We’re just nine days away from Miami Heat preseason basketball, as the NBA resumes its 2019-20 season. Let’s revisit last week’s (July 6 – July 12) news that you may have missed.
Miami Heat basketball is back, but not completely.
For the first time since March 11, the Heat held their first team workout on Friday, two days after arriving at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, where the NBA’s season resumption is being held.
Still, the Heat are without two of their rotation players, who have been revealed to be center Bam Adebayo and guard Kendrick Nunn. Veteran guard Goran Dragic spoke to reporters in a post-practice video conference, noting his excitement for when the team fully assembles.
“Hopefully Bam can come and K-Nunn, and we can be a whole team and make some damage,” Dragic said.
Three players on the Heat have tested positive since the NBA began mandatory tests for coronavirus. Derrick Jones Jr., who was one of the three players to have contracted the virus, was cleared to travel with the team on Wednesday to the Disney “bubble”.
As the season returns, questions arise.
For Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard, it’s been five-plus months since he’s had the chance to regroup with his team. Suffering a sprained left ankle injury in a February 3 meeting against the Philadelphia 76ers, Leonard missed the Heat’s final 16 games prior to the NBA’s four-month hiatus.
When the 7-foot big man was out, Miami suffered seven catastrophic losses to teams with a record below .500. At the same time, the Heat began assembling its rotation, which featured newly acquired players, Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. The Heat went on an impressive spurt, winning four straight games, including a 105-89 victory versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Leonard wasn’t the only player out with an injury, Tyler Herro missed 15 of Miami’s last 16 games with an ankle injury, and Jimmy Butler was a no-go against the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets. The Heat lost in all four of those games.
With the return to play starting July 22, as the Heat take on the Sacramento Kings in one of three scrimmage games, coach Erik Spoelstra has yet to announce a starting lineup or rotation. With Miami bringing its entire 17-man roster to Disney, Spoelstra may be open to fluctuating minutes between players, especially with an entirely healthy team.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Miami Heat President Pat Riley and General Manager Andy Elisburg will not be traveling with the team on Wednesday to the NBA’s planned resumption of the 2019-20 season in Disney World.
Both Heat executives will instead prioritize the NBA Draft and free agency, expected to take place promptly after the end of postseason play. Vice President of Basketball Operations, Adam Simon, will be traveling to Orlando in order to fill in the required “senior basketball executive” per team.
You ask, I answer!
From Giannis Antetokounmpo’s odds to land in Miami, to the impact Dion Waiters made on late minute scenario’s, here are last week’s edition of ‘Yero’s Mailbag.’
Every great player has a pregame ritual. From Michael Jordan’s chalk shower to LeBron James’ chalk toss, different era’s in the NBA have carried the tradition of displaying something special prior to the start of a game.
In the case of Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade, hanging on the rim and doing three pull-ups to match his No. 3 jersey was his thing. No matter if he’s at AmericanAirlines Arena or any other stadium in the league, Wade kept it a habit in all 15 seasons with the Heat.
Behind the ritual is more than glitz and glamor, but instead a way to resemble one of his favorites players of all-time, Vince Carter.
Wade shared the story behind his iconic act in an appearance on NBA on TNT.