Heat notebook

Heat center Greg Oden doesn’t make Toronto trip, keeps training in Miami

Miami Heat center Greg Oden watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Oct. 19, 2013.
Miami Heat center Greg Oden watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Oct. 19, 2013.
David Santiago / Staff Photo


Even with Chris Bosh back in Miami after the birth of his daughter and unavailable for Tuesday’s game against the Raptors, the Heat did not consider center Greg Oden as an option to replace him.

Coach Erik Spoelstra indicated he’s not yet ready to use Oden in a game as he continues to his work his way back from years of knee problems. In fact, Oden didn’t even accompany the team to Toronto.

“We’re training him right now,” Spoelstra said. “He can get a ton more work in our facility. That’s our priority right now. We have all our equipment there. Not just weight equipment, but Alter G [treadmill], which is imperative for him right now. There’s nothing alarming about this. He’ll be with us when it makes sense.”

Spoelstra said Oden was left home because it was a one-game road trip and “he’ll be with us on all multi-game trips.”

Oden tells Spoelstra “every day” that he wants to play, according to the coach.

Spoelstra’s response to that?

“I said, ‘I like your spirit. Let’s keep moving forward. We’re making good positive steps and we got to keep it going in that direction,’ ” Spoelstra said. “He’s been great with it, and he understands it. It’s nothing that’s a surprise to him.

“We mapped out a very detailed plan for him in August. We’re ahead of schedule. We’re not going to panic and try to fast-track it for other people’s interests.

“I know everyone wants to speed this up, rush it, let’s get it going now. It’s not part of our plan. We want to make sure he builds up his base, his foundation, his legs, his hips, the strength of his core, all these things first.”

Oden hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since December 2009 but played four minutes of a preseason game in New Orleans last month.

Shane Battier started in Bosh’s place Tuesday night.


Bosh’s wife gave birth to their second child, Dylan Skye Bosh, on Monday morning. Bosh did not travel with the team Monday night, and the Heat did not ask him to meet the team Tuesday.

“It’s a beautiful day for his family,” Spoelstra said. “He’s able to spend some good family time. We’re happy for him.”

Bosh tweeted: “I feel like I’m 10 feet tall right now! Very happy to welcome another child to the world.”

Bosh’s son Jackson was born during the first round of the 2012 playoffs, but Bosh took a plane to New York that day to play against the Knicks.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Tuesday morning that LeBron James “is like [Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady. If you give him the same look, he’ll pick you apart. Double-teaming him is difficult to do” because of his skills as a passer.

Casey said Dwyane Wade “is a wise old owl waiting for you to make a mistake.”

• Heat and former University of Miami swingman James Jones will lead UM’s homecoming parade as grand marshal Friday.

• Forward Eric Griffin, who impressed the Heat with his athleticism in training camp and throughout the preseason, opted to sign in Europe instead of joining the Heat’s NBDL team in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Among those on the Sioux Falls roster: center Justin Hamilton, point guard Larry Drew, forward Anthony Mason Jr. and veteran NBA guards Quincy Douby and DeAndre Liggins.

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