Winners and Losers from Week 2 of Miami Heat's NBA Preseason
While there was obviously some unimpressive play from a few Miami players, there were also a couple of performances to be encouraged by as well.
Let's examine who played the best and worst, while looking at what it means for each of them going forward.
Winner: Roger Mason Jr.
Roger Mason Jr. has played in just two preseason games, but he's made them count. He followed up a 14-point (3-4 3PT FG) performance in his first game with a 13-point (3-6 3PT FG) and team-leading seven- rebound game against the Wizards.
Coming into preseason it was imperative that Mason Jr. hit his threes if he wanted to make the Heat. Miami wants to use of his skill set as a low-minute, bench shooter. Mason Jr. continued to give the Heat reason to believe he's capable of handling that role against the Wizards.
Not surprisingly, considering Roger's great game, Bleacher Report's own Ethan Skolnick tweeted after the loss he was hearing that Mason Jr. had made the team. Given that, Mason Jr. was by far the biggest winner of preseason game No. 4.
Loser: Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was the goat of the game.
He couldn't get anything to fall; he was 0-of-7 from three-point land and 0-of-9 overall from the field. He also finished the game with twice as many turnovers as he did points. All the progress Chalmers made over the past couple of years was nonexistent against the Wizards.
However, as we found out after the game, Chalmers has an excuse. Mario tweeted he was having stomach issues after having crab dip at the arena before the game. He was actually unable to practice on Wednesday with what was called a "minor bout with food poisoning," according to Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Knowing this information, there's no reason to be concerned about Chalmers' ability going forward.
Winner: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade's health is concern No. 1 for Miami entering the season. So anytime in the preseason he plays and has a solid showing is a big win for the player and the Heat.
He put up 14 points on 50 percent shooting, along with five rebounds, an assist and two steals.
This isn't to say Wade had a perfect game (he turned the ball over five times). He still has a ways to go before being ready for the regular-season opener on October 29. However, he did say that he felt better after this game than he did his previous preseason game, according to Skolnick.
While he doesn't look like the D-Wade of old just yet, progress is progress.
Loser: Jarvis Varnado
When the Heat signed Michael Beasley and then Mason Jr., Jarvis Varnado's chances of making the 2013-14 Heat decreased drastically. Those chances dwindled even further on Tuesday.
In a game in which Greg Oden and Joel Anthony didn't play, Varnado was given just six minutes on the court. The only other two Heat players (excluding DNP-CDs) not to play more than 10 minutes of action were fellow long shots Eric Griffin (four minutes) and Justin Hamilton (five minutes).
Varnado didn't do much in his few minutes, either. He didn't score a point and recorded one rebound.
Don't expect Varando to be on the Heat in a couple of weeks.
Winner: Shane Battier
Just like he made the San Antonio Spurs pay in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, Shane Battier dominated from outside against the Wizards.
In just 22 minutes, Battier knocked down all four three-pointers he took and finished tied for a team-high 14 points.
According to Skolnick, Battier said after the game he's "never played as carefree" as he will this season. That was evident on Tuesday, and it bodes really well for Miami going forward. All the Heat want Battier to do on the offensive side of the ball is to comfortably knock down open threes.
Despite being 35 years old, it seems that Battier is going to be able fulfill that role once again.
Loser: James Jones
James Jones didn't do himself any favors on Tuesday in his quest to be earn Mike Miller's vacated minutes.
Jones has built a career on being a great outside shooter. It's the only thing he provides of value. So for him to shoot 0-of-5 on three-point attempts against Washington is disastrous.
Now, everyone has off-nights and James had a great first week of shooting. But he can't afford to have too many more games like this unless he wants to sit on the bench and watch Rashard Lewis play come regular-season time.