Heat president Pat Riley challenged his team after its grueling title run to stay fit during the offseason, and many of them arrived at the Bahamas for training camp in the best shape of their lives.
For some, it was a friendly wager between Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers over who could lose 10 pounds in one week soon included LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as well. For others, such as veterans Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis, it was a commitment to the Heat’s work ethic that culminated in what many Heat players deemed their favorite training camp of all time.
For the win-now Heat, though, it’s not how they start the season but how they end it as they face a fourth straight deep run in the postseason. Health is arguably the biggest X-factor on a team that relies largely on thirty-something veterans outside of LeBron, Bosh, Chalmers and Norris Cole.
While Greg Oden’s comeback bid is certainly a fascinating subplot, the bigger question is if Wade can truly recover from his injury woes and be healthy in time for the postseason.
With a tougher Eastern Conference, the Heat will need to work harder to secure the top seed in the playoffs, and having their players in top condition is essential. Their training staff is highly regarded, but there are plenty of question marks for several players on one of the older teams in the NBA.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at each Heat player’s current health status heading into opening day…