After an eventful few days in Brazil, the Miami Heat (0-3) have returned to U.S. soil and are seeking their first win of the preseason against the Atlanta Hawks (1-1).
Miami will likely start Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Chris Bosh alongside Norris Cole, with either Shawne Williams or Udonis Haslem getting the starting power forward minutes as Josh McRoberts continues his recovery from offseason toe surgery. The Heat will look to get off to a better start early in the game. The results of the preseason games do not hold much, if any, weight, but the team has fallen behind in each of the first three preseason games with the starters getting the lion's share of the minutes.
Interestingly enough, Cole has been starting at point guard while incumbent Mario Chalmers has been playing a hybrid guard role off of the bench. It would appear that this is merely some Erik Spoelstra experimentation rather than an indictment on Chalmers, but it's something to keep an eye out for nonetheless.
The Hawks have not been playing their starters many minutes through two games. Like Miami, their starting lineup has varied and we have yet to see All-Star Al Horford who tore his pectoral muscle last season. He's expected to be ready for the regular season. Heat fans may also get a glimpse at former second round pick (and NBA champion) Dexter Pittman, who's fighting to make the Hawks roster.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 PM at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The game can be watched on Sun Sports.
UPDATE: It appears Al Horford is making his preseason debut after all.
We've waited a long time to tweet this. Tonight's starters: pic.twitter.com/WdKJc34hlW
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 14, 2014
Tonight’s #HEATgame starters vs the Hawks: Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Danny Granger, Luol Deng, & Chris Bosh.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 14, 2014