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Heat drop first matchup versus Cavaliers 122-119

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In an exciting preseason matchup in Rio, Miami forced overtime only to ultimately fall to Cleveland in the final seconds of play.

Buda Mendes

If this is a sign of things to come, color me intrigued.

I know it's only pre-season, but Miami's first contest against the new look Cavaliers was nothing short of entertaining. The Cavaliers are very good, and demonstrated that well through their passing prowess and athleticism.

However, despite being behind by a ten-point margin for much of the game, a fourth quarter push led by Heat rookie Shabazz Napier allowed Miami to sneak back into the game and force overtime. Unfortunately, it was the Cavs who took over in overtime to beat Miami 122-119.

Even though Miami lost, there was much presented in this game that Heat fans should be excited about. Firstly, let's take a look at the Miami's rookies. While I've been critical of Napier thus far, he was fantastic this evening. Napier had16 points, 7 assists and no turnovers to help lead Miami into overtime and appeared comfortable playing at an NBA pace.

Secondly, ultra-athletic forward James Ennis was stellar as well, scoring 17 points and dishing out two assists. Nevertheless, it was of course Chris Bosh who led Miami with 19 points and 8 rebounds and looked great in his new role. I think the greatest surprise in this game was that Dwyane Wade is doing a lot, and is steadily improving through the preseason. Wade appeared injury-free in 25 minutes played and put up a commendable stat line of 12 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds.

Generally, preseason doesn't paint the clearest image of things to come, but Miami's current roster looks quite good. Of course chemistry will be a factor as things progress, but the return of Josh McRoberts should set things in motion. Miami is very capable of holding their own, and I for one can't wait to see how they fair against a full strength Cavaliers team on Christmas Day.