Preview: Heat face Nets in final preseason tuneup

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The Heat host the Brooklyn Nets for their final preseason action before the season opener on Tuesday. Who will play and which final roster spot hopeful can impress?

The Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets faced off just last week in the preseason as the Heat got their first look at the new-look Nets. The Nets blew out the Heat who played without Dwyane Wade then.

This time around, it will probably be a completely different tone. LeBron James will not play in this one, and it's highly unlikely that Dwyane Wade does either after logging 33 minutes against the New Orlean Pelicans on Wednesday. Chris Bosh may also be given the night off.

What it means for the Heat? Very little in terms of preparing for the season. Miami got its final dress rehearsal against the Pelicans and they will look to rest their stars in preparation of the October 29 season opener against the Chicago Bulls.

But what it does mean is an opportunity again for a few players to show the coaching staff why they need more minutes, or more importantly why they should be on the roster.

Before Tuesday's game, the Heat will need to release two more players. It's mostly between Eric Griffin, Justin Hamilton and Roger Mason Jr. The Heat can affiliate Griffin and Hamilton with their Sioux Falls Skyforce team if they release them. Many signs point to Roger Mason Jr. making the team, but Riley has been known to keep a project in place of a veteran. He did this when he kept Terrel Harris over Eddie House in 2011.

Michael Beasley may het a little more time to shine as an offensive leader, and even Greg Oden may get a few more minutes. What we do know, Norris Cole will probably play a lot. He seems to run the show in meaningless games.

The Nets will likely continue to be without Deron Williams although he practiced fuily in Miami, this is also their final preseason game before their Wednesday opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This will be your typical end of the preseason, no one cares type game from their usual players.

The Heat and Nets will face each other for real in a week in the Nets home opener. This game starts at 7:30 and can be seen nationally on NBATV and your local SunSports.

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