The Miami Heat are known to have one of the most rigorous training camps in basketball. With Erik Spoelstra being a clone of Pat Riley and also employing a defensive scheme that requires each player to be quick, the Heat need all of their players to be at their physical and mental peak in order to keep up with Miami's quick pace on both sides of the court.
But what did the Heat have to say about this year's training camp in the Bahamas?
"The best training camp ever," raved Chris Bosh. "One of my favorite training camps in my 11 seasons," said Dwyane Wade. LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra also expressed similar sentiments as to how their first week of training camp came to an end, setting up a scrimmage for Sunday and their first preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
There's no championship hangover; the Heat are satisfied with the way training camp was run and are anxious to get the 2013-14 season started.
The rotation is likely to remain the same, and the only absentees from last year are Juwan Howard, who is now with the team as an assistant coach, and Mike Miller. Greg Oden was the only free agent signed by Miami this offseason while Michael Beasley, Jarvis Varnado, Larry Drew II, Eric Griffin, Justin Hamilton and Roger Mason, Jr., are on non-guaranteed deals, requiring them to play their way onto the final roster.
Beasley—for his versatility—and Mason—for his experience and shooting ability—are the most likely to make the final 15-man roster, but their roles will most likely feature spot minutes outside of the rotation at first.
This year's training camp was mainly utilized as a way to bring everybody back up to speed and attempt to integrate Michael Beasley into the rotation as a complementary player. Oden will have to wait before he is experimented with in lineups as he has spent training camp playing without heavy contact.
Since it's the same rotation as last year—plus LeBron being better and Dwyane being healthier—this Heat team can only chalk up another year of experience playing together as the focal point of their training camp. Each year they have improved, and each year they have appeared more dominant with last year's 27-game winning streak being evidence of that.
Whether or not this year's team will match the success of last year's team that won a franchise-record 66 games, we will find out in due time. For now, we can only take away what we saw from the first week of training camp.