Despite several changes to the roster and the return of a healthy Chris Bosh, the one constant for the Miami Heat from last season to the present is the inability to be able to count on their projected starting five to play together.
Hassan Whiteside was again held out of Friday's training session because of a strained calf injury he suffered several days ago. He has not been able to join his teammates on the floor yet at FAU Arena and continues to be day-to-day, according to coach Erik Spoelstra.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of teaching to be done at today's session, which dealt with learning the offense as well as pushing through fatigue on the fourth consecutive day of training camp.
"Today was a day we really wanted to push through," Spoelstra said. "Guys' legs were tired, there was some fatigue of the week. This is the mental toughness so we fought through it. Guys were really working and communicating, trying to help the next guy through it."
John Lucas III was also unable to play today because of general soreness and Greg Whittington was unavailable because he was sick. Mario Chalmers was able to participate after sitting out Thursday's training session due to a leg injury.
Defense continues to be the focus of camp but Spoelstra is mixing it up a bit as the new players get more accustomed to the Heat system.
"Some days a little bit more," Spoelstra said of implementing the coaching staff's defensive principles. "We always try to establish our defense. Yesterday was a really intense defensive practice so we tried to do a little more teaching of our offense (today). We're trying to find that balance now."
After practice ended, Dwyane Wade told Hot Hot Hoops he was impressed with how quickly the rookies and veteran newcomers were adapting.
"I give a lot of credit to our coaches so far," he said. "They're really doing a good job of putting our system in slowly but quickly at the same time. They've done a great job this year of putting on their thinking caps on how they can really fast track things for us without overwhelming everyone. We slowed it down today. We did a lot of offensive things before we start competing to really try to get to where it's second nature, where you know what you're doing in the offensive scheme that we're trying to do this year. Guys are getting it."
With Sunday's first preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets fast approaching, Wade is eager to see how this squad will react to some true competition.
"The hardest part is when you get in a game and you get tired," he said. "You're playing against other guys and can you continue to keep doing that. That's what preseason is for -- to kind of get you to break that. We all go through it. But right now everyone is on the right page."