Miami Heat 2013 Preseason: Daily Updates, Scores, News and Analysis
After winning back-to-back championships and making three straight appearances in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat are preparing for yet another run. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the supporting cast have a chance to join elite company by becoming just the sixth team in NBA history to win at least three titles in a row.
It certainly will not be easy to achieve that goal—not with so many contenders rising up in the Eastern Conference and around the league.
The Chicago Bulls have returned an old nemesis in Derrick Rose. The Indiana Pacers have another year of experience under their belt, and have made minor adjustments in preparation for another epic clash with Miami. Meanwhile, plenty of other teams have made personnel changes to try to dethrone the Heat as well.
Simply put, the Heat cannot afford to be listless and lazy during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign. They have a target on their back and everyone will be trying to knock them off over the 82-game schedule.
The road back to the NBA Finals only gets harder each year, and that is something that the key players and coaching staff have to realize.
Miami needs home-court advantage in the playoffs—it was instrumental in overcoming both the Pacers and San Antonio Spurs on the way to the most recent championship—and has to battle every night to get there.
The exhibition schedule should allow the star players to shake off the rust and give team brass a last-minute look at the lesser-known talents on the roster.
Let’s take a look at the entire preseason slate for the Heat. Check back later in the month for scores from the games, the latest breaking news concerning the team and much more.
2013 Miami Heat Preseason Schedule
Monday, Oct. 8
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Thursday, Oct. 10
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Friday, Oct. 11
Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
Tuesday, Oct. 15
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Thursday, Oct. 17
Barclays Arena, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, Oct. 19
San Antonio Spurs
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Wednesday, Oct. 23
New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA
Friday, Oct. 25
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Greg Oden Completes First Practice in 4 Years
The Miami Heat somehow always find a way to get better. This summer, whilst strapped for cap space, the club managed to unearth yet another possible diamond in the rough.
Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden is now under contract and reportedly went through his first NBA practice session since he was a member of the Portland Trail Blazers back in 2009.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Oden went through a number of drills in a converted hotel ballroom in Paradise Island, Bahamas—the site of Miami’s training camp.
When asked about how it felt to be back in that position, Oden was quite happy:
"It felt good just being out there. It's the first time in awhile, I'm happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I've got to take steps."
Head coach Erik Spoelstra agreed with his center’s sentiment:
"It's step by step, practice by practice, minute by minute. It was a big bonus to have him out there. We'll meet with the trainers and see how he reacts and go from there."
The risk versus reward factor for Oden this season is massive. After just one practice, the Heat already seem like they may be on the right side of that gamble.
Miami Heat Win in 1st Preseason Game
The Miami Heat got the preseason started off right with a 92-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The score is a bit deceiving, as the Heat were up 49-30 going into halftime. Then Erik Spoelstra decided to call off the dogs a bit and opened up the bench in the second half. LeBron James only played 22 minutes, while Chris Bosh was only on the court for 20.
Despite playing so little, Bosh ended as the Heat's leading score. He had 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while adding four rebounds.
James finished with just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting. He did have five rebounds and five assists to round out the performance.
This game wasn't about what the stars did, though. Everybody knows LeBron is the best player on the planet.
More important is whether he's going to get enough support for Miami to win another title.
The Heat didn't get much on the inside. Jarvis Varnado was just 1-of-5 shooting, while Joel Anthony didn't even attempt a shot.
The bright spots were Rashard Lews and Roger Mason III, who had 11 points and 14 points, respectively.
Miami Heat Start Preseason 2-0; Beat Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons made it interesting in the final minute, but the Miami Heat kept their 2013-14 preseason record spotless with a 112-107 win on Thursday night.
LeBron James had nine points and seven assists in an injury-free 23 minutes for the reigning NBA champions, and most of Miami's key contributors used the contest as a conditioning test for what's sure to be a long season.
Chris Bosh led the Heat in scoring with 28 points; he and James Jones (12 points) were the only two players to finish in double figures for Erik Spoelstra's squad. Dwyane Wade and a host of other Heat players finished just under that mark.
Playing sans Mario Chalmers, Miami relied on Norris Cole to run the offense. Though he shot just 3-of-10 from the field, he would play 33 minutes and finish with nine points and six assists.
The Heat led by as many as nine in the first quarter, and would go on to take that same lead into halftime. They would increase that number to 10 by the end of the third quarter, but Detroit had a nice finish against Miami's deep roster spot candidates to keep things close.
Will Bynum was on fire from the get-go and would finish with 28 points and six assists; he and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope accounted for most of the scoring as the Pistons cut the gap to six with just over a minute to play.
The lead would shrink to as little as two, but Justin Hamilton and Charlie Westbrook closed things out for Miami at the free-throw line after Josh Harrellson missed a chance to tie the score with a three-pointer in the waning seconds.
Four of Detroit's five starters finished in double figures.
Greg Oden Returns
It's not too often that the most memorable moments of any season—pre, regular or post—happen in a four-minute interval at the end of a first half. But that was the case Wednesday night, when Greg Oden made his Miami Heat debut in the club's 108-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Taking the court against one of the teams that courted him hardest (sorry), Oden made his impact known instantly. On his first touch of the game, he ran through a switched cross screen with Chris Bosh, who flipped him an entry pass deep in the post. Oden took one dribble over his right shoulder, forced space on Al-Farouq Aminu and threw down a huge dunk.
Down on the other end, he proved a surprisingly intimidating force, altering two shots for New Orleans and grabbing two defensive rebounds. His court time was but a mere four minutes, and there were plenty of signs of rust. He managed to turn the ball over twice and commit two fouls. That's a lot of activity for someone on the floor for 240 seconds.
But considering we're just shy of the four-year mark since Oden went down with a knee injury on Dec. 5, 2009, it's understandable he was more than happy after the game.
“Yeah, I did [know],” Oden said, of whether he knew Wednesday would be his debut (via Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver). “They kind of told me earlier in the day. I’m happy I’m able to walk off this court. I’m able to play another day.”
It's unclear whether Oden will play in Miami's final preseason game on Friday against Brooklyn. One would guess he's unlikely to suit up when the Heat open the regular season against the Chicago Bulls, both for safety and competitive purposes.
While it was a great moment in New Orleans, Oden said it best when he said "I've got a long ways to go."