Here's a player-by-player look at how each member of the Heat fared in Thursday's game against New Jersey:
MARK BLOUNT: He is what he is: a very good shooter who is soft on defense and rebounding, the areas that really matter for a center on this team. There were a couple of moments where he showed some uncharacteristic intensity, but I don't want to get too excited about that. Will start by default if nobody else takes the job from him.
JAMAAL MAGLOIRE: Pretty much stumbled around out there. Did run into some people, as promised. I don't see how he's going to help that much at this point.
JOEL ANTHONY: Made the most of his limited minutes with active board work and some very stout defense, though his advertised strides on offense were nowhere to be seen. No worries; I'm telling you, he's going to blow up this year.
DAVID PADGETT: Would have liked a longer look. Did we really need that much Blount?
SHAWN MARION: Very encouraging on offense, filling lanes, drawing fouls and scoring effectively in the half court. But he's going to be exposed if he guards power forwards consistently.
MICHAEL BEASLEY: Exactly as expected. Flashed the spectacular offensive game - very spectacular offensive game - but stood around and missed a lot of rotations on defense. And you can't get owned by Stromile Swift. A defensive frontcourt of Beasley-Marion-Blount looks pretty awful at the moment.
DWYANE WADE: Outstanding. He played Olympic-style ball, cutting, drawing the defense, kicking out, finishing in the paint, shooting from outside. Took over the game for a stretch there in the second quarter. Looked like the MVP candidate he is.
YAKHOUBA DIAWARA: Played a good brand of his trademark perimeter defense on Vince Carter, but he's all but useless on offense. There's no reason James Jones and Dorell Wright don't overtake him on the depth chart.
DAEQUAN COOK: Handled the ball a lot with only a couple of glaring mistakes. Also hit some shots and played solid defense, and took it upon himself to score in that awful offensive lineup the Heat used down the stretch. His spot in the rotation is tenuous, but he helped himself with this effort.
MARCUS BANKS: Did not look comfortable at all. His shot was a knuckleball, and Devin Harris blew by him almost at will. It's starting to appear that Banks and Mario Chalmers are both best utilized as combo guards, which may not be such a bad thing because Wade runs the offense so frequently.
MARIO CHALMERS: Fared worse than Banks. Looks like he either doesn't know or is incapable of running the offensive sets, and was completely lost on defense. A distant third in the point guard race, not counting Shaun Livingston.
CHRIS QUINN: DNP, injured. May have strengthened his case to start based simply on the play of Banks and Chalmers.
SHAUN LIVINGSTON: DNP, injured. We need you, man.
JAMES JONES: DNP, injured. Cook played well, but Jones will have a big role.
DORELL WRIGHT: DNP, injured. Preseason would have helped him nail down a position and a role in a very competitive battle for playing time. But the opportunity is there to make up ground.
UDONIS HASLEM: DNP, injured. Has nothing to prove in preseason; will be starter or sixth man.
EDDIE BASDEN, OMAR BARTLETT: DNP-CD. Just waiting for the pink slip.
So here's the depth chart I'm picturing, with regular rotation players in bold. God, this team needs a trade so hard.
C Haslem Blount Anthony Magloire
PF Beasley Wright
SF Marion Jones Diawara
SG Wade Cook Chalmers
PG Quinn Banks Livingston