LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play preseason opener, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis will also make debuts
LeBron James believed the fans would have been “a little bit” disappointed if the Miami Heat had chosen to sit him out at the preseason opener.
"The Atlanta fans, they'll be happy be about it," stated LeBron James. "Those Atlanta fans, they'll be happy that Spo is making me active. It'll be fun.”
There have been concerns over the Miami Heat forwards’ extremely busy offseason schedule (winning gold at the London Olympics) and extended post-season campaign last season, emerging as the 2011 NBA champion. But LeBron James contests all that activity has kept him in-shape for training camp.
“Whatever I play, I don't know how many minutes I'll play,” said LeBron James, “but the minutes I'm out there I will produce."
Fans will also get to see some action from the 3-pointer line with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis playing restricted minutes in their Miami Heat debut.
In fact, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra summed up that pretty much everyone on the team will play against the Atlanta Hawks, even if it’s for restricted minutes. That means good news for Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade who has been declared questionable for the preseason opener.
"I feel good. (However) That'll be coach's decision,” said Dwyane Wade. “But I'm going to try to come in and do what I've done every day, get to the gym and work out and see how I feel from there."
Dwyane Wade has been rehabbing from an offseason knee surgery and although hi status had remained "day-to-day" for the whole preseason. Erik Spoelstra was encouraged by Dwayne Wade’s recent response during conditional drills. And he participated in full practice during training camp Saturday, before the Miami Heat began their travel to Atlanta.
"Dwyane, we'll evaluate him day to day for the rest of the preseason," stated Erik Spoelstra. "He went full scale (Saturday). He had a real good conditioning day (Friday).”
“We'll just have to see how his body responds,” added Erik Spoelstra.
However, Jarvis Varnado worked out on the side court Saturday due to what Erik Spoelstra revealed was a mild hamstring injury.
Additionally, Miami Heat center Joel Anthony and point guard Mario Chalmers, who are still recovering from minor injuries, will not participate in the preseason opener.
The Miami Heat will soon depart on a week’s tour to China following Sunday’s preseason opener, where they will play two games in between with the Los Angeles Clippers. Erik Spoelstra indicated that every player who made eh roster during training camp will tag along on the trip.
And with the flight to China taking-off in only 14-hours after the preseason opener, Erik Spoelstra did not wish to fatigue his key players and will be keeping LeBron James and Chris Bosh under limited minutes during the game.
"Not extended minutes," Erik Spoelstra again emphasized.
But LeBron James is altogether happy just playing the preseason opener along with his teammates.
“It’ll be fun to get out there with some of my new teammates,” stated LeBron James, “get out there with Ray, get out there with Rashard tomorrow and get out with the guys that I left the floor with in Game 5."