As training camp ends for the Miami Heat and the preseason starts — at 6 p.m. Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets — should you embrace the hope and the hype? Can you believe in a team constructed so conversely to many of the other current contenders, those that have stolen the Heat’s recent super-S championship blueprint: stars, small, speed, space?
For 20 years, everybody has heard all about how the Heat treats its players like family. The franchise has backed up those words with actions, everything from hiring former players for coaching and scouting and front office jobs, to consistently promoting from within.
The Heat always has shown an affinity for Duke players and now boasts a splendid synergy of Blue Devils at small forward — current starter Luol Deng and the potential starter of the future (Justise Winslow), just 16 months removed from high school but already with an NCAA championship and an NBA body.