Not a ton of Heat news going around on the first day of the post-season, but if it interested me…then it might just interest you!
We’ll start with Michael Beasley, who showed up to practice wearing some silly Jabbar-like goggles after having his eye invaded by the Pistons Amir Johnson. Beas is fine, just wearing the goggles for now as a precaution. Beasley is also in need of a haircut, to the point where Jermaine O’Neal told him to take care of it or his teammates would do it for him. Puffy-haired Beasley with Kareem goggles…. L-O-L.
Jermaine O’Neal was also talking about his plans for the off-season. Not that he thinks it will happen any time soon, but O’Neal is preparing in order to return to the elite All-Star status he’s been known for. He is going to work with trainers Tim Grover (who worked with D-Wade last summer) and NBA mega-trainer Joe Abunassar. I guess all the hard work he has put in since joining the Heat has been a wake up call for J.O., as well as playing alongside the best player in the world. That would make any player yearn to be a superstar…especially one who knows he can be.
Udonis Haslem will be fine to start Game 1 on Sunday, but he may have to go with the six stitches still in his right thumb. The laceration hasn’t completely healed, but its good enough for U-D to get back on the court. I only hope that it doesn’t affect the progress Udonis had been making leading up to his injury. Remember how well he was shooting the weeks before he got hurt? A Udonis who is nailing those 18-footers will be a BIG help when looking for space against a very athletic Josh Smith.
Udnois has also, with the help of his co-captain Dwyane Wade, implemented a ‘no-nightlife’ rule for the Heat while they are in Atlanta. With there being two days between Game 1 (Sunday) and Game 2 (Wednesday), its mean a total of four nights in hot-lanta. I guess taking advantage of teams coming to Miami and partying at South Beach has also taught the Heat a thing or two.
Did you notice that the Heat were put by TNT into their most valued time-slot, the prime time 8pm start. Maybe TNT thinks that the country wants to see more of D-Wade? Maybe they think there will be something ‘crazy’ happening because of the superstars ability to take over any game any where at any time? It’s nice to know that Wade merit’s the Heat being the most shown Eastern team thus far, despite a LeBron-Detroit series, or the now Garnett-less Celtics against the upstart Bulls and rookie Derrek Rose.
When the Heat resume practice tomorrow the only player not available due to injury will be guard Luther Head. Mark Blount will be gone for at least the first two games of the series as he has gone home to the Caribbean to attend a family matter.
Finally, ill leave you with the mystery that Coach Spoelstra left the South Florida media with this afternoon. While he was happy to say that he had a specific lineup in his head for Sunday, he wouldn’t divulge it to anybody. The only thing he did say was that he planned on giving D-Wade lots of minutes opposite Joe Johnson. Does this mean Beasley at the 3? We’ll see. If it’s a time for defense then expect to see Yakhouba Diawara or James Jones, but these games could go either way, with finals in the low-scoring 80’s or in the higher 100’s.