Blogging With the Enemy: HotHotHoops Talks Heat vs Raptors

Claus Andersen

This week we are back again with another in our series of "Blogging with the Enemy" posts. This time we chat with Kevin Kraczkowski of SB Nation's Heat Blog, HotHotHoops about the club, and tonight's contest with the Raptors.

1) RHQ: Everybody has seen the Heat on the national stage these past few seasons. They have won the title two years in a row and they are bringing back largely the same roster as last season so I think at this point, the average fan has a good idea of what to expect from the Heat this season. Is there maybe an under the radar story that you are looking forward to seeing with them this year?

HHH: Everyone is wondering when prodigal son Micheal Beasley will return to the court for Miami, and how he'll respond when he gets there. He doesn't do anything well except for score, but he does that very well. That and the return of Greg Oden to the NBA after four seasons recovering from several surgeries. The hope is that he can provide some intimidation in the middle on defense. Scoring would be a bonus with him, and Miami is hoping to get eight to 10 minutes per game from him once he gets going.

2) RHQ: The Heat have started 2-2 out of the gate. Obviously its still VERY early, but what do you see as the biggest reason for their brief slow start?

HHH: In Miami's first three regular season games, they didn't reach 20 points in the first quarter. They seem to take a little time before they realize "Oh, you mean the game started?" That and they seriously underestimated the Philadelphia 76ers. These guys have to realize that in the NBA, any team can win on any given night if the timing is right.

3) RHQ: who plays more minutes this season: Michael Beasely or Greg Oden?

HHH: Ha! Wish I had read through before I answered your first question. Neither has seen any action through the HEAT's first four games this season, but either could end up with significant minutes depending on the continuing health of Miami's current rotation. All things being equal, Micheal Beasley will get more playing time than Greg Oden, with Oden possibly getting more time if he sticks around into 2014-15.

4) RHQ: There has been some talk of Dwayne Wade's game slipping and of him perhaps no longer being an elite shooting guard in this league. Where do you sit on the subject?

HHH: He looked bad in the opener, but after sitting out the Philadelphia matchup, he's looked pretty good in the last two. Elite? Maybe "Fringe" elite would be a good descriptor at this point. He's still dynamic at times, but I think Chris Bosh has passed him in terms of the ordering of the "Big Three."

5) RHQ: What's the key tonights game for the Heat?

HHH: Miami has 10 guys who shoot from outside. Some of those guys can also drive the lane. Most of the guys play good defense, too. The only thing Miami doesn't do well is rebound. Toronto can beat the HEAT if they collect a lot of offensive rebounds AND convert them to second chance points.

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