You could make a solid argument that "Home, Timberwolves" represents the easiest game on the Heat's 82-game schedule, but that doesn't mean there aren't subplots swirling around AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday.
Michael Beasley makes his return to Miami. The Heat are concerned about their inability to protect their glass against New Jersey on Sunday, a game in which they gave up 19 offensive boards to the Nets. In addition, pacing continues to be a topic of discussion. Despite pledging to run more, the Heat are the second-slowest team in the NBA right now, ahead of only the glacial Bobcats. Then, there's the Anthony Tolliver/LeBron James spat -- though nothing on that today from the Heat camp.
Some morsels from Tuesday's shootaround ahead of the Heat-Timberwolves game:
Dwyane Wade on why the Heat are the second-slowest team in basketball and whether their true advantage resides in the half court:
We're pretty good in the half court. We have the luxury of having individual guys that can get out in the open floor and make plays happen. But early on, we've turned the ball over a lot doing that. So the half court is what we know we're pretty good at. We have high I.Q. players and versatile players, so as the season progresses, our half-court game will get a lot better, and then that will open up our transition game.
James Jones on suiting up to practice against LeBron James and Wade every day and how that impacts his game:
You look up and you find yourself playing 30 minutes, but it doesn't feel like it because every day in practice, I'm going against LeBron, D-Wade and those guys for an hour or two, so it makes it a lot easier on the body. It forces you to stay focused. These guys are very intelligent basketball players and they make you pay in practice. So, for me, it's good. I have a chance to feel that game intensity every day in practice because these guys are the best in the world.
Jones on the difference between his open looks on the Steve Nash-led 2006 Suns team the open looks he's finding in Miami this season:
I think the looks here are even better because we have two playmakers, whereas in Phoenix we pretty much had to rely on Steve to make every play. These guys are jumping in the air, 360, and making passes that I don't even see coming and get wide open shots. So, this is a different dynamic. Taking nothing away from Steve, but the looks here are a lot different.
Udonis Haslem on Michael Beasley:
Just from seeing the film, there's still a tremendous amount of talent there ... What I tried to teach him was the other side of the game, the part that wasn't god-given. He's been blessed with great athleticism. His hands are huge. But I tried to teach him about the film part, the defensive part of the game and about being a professional. He hasn't gotten into trouble yet, so I think I did a pretty good job so far."
Haslem on the factors that contributed to the Heat's weak rebounding performance against New Jersey. Is it effort, a disproportionate focus on perimeter defense, the temptation to leak out for fast break opportunites?
With the way we've been defending, we've given up some offensive rebounds. We just need to do a better job ... It could be a combination of different things and sometimes the ball just takes bad bounces. I'm a guy who anticipates the rebounds. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce the way I anticipated. I don't think, four games in, it's something to be nervous about. We'll fix it.
Haslem on the best rebounder he's every played with ... and the best rebounder he's ever played against?
With? I count myself. Against? I'd say Ben Wallace, for the size that he was. In his days with the Pistons, he was a great, great rebounder