San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
The Spurs will have everyone but Boris Diaw (rest) available after Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Diaw and Gregg Popovich all missed the first preseason game in Sacramento. It was a loss against the Kings in which LaMarcus Aldridge made his debut with the team. It wasn't the most encouraging of performances, as he looked understandably out of sync, but after a summer of anticipation it was great to see him wearing Silver and Black.
After defending the massive DeMarcus Cousins on Thursday, Aldridge will face another test when he goes against one of the best stretch big men in the league in Chris Bosh. This time, however, he will likely be flanked by Tim Duncan, which should make his job easier. The hope is that with every passing game Aldridge will be more comfortable with his teammates, so getting some minutes with the likely starting lineup will help him along.
As for the Heat, now that Bosh is healthy and with Goran Dragic locked up to a long term contract, they look like a legitimate second tier team in the East after missing the playoffs last season. It's hard to envision anyone unseating the Cavaliers as the class of the conference but the Heat have the star power and continuity to be one of their main challengers. How their season goes will depend on Dwyane Wade's health and whether Hassan Whiteside -- out with a calf injury -- can be a consistent force on both ends in his second year with the team.
Matchup to watch: Aldridge vs. Bosh is the obvious one here but since we haven't seen Tony Parker play since his awful performance at Eurobasket, it will be interesting to see how he looks in a Spurs uniform and going against a quality opponent in Goran Dragic.
|October 12, 2015|
|American Airlines Arean, Miami, FL.|
|6:30 pm CST|
|TV: League Pass|
|Tony Parker||PG||Goran Dragic|
|Danny Green||SG||Dwyane Wade|
|Kawhi Leonard||SF||Luol Deng|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||PF||Chris Bosh|
|Tim Duncan||C||Udonis Haslem|
The perspective of Heat fans can be found here: Hot Hot Hoops.
Game Prediction: Spurs by 9.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.