- Heavy minutes from LeBron James and Chris Bosh and it still wasn't enough to beat the division-rival Hawks. That's what happens when 3 of your 5 starters really have no business starting an NBA game. James Jones, Joel Anthony and Carlos Arroyo may be decent reserves and Jones is simply covering for Dwyane Wade but red flags have to be raised even at this late-preseason stage about how viable an NBA championship can be won with Anthony, Arroyo and/or Mario Chalmers logging heavy minutes.
- As spectacular as James can be, his faith in his teammates is starting to fade away as he continues his Cavs-like role as a one-man army while everyone else just stands around and stares at him. This approach didn't work for the Cavs and it didn't work for the Heat with Wade the last few years.
- Bosh had another night where his shot wasn't falling but by and large he's had a mostly successful preseason getting used to a new role on a team with so many other new faces. Six turnovers obviously wasn't good but what was quite helpful where the 14 rebounds. That was something Michael Beasley could have done on nights his shot wasn't falling last season.
- Seeing Eddie House again in a Heat jersey was one of the highlights of the night. He looked much thinner than his days with the Boston Celtics and looks to have regained some quickness because of it - a good sight to see from a perimeter defender. He was 3 for 3 in three-point land and threw in 4 rebounds and 3 assists as well.
- Mike Miller's loss is devastating but if House and Jones can continue to knock down baskets from long-range then his loss for the next several weeks is less damaging. But Jones has no business logging this many minutes.
- Chalmers and Arroyo continue failing to offer any compelling argument for them to be included in an 8 or 9 man rotation. At this point I would be fine with House and Beverley grabbing those minutes as they at least play off the ball while James and Wade handle the rock and do more than just bring the ball upcourt or stand around in the corner while watching the action. Both received 22 minutes with a combined 2-14 shooting and 5 assists. That's not going to get it done. If shots aren't falling then they need to stop waiting for the ball to swing back to them and contribute to the offense in another way, like setting picks for James (and Wade). And when they do get the ball how about actually penetrating the defense and giving their teammates easier baskets with some nice feeds when the opponent closes in on them? Maybe it's because their coming back from injuries, maybe it's because they're just not creative playmakers?
- At the very least, Arroyo can be counted for his leadership and experience. But does Chalmers really deserve regular minutes in the rotation if he's not hitting shots, getting blown by his man and not even doing what a point guard does on offense if James and Wade are going to handle the ball so much anyway? Riley might be wise to look into trading him before his stock falls even more during the season.
- Juwan Howard was in fine form with some solid minutes on both ends of the floor and he set some nice picks for James to get enough space on the floor. Jamaal Magloire had 5 minutes to prove he has something left in the tank and not get cut in favor of adding more perimeter help with Miller's injury. It's certainly looking redundant to carry so many healthy big guys when the rest of the team seems to be either currently injured or just coming back from injury. After all, Dexter Pittman could easily be counted on to at the very least not get in the way of his teammates and grab a couple of boards in 5 minutes.
- Wade is expected back on the practice court on Sunday with an eye towards making the regular season opener against Boston. Expect a full report direct from practice as soon it wraps for more info on the injury status of Wade and Miller.