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Latest HEAT chatter: Wade, Bosh, working out in preparation for camp

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According to a report in the Miami Herald, HEAT players have indeed been preparing for training camp which is set to begin in two weeks.

Andy Lyons

A recent Miami Herald report by Barry Jackson shed some light into what various HEAT players have been up to during the gap between Dwyane Wade's wedding and training camp, which starts on September 27th. September is usually around the time that players get out of vacation mode and begin the preliminary stages of preparing their bodies for the rigors of an 82-game NBA season.

Wade has allegedly slimmed down in preparation for a bigger role in the offense (and defense according to Udonis Haslem) in hopes that it will cause less stress and inflammation on his knees. He's taken on the trendy Paleo diet recommended by Ray Allen and has already flaunted the early dividends. Wade concedes however that he "can't go back five years," but appears motivated to restore his reputation sullied by a dreadful last few games of the 2014 NBA Finals.

"We're going to need more from him not just offensively, but defensively as well, getting back to being that first-, second-team All Defensive player he was, leading our defense," Haslem says in the report.

"He's definitely going to have to be more aggressive. In the fourth quarter, there are going to be times for him to take over the game like he did in the past. Last four years, it was a little bit of everybody, but the offense was dictated going through LeBron. We're going to have to go through Dwyane down the stretch now. He's going to be the playmaker and decision maker on who takes the shots."

The biggest takeaway from Jackson's report however is that Chris Bosh is indeed preparing to be a go-to option again and has been dusting off his low post skills and isolation footwork that he more or less left behind in Toronto. Training at UCLA, Bosh has been teaming with trainer Ed Downs and ex-NBA guard Miles Simon who claims Bosh will come into camp in great shape and is armed with the skills and mindset to play on the low block once more. If the Heat do indeed start with the Josh McRoberts / Bosh power rotation, it could theoretically allow Bosh to move inside as McRoberts is a proficient long-range threat and high post passer, though the lineup could have issues defensively against bigger frontcourts.

Mario Chalmers will also take a larger role, reverting to a point guard in the HEAT's new offense. While he was certainly a point guard by designation in the past, Chalmers conceded much of the ball-handling duties to LeBron James and Wade and instead served as a spot-up threat. With James gone and Wade entering a different (and as of now, unpredictable) stage of his career, this will be the first time we get to see Chalmers command the offense as a full-time starter and leader. While the sample is infrequent, Chalmers has put up big assist numbers when James did not play over the past four seasons (a few random games here). No one can know what to expect with the notoriously inconsistent Chalmers, but at the least, expect a significant uptick in assists per game. How he'll adjust his game as a scorer remains to be seen. Chalmers showed a certain craftiness with his attacking-the-basket game last season, but struggled on jump shots (34%. 19% on two point jumpers according to SportVU) and only nine of his 87 three-point shots were unassisted.

The Heat as a team may also be preparing to adjust their defensive system. Led by James' combination of athleticism and instincts and Bosh's wingspan and lateral movement, Miami would blitz pick and rolls, trap the ball handler, and wreck havoc in on unprepared teams by jumping passing lanes. The issue with the defense is that required incredible stamina and focus to sustain at it's peak and last season showed that when not at full capacity, the defense has a tendency to leave opposing shooters wide open. With Bosh set to take on more offensive responsibility, it seems the defense may not ask nearly as much from him in that role, but the details remain scarce on what adjustments the coaching staff will make.

The last tidbit in the report is that Haslem, Wade, Norris Cole, and McRoberts have been bonding and working out with Wade's college coach Tom Crean in Indiana. Haslem expects the team to contend in the East and has even hinted at asserting himself more on offense now that James is gone (gulp).

With some real HEAT news finally at our disposal, what are your thoughts for the upcoming training camp? Feel free to comment below.