MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Heat will play their first 2019-2020 preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AmericanAirlines Arena, offering a first look at the team in their first season since Dwyane Wade’s retirement.
The new-look team will feature four-time NBA All Star forward Jimmy Butler, Tuesday night.
Butler drew attention to the team after he showed up at 3:30 a.m. for workouts before the regular full team practice hours later.
“Is that buzz going to continue? Because I’m continuing to do the same things anyways,” Butler said. “I think whenever the lights come on, I’m a hooper. I go out there and perform to the best of my abilities.”
Butler has openly said he has already embraced the Heat’s culture and is expected to be one of the team’s leaders during the season.
“I’m excited about having him in a Miami Heat uniform,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how he can impact winning on the court with our guys because he’s a throwback basketball player and impacts the game on all levels.”
Aside from Butler, a lot of attention will be on guard Dion Waiters.
Waiters was criticized by the team’s front office for being out of shape at times when he was healthy enough to play in 44 games last season.
The guard lost 15 pounds during the offseason.
“Most importantly, you know, stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing,” Waiters said. “Just got to have fun, man, and enjoy it, get to play basketball and feel like myself.”
The game offers Spoelstra the chance to work out what players will fit in the team’s rotations for the season.
Although it is the first preseason game, guard Goran Dragic said the game is important for the team.
“To get everybody on the same page, to bring everything what we’ve learned and achieve together to bring to the game,” Dragic said. “It’s not the same as practice, but communication is going to be a huge factor and, of course, plays.”
After the game, the team will travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Wednesday night. Tip off at the AAA is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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