Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s participation will be limited at least during the first week of training camp because of his offseason knee surgery.
Camp begins Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena, and the team’s preseason media day will be held Friday.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra met with reporters Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics, including the statuses of Wade and Mike Miller, who each finished the team’s championship run with injuries.
Wade, who played with pain and swelling in his knee throughout the playoffs, underwent surgery on his left knee July 9 — forcing him to miss the London Olympics. Miller, who was limited by a sore back for most of the postseason, has undergone rehabilitation throughout the offseason.
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“We’ll be very big-picture oriented with both of them and make sure they’re progressing at a healthy rate and getting stronger and getting conditioned,” Spoelstra said. “They know the system and what to expect, so I believe we’ll all be on the same page with that.”
Wade resumed his conditioning a month ago, and Spoelstra said he hopes Wade “won’t miss any regular-season time.”
“He’s not 100 percent,” Spoelstra said. “So we’re going to be very vigilant on how we progress him.”
Other than Wade and Miller, Spoelstra said he expects everyone to be ready for full workouts Saturday. Forward Chris Bosh, who missed several playoff games with an abdominal injury, has been conditioning for the past six weeks and working out at AmericanAirlines Arena in preparation for the preseason, Spoelstra said.
“Relatively speaking, we’re as healthy as you could hope for coming into this time of year,” Spoelstra said. “At some point, we’ll have hopefully everybody.”
Similar to last year’s offseason, Spoelstra visited with various coaches throughout the industry. He discussed offensive philosophy with Paul Westhead, the current Oregon women’s basketball coach who coached the Lakers to an NBA title in Magic Johnson’s rookie year in 1979-80.
“I just wanted to see something from a totally different perspective, and [Westhead] has a very unconventional offensive system,” Spoelstra said. “But will we play a frenetic style of basketball? No. We will continue to emphasize the cornerstones of Miami Heat basketball: defend, attack and attack the paint in particular.
“But we would like to play faster when it is ideal for us and we improved our pace last year and we can improve it a couple of notches this season.”
Incorporating Ray Allen into that system will be one of the main goals of training camp. Allen has been in Miami for three weeks practicing at AmericanAirlines Arena, and Spoelstra said he spent the past two months studying Allen’s game.
Over the next three months, Spoelstra said he will “learn a lot more about where [Allen] can be most efficient but also where he can help us the most.”
Tough to repeat
Becoming the Eastern Conference’s first repeat NBA champion since Michael Jordan’s Bulls of the late ’90s will be the goal this season. For a perspective on that challenge, Spoelstra spent a day with University of Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan discussing the Gators’ back-to-back championship run.
“I had great conversations with Billy about other coaches, Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, and the bottom line is every team is different and it’s not easy,” Spoelstra said. “People talk about it’s hard to repeat, but it’s hard to win a title in any professional sport. There are so many variables, you have to have your health first, you have to have talent, you have to have everyone on the same page and you have to be peaking at the right time and you certainly have to develop enough resolve and resiliency to weather the storms and the tough times.”
Spoelstra said the Heat will lean on the full experience of the past two seasons to prepare for its bid at repeating as NBA champion. The Heat will draw upon the memory of three consecutive come-from-behind postseason series in 2012 but also the pain of losing in the Finals to Dallas in 2011.
“Looking back on our run, the margin of error is this,” Spoelstra said, holding up the measure of an inch between his thumb and forefinger. “And people have revisionist history of what actually happened. We were the only team to be down in three straight series to win a title.
“Now, we felt like we developed a lot of toughness over two years to withstand that and handle that with the proper perspective, but we were down 11 points in Game 4 in Indiana. We were down double digits in the second quarter of Game 7 against Boston. We were down by 17 in Game 4 against Oklahoma City. So, the challenge will be there just the same.”
The Heat signed forwards Rodney Carney and Robert Dozier on Thursday to round out the team’s training camp roster. Miami will carry 20 players into camp. Carney, the 16th overall pick in the 2006 draft, played in China last season. Dozier was drafted by Miami in the second round of the 2009 draft and has played in Europe ever since. He appeared in three games for the Heat’s 2012 summer-league team.