- Michael Wallace, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Heat: G Carlos Arroyo, G James Jones, F LeBron James , F Chris Bosh, C Joel Anthony.
Hawks: G Mike Bibby, G Joe Johnson, F Marvin Williams, F Josh Smith , C Al Horford
Dwyane Wade (hamstring) is out; Mike Miller (ankle, knee) and Mario Chalmers (ankle) are questionable for the Heat. Jeff Teague (ankle), Pape Sy (back), Josh Powell (groin) and Mo Evans (knee) are questionable for the Hawks.
LeBron James is coming off a preseason-high, 33-point effort in Monday’s loss to Charlotte. He’s expected to set aside his controversial “Twitter” account tonight to push through what could be his last extended tuneup for the season. It is likely that James will be rested after the first quarter in Friday’s game against Orlando. The Heat hope to accomplish two things in their final two preseason games, starting with Thursday’s matchup against the Hawks: One, Miami wants to shore up the back end of its rotation, where James Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Eddie House are battling for meaningful minutes. House makes his debut against Atlanta after missing most of the preseason to recover from left shoulder surgery. The other focus for Miami is to avoid more injuries, which the team simply can’t afford considering its lack of perimeter depth as Wade, Miller and Chalmers recover from nagging aches.
After being blown out by Orlando on Monday, the Hawks take on another high-profile Southeast Division rival in the Heat. First-year coach Larry Drew has been displeased with his team’s lackluster body language and demeanor when falling behind in games. That was the case in Monday’s 29-point loss to the Magic. Although it’s the preseason, Drew wants an attitude adjustment and doesn’t want to see the Hawks carry those defeatist habits into the season. Tonight should offer another key test. Miami will be without Wade, who is expected to be back with the team on Saturday after returning from child custody hearings in Chicago. The Hawks returned largely intact after re-signing Joe Johnson to a max contract. But Atlanta hasn’t gotten much attention amid upgrades and makeovers in Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York and Milwaukee.
21hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
5dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
3dDan Le Batard