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10 Questions Facing Heat (Pt. 1, Updated)

With training camp set to open in less than two weeks, the Miami Heat seems to be generating more WadeJamesBosh questions than the team is answering these days.

So as the countdown to the Sept. 27 start of camp continues, now might be as good a time as ever to reveal our top 10 questions facing the Heat. We'll examine these questions in descending order - tackling Nos. 10 through 6 today, and, barring any major developments, Nos. 5 through 1 on Thursday.

10. Where will Miami hold training camp? The team was as tight-lipped about this subject as it's ever been about any trade or surprising personnel move in the works. That was until it announced Wednesday night that camp will be held from Sept. 28-Oct. 3 at Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach. What we know is that the Heat has sent a few staffers out to stake out sites that would serve the purpose of limiting distractions, getting the players out of any comfort zone and accommodating mounting media demands. Mission accomplished. It's a noble move by the Heat. If the Lakers and Warriors can train in Hawaii, the Heat could easily have made reservations in the Bahamas. Guess we all better get ready for basketball's version of boot camp.

9. Is one more veteran on the way? With a handful of once-prominent veterans still looking for NBA work - and some angling for a spot with the Heat - Pat Riley is deciding whether to enter camp with the 18 players, including 11 newcomers, he has under partial or fully-guaranteed contracts or determining whether to add another player to the mix. What we know is that center Erik Dampier is available and intrigued by the Heat. But he also knows it's a business and, after losing $13 million overnight upon his release from Charlotte, Dampier might first seek a bigger payday than the $1.3 million Miami can offer at the vet's min. Allen Iverson, Flip Murray, Jerry Stackhouse, Larry Hughes and Earl Watson are still out there, too.

8. What tempo best fits this team? It would be hard to find three better athletes at their positions in the Showtime Lakers league than Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The best way to keep them all involved is to play an up-tempo style, one far more similar to Pat Riley's 1980s Lakers than his 1990s half-court, slug-it-out Knicks. What we know is that opposing teams want to neutralize the Heat with a zone and force Miami's stars to settle for jumpers. The worst thing for this team would be for Dwyane to sit on the wing waiting to see what LeBron is going to do in a halfcourt set - or vice versa. Let these guys loose.

7.Will legal issues facing Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade impact camp? Unless Haslem pleads to a reduced charge, his felony drug possession case will hang over this team entering camp in a major way. A plea could also land Haslem a league suspension of some sort. What we know is that Miami is accustomed to dealing with distractions. But a player facing a felony is above and beyond anything else it has been hit with in recent years. Wade's custody battle for his two young sons in Chicago could play out for another week - or another month. What we know is that Riley is confident both players will be on the court when camp practices start on Sept. 28.

6. Will Pat Riley get the itch to return to the bench? Barring an unforeseen health problem - or a surprising Riley marriage, the birth of some children and a desire to spend more time with that new family - Erik Spoelstra will coach the Heat. And that means Pat Riley will remain in his role solely as team president and patriarch of the franchise. What we know is that Riley wants no part of coaching a Tuesday night game at Milwaukee in February. Or the 3 a.m. return from road trips. He's put in 30-plus years of that stuff. The man still has one of the best minds in the game. And the strategy sessions, motivational methods and actual game-night coaching would be a breeze for him at age 65. But he's assembled a group of players who should be able to coach themselves to at least the conference Finals. Besides, Pat seems quite comfortable from his perch, doing his Rick Ross thing - absorbing the envy of the league and selectively bashing back at those who took shots at Miami.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)


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Good post Mike.You're by far the best Heat beat writer.

BASIC MATH: Wallace > Ira


bring in stackhouse and dampier....


To Michael Wallace and Israel Gutierrez.
Why Sun-sentinel is a head in news of Herald?
They are reporting some times full day before Herald about what is happening with Miami Heat.
Example the training camp in military base.
I am Heat and Herald sport fan, but I want keep update.

Is there any way Riley could Coach the Home games only during season and all the playoffs??

Put Sunshine Crow back on TV!!

I love the writing style of MW over Ira, but I just get the impression that they are much more on top of things over at the Sun Sentinel than they are at the Herald.

That's no knock on MW, it's a knock on the Herald. I don't doubt that the Herald cripples MW from a financial standpoint.

Haslem got away with it ... kinda like OJ got away with it ... lol.

Miami Herald is way behind the times. Sun-Sentinel is much quicker with updates.
Has anyone visited the herald from a mobile phone? Pathetic.

The Miami Herald is awful. They are VERY behind in their reporting.

Websites like, and yahoo sports reported MIAMI HEAT NEWS FASTER than the MIAMI HERALD. Seriously?

Mike's ONLY JOB is to report on the Miami Heat. Not the Canes. Not the Dolphins. Not the Panthers. Not FIU. Just the HEAT.

And, I found out Wade, Bosh and EVEN LBJ were headed to Miami from outside websites. Hell, I even have my own source tell me if Wade re-signed with Miami, it meant LBJ was coming. I live in Washington, D.C., went online and bought HEAT season tickets when I heard Wade was gonna stay.

I grew up most of my life in Miami. Read the Herald daily. DAILY. But, they are nothing more than an archive these days. It's really sad to see.

I'm out.

One last thing...

Happy Independence Day to all Miami Heat fans from Mexico!!!!!!

"Barring... a surprising marriage, the birth of some children and a desire to spend more time with that new family - Erik Spoelstra will coach the Heat."

A surprising marriage. Hmmm, is MW dropping a hint that Spolestra is gay?

More likely, a sad workaholic.

Midseason announcement - Erik Spoelstra decides to quit as coach and focus on spending time with his new family.

Quotes Erik - "I just miss my newborn so much and I want to be there for him in his critical baby stages."

Pat Riley in tears, agrees to step in as coach.

We absolutely have to sign Eric Dampier. Hes the starting center we desperately need with Joel and Big-Z coming off the bench depending on the situation. Dampier is a great rebounder and he can finish on dunks when his teammates pass him the ball unlike Joel has yet to show. He is also an energy guy and would be good for tip in misses. Pat please sign sign Dampier even though he is soft but he is clearly the guy we need next to Bosh and bye bye Magloire even though i like you but this is a bussiness and Dampier is who we need for the Lakers and Orlando and Boston...

This team is built to run. Hopefully Spoelstra and Riley have figured that out. You don't put a racehorse in a harness and ask it to pull a wagon.

Dampier would be nice.....

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