Progress Report: Top 5 Things We Know About the Miami Heat So Far

With the most anticipated preseason in Miami sports history now over, we all look forward to the start of this amazing journey on Tuesday. Without a doubt this preseason was by far the most televised and watched by all Heat fans, but what did we really take away from all of this? Here are the top five things we know about the 2010-2011 Miami Heat so far.

5. The Miami Heat are not immune to the injury bug

Let’s just get this one out of the way since it seems to be the topic of conversation on the national front. It seems every time a Miami Heat player coughs there is a national media outlet to report it. While it does come with the territory, I wouldn’t even waste any time thinking about this. Terms like “Training camp” and “Preseason” are used for a reason. It means this is the time to shake all the cobwebs out before the start of the season. I would say the only real injury concern so far would be Mike Miller’s hand injury. It happens, guys train hard and give it their all even in practice. No individual or team is immune to the injury bug.

4. Man this team is fun to watch!

By now you should be sick of watching Miami Heat highlights on TV. Fact of the matter is that this team is one of the most energetic teams Miami has ever seen. It is hard to keep your eyes off the game even for a minute because you might miss an amazing play. Not to worry since you will be seeing Miami Heat highlights most nights on SportsCenter top ten. Aside from watching LeBron James make a defensive play and take it all the way across the court for a score in just under five seconds, the point that most critics have been making all summer is true. Having All-Stars on your team makes everyone around them better. With most of this seasons games being televised on primetime the only thing I can say is, get your popcorn ready!

3. The weight has been lifted off of Dwyane Wade’s shoulders

Team is a word that is often misunderstood. To most it means a group of people who are looking to accomplish the same goal. For the past few years it was impossible to convince Dwyane Wade that there was no “I” in team. Wade had done everything possible to produce wins on this team short of making assists on his own scores. Through this preseason so far, even though he has only played about three minutes, it is apparent that the weight has been lifted off his shoulders. Although I’m sure it pains him to be away from the court, Wade has been able to solve off the court issues and such with no worries on his mind making for a smoother transition into the regular season.

2. For Erik Spoelstra, the rotation possibilities are endless

Prior to the Mike Miller injury Spoelstra must have had nightmares trying to figure out the starting rotation for the Miami Heat. Now that a piece of the puzzle is gone for a few months things are starting to become a little clearer. But with the chance this preseason to sit the starters out on the back end of a back to back, Spoelstra has had the freedom to experiment with endless possibilities of player rotations. With the great leadership of Juwon Howard on the floor and the spot on shooting by Eddie House, James Jones and even Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Erik Spoelstra has given the Miami Heat offense a couple of new looks. Although it is clear that the Miami Trio will be on the floor at the start and finish of games, it’s usually the in between rotations that most teams have trouble figuring out. But with all of hard work from the Miami Heat’s management this summer, the future is bright.

1. The Miami Heat can play great defense

It goes without saying that Pat Riley believes in defense first. It was very clear that the focal point of training camp was defense. Starting from day one offense was never even discussed. It showed on the court from the first game that the Miami Heat was concentrating on defense sets. At the end of the preseason the Miami Heat finished sixth in the league in points against with 92.9 PPG. This preseason also showed the same great zone defense that won the Miami Heat the championship in 2006. Although there is still much work to be done on defense with conference rivals Orlando, Cleveland, Charlotte and Boston finishing in front of the Heat in PA this preseason, it is a great place to start.

While this preseason has been an exciting one, we can finally for the first time in a long time go into the beginning of the season with a good feeling. We have only seen the start of a great ride that is sure to come. Let the games begin….

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