Last week we asked the all-important question "Is it time to start worrying about the Heat's projected starting power forward?" and the answer appears to be yes. Yes, it is time to worry.
On Monday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra indicated that Josh McRoberts might not be cleared medically in time for the start of the regular season. The Heat opens the season on Oct. 29 with a home game against the Washington Wizards. McRoberts is recovering from offseason surgery on is left great toe.
“It’s too early to tell, but he’s doing a lot,” Spoelstra said. “I anticipate he’ll increase his workload significantly in the next week to 10 days.
The Heat plays the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday before flying to Brazil for a preseason game against LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. McRoberts certainly isn't expected to play in either game unless, of course, Spoelstra is being completely evasive, which sometimes he is wont to do.
But, for the purposes of this blog post, let's assume McRoberts is out for at least the next 10 days, which means at best he'll be back for the Heat's preseason home game against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 17. That appears to be a best-case scenario.
McRoberts missed the Heat's preseason opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, which rasied more questions than it answered, and it's beginning to seem like there will be plenty of questions revolving around this team by the time the season starts. For starters, McRoberts is supposed to be an important piece to the team's new offensive system, so if McRoberts isn't playing preseason games and participating fully in practice, then the Heat can't really implement much of what it plans to build upon throughout the season.
So, that's kind of a problem.
It means that even if McRoberts is healthy by the season opener, and plays against the Wizards, the team will only be starting at square one. On top of that, the Heat will be playing without LeBron James for the first time in four years. Some major growing pains could be in store for the Eastern Conference's four-time defending champions, but, hey, it could always be worse.
## Chris Andersen went through a full practice session on Monday, according to Spoelstra, but Andersen remains questionable for Tuesday's game due to a sore calf and foot.
## Asked if all 20 players in camp were traveling to Brazil on Tuesday night, Spoelstra said yes, but left room for doubt. "Yes, as of right now," he said.
## A story on how the NBA's new national television deals could affect the Heat will be in Tuesday's paper.