The Miami Heat are set to face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in their first preseason game on Monday, and well, it holds more value than you may think.
Something that has been discussed quite a lot lately is that the absence of Summer League, as well as the G-League, will ultimately take a toll on most rookies. Especially with a guy like Precious Achiuwa, since Miami’s developmental program allows guys to evolve rather quickly.
Due to not seeing any of them play in any type of NBA level game speed, the preseason games will be utilized as a type of showcase, especially for Miami.
The Heat’s rotation seems uncertain heading into the season, since not only do they have a lot of depth, but they have a lot of youth who have a chance at making yet another jump.
That starts with Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala, since giving them NBA level reps is the most essential element.
When Erik Spoelstra spoke about KZ, he mentioned that he just needs to put it all together. And the only way to do that is to get some quality minutes so he can get a taste.
Another guy that may benefit from the preseason games is Kendrick Nunn. He’s one of the most interesting names on the roster heading into the season, since on paper he’s probably the 5th guard, but he also is coming off a very impressive rookie season. There is a bit of recency bias after his play in the bubble, but he is still a quality rotaional piece who is still developing.
But as I mentioned, the preseason will be a showcase for the players, as well as an evaluation period for the coaches. If Kendrick shows offensive flashes as he did early in the regular season, there is no doubt that he will be utilized frequently on this Heat team this season.
Most of Miami’s players have pretty much proven themselves, but those three can definitely increase their value in these limited preseason games.
The coaching staff will not be making any rotational decisions that will be set in stone, which means if somebody shows some flashes, they can be inserted at any time.
This is the young guys time to shine. Go prove your worth.