With weary legs and nagging pains from five days of training camp, tonight's Heat intra-squad scrimmage at AmericanAirlines Arena will likely be light on revelatory observations. Still, this is the first time anyone outside of coaches and team personnel have observed the Heat together sans LeBron, so there is some intrigue.
Here are five things I'll be looking for tonight. The scrimmage begins at 7 p.m. and fans can watch it live at Heat.com.
1. How will Chris Bosh be used?
With LeBron in Cleveland, Bosh is now the team's most versatile player. He'll play the four and five this season, and both Bosh and Dwyane Wade have hinted toward Bosh doing a little bit of everything with the ball in his hands — back to the basket, driving, three-point shooing, distributing. Bosh's number of touches in the team scrimmage should be more than double from the last four years. Wade is still the team's major offensive threat from the wing, but Bosh will be at the heart of everything the Heat does on both ends of the floor. How he transitions into his new role as a franchise player is the major question facing the Heat. Off the court, Bosh has been working this week to assume the locker room leadership role that LeBron held for four years.
2. Will there be a breakout youngster?
There are plenty of young players in camp this week and they'll each get their chances to make solid impressions tonight. Norris Cole first showed signs of his potential during the team's preseason training camp scrimmage. Small forward James Ennis starred in Australia last year and Heat coaches and executives are hoping for big things. Rookie point guard Shabazz Napier improved throughout summer league, so he'll be expected to build off of that momentum.
3. How mobile is Danny Granger?
There have been some mixed messages about Granger's health throughout the first week of training camp. Granger said on Tuesday that he hasn't felt any pain in his left knee and hasn't been limited. At the beginning of camp, he said he would be on a "maintenance program" throughout camp. Granger will be needed this season to offset the losses of Ray Allen, Shane Battier and James Jones.
4. How often will we hear or see the phrase "Heat lifer?"
Micky Arison, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra talk about being "Heat lifers" as often as possible these days. It's obvious at this point that the "Heat lifer" idea is the franchise's major marketing push to keep its fanbase thriving this season. It's a proactive approach, but there's always a subtle reminder of LeBron James every time I hear it. Then again, hearing Birdman drop a "hashtag Heat lifer" quote randomly during an interview never gets old. Maybe the video department can just record Birdman saying it and play it back during games.
5. How will Luol Deng fit into the Heat's system?
Most likely extremely well, but Deng is the man replacing LeBron James, so he'll have some added pressure to make an immediate impact.