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5 Heat Scrimmage Reflections

The Heat pulled the curtain back on their training camp preparations Friday for a scrimmage that gave Wade-LeBron players their first chance to play basketball under normal game standards.

We were there for a rare start-to-finish view of the Heat's first dress rehearsal for the Tuesday preseason opener against Detroit. We present five reflections from Friday's scrimmage.

1. Big 3 Chemistry - There are still plenty of kinks to work out between Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. But they certainly will enjoy luxuries they've never experienced before now that they're playing for the same team. After spending the first half split apart, Bosh, James and Wade were in the red team's starting lineup for the second half of Friday's scrimmage. That red team either scored or got to the free-throw line on at least 60 percent of its possessions when Wade, James and Bosh were on the floor. That's huge. When Wade wasn't driving to the line and drawing fouls, Bosh was stroking his baseline, turnaround jumper. At one point, he scored on that move four times in five possessions. James was allowed to play free safety on defense, and seemed to be guarding three guys at a time.

2. LeBron bests Wade again - James got the upper hand on Wade when they anchored different squads in the first half of the scrimmage. James' white team built an early double-digit lead in the first half and was up by about 20 at one point before closing out with a 49-34 victory. James' squad has been getting the best of Wade's teams for most of the week. LeBron's playmaking ability is as good as advertised. His passing might be his best skillset, and that's saying a lot considering all he can do on both ends of the court. But it was Wade who made the play of the night when he banked in a lefty hook from halfcourt after James fouled him by grabbing his right arm. The play didn't count because a time-out was called moments earlier. But it was still the play of the week.

3. Starting 5 set - That might not be the case just yet. But the red team that opened the second half consisted of Pat Beverley at point guard, Wade at shooting guard, James at small forward, Bosh at power forward and Joel Anthony at center. It's pretty safe to assume that four of those five will be in the starting lineup when the preseason opens on Tuesday. Obviously, Beverley, who has been stellar on the defensive end in workouts, won't be the Heat's starting point guard. He was in that role Friday because Mario Chalmers was held out of the second half of the scrimmage, perhaps as a precaution to prevent more wear and tear as he works his way back from that high ankle sprain.

4. Bench Boost - The fact that the Big Red team couldn't exactly pull completely away from the white team of reserves says one of two things. Either Bosh, James and Wade are still weeks away from working out some of the chemistry kinks. Or, the bench might be even better than many people believe. James Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Carlos Arroyo, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller started for the white team. Miller eventually was traded midway through the second half to the red team. That allowed Haslem to be a lot more aggressive offensively than normal. James Jones also looked really good and knocked down shots to keep the game competitive. James took advantage of his opportunities with Eddie House sidelined with shoulder soreness.

5. Riddle in the Middle - The Heat still does not have a legitimate low-post, offensive threat at center. There's size, rebounding and shot-blocking. But not necessarily all at the same time. Big Z certainly was a crowd favorite among the military fan base. He also knocked down a few shots, and drew loud cheers and chants after every positive move he made. Joel Anthony was active and altering shots at the rim. And Jamaal Magloire was an enforcer in the middle. Just don't ask him to shoot free throws. The Heat might prove to be dynamic enough at the other four spots to overcome some shortcomings at center. Rookie Dexter Pittman might be the best back-to-the-basket option at the position, but will he get an opportunity for meaningful minutes as the fourth center in the rotation? Not likely.  

Comments

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awsome, watched it and when they all click this is going to be amazing. Lebron is awsome and is insanely talented, the attack of him and wade is going to be an even more athletic version of jordan and scottie, and Bosh took a while to get going but he has a variety of ways to score and his shot is really accurate. Somrthing tells me they arent even whipping their best out for this training camp scrimmage. Come opening night vs.boston we are going to be amazing. So happy this happened for those who root for the heat as a fan of the game and hometown team I must say i have never been so excited about a season; and that says alot because i am a faithful fan watching every game all the time. Glad ill be able to witness the best possible basketball being played. Lets go heat.

sounds like the question marks at center and point guard will continue through the early part of the season.

i like the joe-L & big-Z offense/defense combo. and i think there will be minutes left over for the rook...spo is good about spreading the minutes throughout the season.

point guard is a bigger concern. hopefully wario can earn his spot with some defense. arroyo is a good player but a bad fit for this team. letting a rookie start at point guard seems like a bad idea. this will be a weakness all season...unless lebron takes over at the point...

the more I read about Lebron's passing ability .... I think we should try to use him at PG ...

Here is a possible starting 5

LEBRON,PG
WADE, SG
MILLER,SF
BOSH, PF
ROTATION OF 3 AT CENTER

No way Lebron at point. That would absolutely kill our depth on the bench unless James Jones transforms back into James Jones of the Suns. Key bench players coming off the bench come playoff time and period should be SG:Miller, SF:Butler, PF:Haslem, C:Big-Z. 9 man rotation. If James Jones steps up than Lebron or Wade can play PG and than Jones can get some PT at SF and move Butler to SG backup. Plenty of optins to fool around with but James Jones has showed me no reason to believe he will step his game up and play with a chip on his shoulder because he has something to prove just like the rest of these guys but i have given up on Jones...

Israel you need to write an article on how James Jones will need to step his game up this season because he owes us Miami fans since he has been nothing but a dissapoint since hes been here thru out his Miami tenure. Guy can be a key guy for us and might be able to earn some MLE along with Butler once hes healthy if he proves us wrong...

i'm not sold on butler. i'd rather see eddie house get those minutes, and move miller to the sf

No matter how much Butler impresses, he will never see the court this year. He's a rookie and this is Miami remember. Our veterans are a lot better than they was in the past. I do think this will be JJ breakout season and do think he owes us. Wade and lbj both have played the Point atleast half the game in there careers. They may not like to be called PG but that's what they been.

Saw the scrimage on NBA TV. The 2nd unit on the last 20 minutes played as a team setting up plays and finding the open man.
The 1st unit played the same helter skelter game played by the Heats last season when Arroyo was not on the court.
It demostrated that even with 3 superstars a team can not consistently win in the NBA without Team Work and that starts at the Point.

here is 15 to go with

CENTER: ANTHONY, Z, MAG (put Pittman in europe for the year ... bring him back in 2011)

PF: BOSH, UDONIS, HOWARD (Verdano in europe for the year ... return in 2011)

SF: LEBRON, JONES , BUTLER

SG: WADE, MILLER, HOUSE

PG: CHALMERS, ARROYO, BEVERLY

In 2011 Pittman will get his chance to replace Z or Mag .... and Verdano gets his chance to replace J.Howard

i agree with mike, but i would find a way to add pittman to the team this year. maybe make howard or magloire assistant coaches

ho are the starting 5

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