After a less then encouraging first preseason game on Monday night, the Heat will look to bounce back tonight in Orlando and show that they are in fact as good as we have been hearing all summer. It only took one poor game for the South Florida media to begin clamoring for a change, instantly looking at Pat Riley for his inability to bring in any major players during this offseason.
Mario Chalmers was pretty bad on Monday, so of course all the names of available players are being thrown around (Tinsley, Alston, Knight, etc.). At least give Mario a chance to get his legs underneath him. I don't think Rio will be getting out played by John Lucas III anymore, and if he does then we have a serious problem.
It's going to be a bit tougher on us, the fans, now that we can actually see the product on the court, as opposed to just hearing about practice reports. Ira Winderman says it well:
For an entire offseason, Riley and his staff has requested patience with the team's lack of personnel movement. Fine. Until Monday's exhibition opener, there was nothing to see. But that changes now. Now there is something tangible to judge. Monday hardly was a heartening first glimpse.
There are a few guys other then Chalmers who need to show us something tonight:
Jermaine O'Neal- One rebound in the first 30 seconds of the game and then none in his next 21+ minutes. Not good. Now remember, Jermaine plays a little more outside of the painted area then most centers, so his rebound numbers will suffer slightly due to that. But A- Jermaine needs to hit his outside jumpers if he is going to sacrifice his ‘big guy' stats and B- regardless of where he is on the floor, he should be busting his ass going for boards simply because he is bigger then pretty much everyone else on the floor.
Michael Beasley- Its very simple with Beas...he needs to improve on D. After looking foolish at times on Monday in Detroit, he was noticeably working extremely hard during Tuesdays practice. After all the preparation, Beasley blames his (and the teams) poor performance against the Pistons on first game jitters.
"All through the week, we worked on all of this stuff," Beasley said. "And then when the lights turned on (against Detroit), I think we sort of forgot about it. First-game jitters came on, and that was the game. But you do a little of both. You learn from your mistakes. And you have to put that one behind you."
James Jones/Quentin Richardson- Neither of them played on Monday, but both are expected to get extended minutes tonight against the Magic. Please, guys, give us something positive to look at. I've got high hopes for both of these players.
Daequan Cook bruised his right thumb during practice on Tuesday and will be held out of tonights game. He will undergo further tests when the team returns to Miami.
Considred questionable for tonight is Dorell Wright, who continues to be held on a short leash by coaches. He reported no swelling in his surgically repaired left knee after playing 20 minutes on Monday.
Jermaine O'Neal was held out of practice today, icing both his legs. I'm not sure whether or not he will be playing, but I imagine he should be in the lineup.
Jamaal Magloire is still waiting to hear back from the NBA to see if he will be suspended for his role in an ‘under the basket skirmish' with Pistons rookie Jonas Jerebko. He is being accused of punching Jerebko in the nose when the two players fell to the ground fighting for a rebound. Magloire stands firm saying that anything that happened in that regard wasn't on purpose.
"Anything I did was unintentional," Magloire said Tuesday. "It happened so fast. I didn't think anybody hit anybody. I've been playing now in the NBA for 10 years. I've never been accused of throwing a punch. I find other ways to get my point across."
Tip-off tonight in Orlando is set for 7pm. You can hear the game on 940AM WINZ.