Use this post as your open game thread.
We're only days away from the most anticipated season in Miami Heat history, but until they can tipoff against the defending Eastern Conference champs next Tuesday there are still a pair of preseason games to get through. Like several other teams, the Heat wrap up their exhibition games with a back-to-back set; tonight at Atlanta and tomorrow in St. Petersburg against cross-state rival Orlando.
These last two games will be a great opportunity for Erik Spoelstra to tune up his bench players and get everybody on the same page for when the season begins next week. I'm sure the starters and regular rotation players will get some game time but I doubt their minutes are very high.
The Hawks have been competitive in their 5 preseason games but have struggled to get wins, which is something the Heat can relate to. Atlanta has a very good starting lineup and should definitely be a playoff team, but in the division I find it difficult to put them ahead of Miami and Orlando.
- Carlos Arroyo is going to start at point guard, but expect to see him and Mario Chalmers play a bit tonight.
- James Jones will start for Mike Miller.
- The only guys out for the Heat other then Miller are Dwyane Wade and Da'Sean Butler.
- For Atlanta, Pape Sy (back) is out and Jeff Teague (ankle) is day-to-day.
- The Hawks are 1-4 in the preseason and are coming off a 29-point loss to the Orlando Magic.
This is non-game related, but Dwyane Wade has been cleared to return to practice when he returns from Chicago. Erik Spoelstra is looking at Sunday's practice as a major measuring stick because the Heat will be running 5-on-5 drills. If Wade is fine after that then he'll be good to go for Tuesday's opener.
Tipoff from Phillips Arena is set for 8pm tonight. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.