Ray Allen will start in LeBron James' place today. - Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
With the start of the regular season only 10 days away, the Miami Heat will face the San Antonio Spurs today at 3:30 p.m.
LeBron James will not play today, with general soreness. Ray Allen will start in his place. Dwyane Wade is expected to play in his fourth consecutive game today since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery over the summer. He's coming off his most productive game of the preseason, scoring 21 points Thursday night in a blowout win over the Detroit Pistons. Of the three players who have yet to play a preseason game this year -- Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers and Joel Anthony -- they will all sit out again.
What to Watch For
With Haslem possibly returning today, it'll be interesting to see if Erik Spoelstra continues to start Shane Battier in the nominal power forward spot. The Spurs start Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw, so Battier or LeBron James may have to defend Diaw if Haslem doesn't start.
Former Heat player Eddy Curry plays for San Antonio now, and he's looked pretty well after mostly pedestrian play last year in Miami. Perhaps Curry returned to basketball shape last season in Miami, and the Spurs are reaping the benefits now. He even had a 11-point, 8-rebound game Oct. 10 against the Hawks. He'll likely go head-to-head with Dexter Pittman, Josh Harrellson and Mickell Gladness. The start to the regular season is only 10 days away, when Pat Riley must trim his roster to 15. For Gladness, Harrellson, Terrel Harris, Rodney Carney, Garrett Temple, Robert Dozier and Jarvis Varnado, tonight could be one of their last nights to make a case to make the team.
Miami's players clearly treated Thursday's exhibition against Detroit as a meaningful regular season game. Will they do the same today, or look completely disinterested in defense, as was the case Sunday morning against the Clippers? Additionally, Ray Allen has shot 1-for-10 on 3s over the last two games. Will he turn it around today?
Enjoy the game, Heat fans.