- The Heat lost its preseason opener Sunday night, falling to the Detroit Pistons 95-91 in overtime.
- The game did little to clear up the muddled depth chart, and may have mucked it up even more. Yakhouba Diawara got the start at small forward, but I'm guessing that was a reward for good training camp effort. Shawn Marion started at the four, but played with Michael Beasley quite a bit, and they meshed quite well. At center, the forgotten Mark Blount started and played well, Joel Anthony didn't do anything remarkable, Jamaal Magloire was pretty bad and David Padgett made a case to stick around. Meanwhile, none of the point guards distinguished themselves, but Mario Chalmers played some minutes at the two. And of course, all of this might be moot because Udonis Haslem and James Jones, two players who will certainly have significant roles in the rotation, were inactive, not to mention Shaun Livingston and Alonzo Mourning, who are both likely to return at some point this year.
- All of this suggests that Miami has more usable players than places to use them. The roster desperately needs a trade to consolidate the rotation. But the most likely player to be traded is Marion (see below), and his salary would likely require two or three players coming back our way.
- Dwyane Wade will pass more this season, both because of the new offense and because he wants to: "One thing I've been trying to do is passing the ball around, giving the guys confidence." I'm more concerned with Wade getting sufficient rest than reducing his touches, but whatever makes him happy and healthy. This team has other weapons.
- Ira Winderman totally rips Marcus Banks. "With the acquisition of Shaun Livingston, it is clear that Livingston and second-round pick Mario Chalmers are the team's point guards of the future, while Chris Quinn is the short-term veteran bridge to that future. Banks? At this point he shapes up as little more than a suit seated behind the bench and three more seasons as salary-cap ballast." I have higher hopes for Banks than that, but he does have some ground to make up here.
- Also via Winderman: Livingston survived his first practice. "If you walked into the gym and had no idea of who he was or if he had a knee injury," Erik Spoelstra said, "you wouldn't notice that he was inhibited out there." The enormous knee brace seems like a pretty strong clue.
- I don't know what the hell is going on in the comments of that Winderman piece, but it's interesting.
- In case you missed it, we're going to the Finals.
- Nothing we didn't assume already, but it comes from a respected source, so here's this: "An NBA GM said the Heat are still interested in trading forward Shawn Marion for "a great piece that could improve their team," since they are probably not interested in giving him a lucrative long-term contract. For the time being, you can forget talk of Miami dealing Marion for Chicago's Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni. Gordon signed a one-year, $6.4 million qualifying offer with Chicago last week that will make him ineligible to be traded until Jan. 2, and he has a no-trade clause." You can also forget it because it's a sucky trade.
- From that same story: "You'll know when I'm gonna retire. There's going to be parties and gifts at the end of the games." - Shaquille O'Neal
- The Knicks appear to be including Stephon Marbury in their plans, if that's still an issue for Miami considering the Shaun Livingston signing. And Jamaal Tinsley may still be going to Denver for whatever reason.
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