The Miami HEAT squared off against, well, the Miami HEAT to play in their annual scrimmage, this time with a prominent theme of pink. The event was presented by Baptist Health Breast Center in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000 fans and featured the color pink as part of it's theme in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Four quarters of basketball were played, but each quarter was, in essence, a new game. The Red Team would win the first quarter 15-2, but Team White would bounce back and win the second quarter 18-11. After an emotional halftime ceremony where the players and coaching staff greeted breast cancer survivors at halfcourt, the Red Team proceeded to win the third and fourth quarters 30-19 and 28-22. Of course, players would spend time playing on both sides, so the team score wasn't indicative of much.
With that said, there were certainly some encouraging performances worth highlighting among the newcomers. F Shawne Williams left the biggest impression, starting at power forward for Josh McRoberts who was recovering from a toe injury. Williams tallied 20 points mostly on an array of impressive corner 3s that he fired with a quick, high release. Danny Granger started out very slow in the first quarter, but exploded in the third, nailing four three pointers and finishing with 12 points on the night. Rookie Shabazz Napier impressed with his ability to jump passing lanes and racked up multiple steals and even threw down an impressive dunk. He showed some creativity with his passing and seems to have improved from his poor showing in the Summer League.
Luol Deng reminded us that he's not merely a defensive force, showing off his midrange and off-the-dribble game to the tune of 13 points. Unfortunately, Deng didn't make any of his spot-up three point attempts. Deng was a lot more comfortable with the 20-footer tonight, but he has shown an ability to knock down threes in the past, and that will be key once the games start to count.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade gave the fans a sample of their hard offseason work, combining for 23 points on the night. Bosh scored on a mix of midrange jumpers, a few lefty jump hooks in the post, and had arguably the most impressive play of the night when he showed off his deft ball handling by evading defenders and spinning towards the lane before pump faking and throwing down a vicious slam. Wade got to the foul line and hit a few buckets in transition, looking nimble and spry.
A few other notes:
- Tyler Johnson impressed with his athletic ability, tip dunking in an errant shot in the first quarter. Andre Dawkins got in on the three point parade, finishing with 11 points. James Ennis showed off the jumper, and also had an athletic dunk off the dribble late in the game.
- Shannon Brown and Reggie Williams both have NBA experience and possess differing skill sets, but both are looking to land the backup shooting guard spot. Shannon didn't get a chance to show his dunking ability, but hit a few midrange jumpers (he gets great elevation on that shot). Reggie created a few buckets for himself late in the game.
- Udonis Haslem fired off two three pointers from the corner. Unfortunately, he didn't make either. He shot them a little differently than his typical midrange shot, shooting on the way up and not elevating nearly as much.
- The one player who seemed to struggle a bit was Norris Cole. He did not shoot the ball well and the offense he ran (Team White) had two points in the first quarter. Again, it was only a scrimmage so don't read too much into it. To Cole's credit, he looked like he was in fantastic shape and showed off his ability to finish on the break.
What were your thoughts on the scrimmage? Were you at the game? Feel free to comment below