three-pointers and play solid defense which fits the Heat’s scheme. Drew was added as a camp invitee and will have to blow away his coaches in order to crack the opening day roster.
After Monday, the Heat will hit take their show on the road for games against the Detroit Pistons on October 10 and then prepare for a date the following night against the Charlotte Bobcats. Miami will play the second game of the back to back on October 11 against the Bobcats in Kansas City, MO.
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