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On the Heat's growing concerns at point guard and other observations from the second preseason game

Norris Cole started at point guard and he played well, so that was a major positive for the Heat on Tuesday night in its second preseason game, a 108-101 overtime loss to the Orlando Magic.

Now the bad news.

While Cole's debut at helm of the offense helped calm some troubled waters, it is already obvious (and sometimes painfully so) that the Heat's needs at point guard go well beyond who is introduced on the videoboard before the game. Starter is important, yes, but so is depth, and the Heat doesn't it have it right now in the backcourt.

The memory of LeBron James has cast a long shadow over the position.

Cole finished with six assists and two points in less than 27 minutes, and that allowed Mario Chalmers to come off the bench as something of a hybrid guard. I wouldn't call it a true Sixth Man role at this point because, well, he also had to do plenty of ball handling, which has never been a true strength. The Heat could use a third point guard, but rookie Shabazz Napier is developing slowly.

Napier has received minutes at the end of both preseason games, but nothing more, and he has had trouble getting off shots, which is a troubling.

Cole noted after that game that the Heat had been sloppy at point guard to begin camp and he focused on cleaning some of that up. The Heat had 22 assists to nine turnovers overall (not bad), but was an even better 17-to-4 in turnover-to-assist ratio entering the fourth quarter.

—James Ennis was a bright spot once again for a rebuilding team looking for young and athletic players at a bargain. Ennis 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in less than 29 minutes of work, and also sparked the comeback near the end of regulation.

—Chris Bosh finished with 18 points and looked better than his preseason debut against Anthony Davis in New Orleans.

—Can't blog much tonight. Gotta catch a bus to the airport and then a flight to Brazil.




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