Miami Heat – LeBron James Coming Along Nicely

The preseason for the Miami is about achieving quite a few goals, all of them being met quite well so far. LeBron James is finding his shape slowly, sometimes by giving up on scoring completely; Dwyane Wade is looking lighter and fitter than he has in a very long time; Chris Bosh shows once again that he hasn’t lost the ability to look like a star; and Michael Beasely proving just what a valuable addition he can become.

Beasley also had somewhat of a worrying moment as well, punching himself in the head after missing a shot, which called for him to require some medical attention after the game. However, for the most part, he had a very positive appearance for the NBA champions, scoring nine points in the 112-107 win over the Detroit Pistons.

LeBron James, Josh Smith

Getting LeBron James back in shape after an exhausting summer without wearing him down is one of the most important targets for Erik Spoelstra this preseason, and he got 23 minutes out of the NBA’s MVP, scoring 9 points on only 1-of-4 from the field, but also dishing out 7 assists, as he kept trying to force himself into the paint, either finding someone open or going to the line, finishing with 7-of-8 from there.

Dwyane Wade made his preseason debut, showing off his lighter frame, supposedly helpful in his knee situation, which has kept him quite limited for much of last season and the playoffs. He played for 21 minutes, scoring 8 points, adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Despite certain fears and rumors, it wasn’t an injury that kept him out of the first game; only a precaution, and in the program to not let Wade, James and Bosh play the entire preseason schedule.

He’s been practicing the whole time. He’s been fine and the explosiveness will come as we go along.

Until we get to see Greg Oden, Michael Beasley is the one big addition that can change things for the Miami Heat, who couldn’t really make meaningful moves during the summer except re-signings and using the amnesty clause on Mike Miller instead of Joel Anthony.

Michael Beasley

Beasley finished with 9 points in 9 minutes of basketball, and if everything clicks for him, which means being pushed positively by playing on a championship team with an experienced group that he can only learn from, the Heat have made one huge addition on a minimum salary, getting a player who has the talent and ability to start on plenty of NBA teams, but might simply need the right kind of push and surrounding to get his life and career back on track.

The Detroit Pistons showed the intriguing frontcourt, as Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe combined for 46 points and 24 rebounds on 13-of-27 from the field. However, the Pistons’ ability to convert from the outside (shooting only 5-of-20 from beyond the arc in the loss) is going to be the key to making the most of their gamble on big names, but not necessarily filling the right positions as they try to make the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Bosh led the Heat in scoring with 28 points, while James Jones, who might have a bigger role to play this season after Mike Miller left scored 12 points off the bench, hitting 4 three-pointers.