In every competition in life, there are winners and there are losers. Such is the case with the Miami Heat’s first full week of training camp for the 2012-2013 season.
Right now, Miami’s roster stands at 20 men. With only 15 spots available during the regular season, some players are fighting to avoid being cut or sent to the D-league.
Some others, who are basically guaranteed a roster spot, are just trying to get in shape or acclimate themselves to the team’s chemistry.
Here are my five winners or losers from Week 1 of the preseason.
After enduring a condensed 66-game schedule and a grueling playoff run, every Heat player—except for one—got to relax and recuperate during the summer.
LeBron James was that lone soul, as he immediately started training with Team USA for the Olympics, which didn’t end until mid-August.
Once he returned from London, LeBron went right back into physical work, going through “Hell Week 2” with Kevin Durant.
Needless to say, his summer has been busy and exhausting.
The poor guy just can’t find any time to rest.
Imagine the smile on Erik Spoelstra’s face when he first stepped foot in training camp.
He already had three of the best 20 players in the world at his disposal for the past two years, including the No. 1 player on James. Now he gets Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen at a discount to bolster his roster, while LeBron is poised to put together one of the all-time greatest seasons ever?
It’s almost unfair.
He’s like the one kid in kindergarten whom everyone else is super jealous of because his parents shower him with any and every toy he wants.
All the other coaches probably secretly hate him, but I’m sure Spoelstra doesn’t mind.
Poor Udonis Haslem.
Apparently, he doesn’t feel like his game belongs with Miami, and has therefore started working on a three-point shot.
The addition of Lewis, who also plays Haslem’s position of power forward, and the fact that Bosh can step outside to knock down a three every now and then, has Haslem thinking he must be able to hit threes in order to keep his spot in the rotation.
This is not a wise decision.
Not everyone needs to shoot threes. Miami has plenty of guys to do that already.
The Heat needs what Haslem specializes at—rebounding and toughness. By spending all his time working on shooting, he’s going to lose his effectiveness in the areas where he really shines.
It’s going to be tough for Terrel Harris to earn a roster spot. As a point guard, he entered camp third on the depth chart behind Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, both of whom made big plays in the NBA Finals last year.
But Harris has started out camp with a bang.
First, he shined in the Red & White game, nailing a three-pointer and finishing at the rim in acrobatic fashion multiple times.
Then, Harris got 23 minutes of play in Sunday’s preseason game. He only scored three points, but he also grabbed five rebounds, dished for four assists, stole a ball and blocked a shot, proving he’s a well-rounded player.
If Spoelstra decides to cut Harris, it certainly won’t be an easy decision.
We all know all the grief Chalmers receives from LeBron and Wade every time he makes a bonehead play.
They happen so frequently, LeBron is already calling out Chalmers, saying he needs to mature more this season.
Chalmers’ roster spot is basically already secured, but it’s never good to start out the season in the dog house.
He’s going to have to quickly prove to LeBron that he has indeed grown up.