After a successful debut in Washington, D.C., the NBA OVERALL LEAGUE RANKING system placed the Heat second overall among all the teams. Miami now looks to keep that spot in the first of two neutral-site games against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- When: Saturday, October 8 @ 8:30pm EST
- Where: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
- Coverage: TV: None. Radio: 790-AM, 106.3-FM.
Projected starting lineups:
- PG: Goran Dragic
- SG: Tyler Johnson
- SF: Justise Winslow
- PF: James Johnson
- C: Hassan Whiteside
- PG: Ricky Rubio
- SG: Zack LaVine
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Gorgui Dieng
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns
Miami fans had a brief taste of what their new dynamic duo of Whiteside and Dragic could do this season without a veteran safety net. They also experienced a pleasant surprise in the outstanding performance of newly-signed Dion Waiters.
Tonight might feature more minutes for Kansas City native Willie Reed as Whiteside’s backup at center. Rodney McGruder, a long shot to make the roster, might also get more run to perform before his collegiate Kansas State fans.
Some things to look for in tonight’s game could be the following.
- Winslow had a solid all-around game. The surprising aspect was how much quicker he was compared to last season. If he keeps up the pace he could merit consideration for the All-Star game.
- Besides Winslow, Whiteside looks like the most likely team member to get a spot on the All-Star team this season. We’ll be on the look out who else can raise their popularity to get the votes necessary.
- Will the torrid number of assists continue? We saw no problem in cracking a hundred points last game. Was that the product of bad defense? We’ll find if Heat can do it again against one of youngest teams in NBA and one of the best coaches in the league.
About the Timberwolves
Tom Thibodeau resumes his coaching duties after a year’s hiatus from the sidelines. He gained a formidable reputation with the Chicago Bulls in both devising a brilliant defensive strategy and developing young talent. With Wiggins, Towns and LaVine he might create another Western Conference powerhouse.
The main threats are Towns, Wiggins and Rubio. With the retirement of Kevin Garnett the other names on the roster may not be familiar to most fans outside of Minnesota. Since this contest isn’t broadcast on television and in a non-NBA city, except more than the normal amount of player substitutions from both sides.
We’ll have to see the highlights on the internet after the game. Hopefully they will feature mostly Heat players.