Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Lebron_james_tour_47e1
ATLANTA The Miami Heat entered the preseason ready to work. They had a lot to prepare for after winning a title, and a trip to China during the preseason. Many members of the Heat have spent time in Asia -- this will be LeBron James' ninth time -- and they expect to use the trip to bond and prepare for the season. We just have to show up and do our job and that's really try to improve as a basketball team but at the same time, the time together helps your team grow, said coach Erik Spoelstra following the Heat's 92-79 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in their first preseason game. The game, which was highlighted by LeBron's three dunks in three minutes during the opening quarter, helped Miami work into shape. Many on the team were feeling the pace of their first game against, as Shane Battier put it, someone who doesn't know our plays and our personalities. They'll need it in China, particularly after the 15-hour flight. Spoelstra, a veteran of the long flight, didn't think it would be much of a problem. He wasn't bothered by his players' business deals on the side either notably Dwyane Wade's recent shoe company switch from Jordan to Li-Ning so long as the team and basketball come first. That shouldn't be much of a problem for the Heat, who are squarely focused in on another title. I got a taste of a title and I want another one, said James. The goal, much like the pressure, is the same as it was when James came to Miami. When we all joined, our expectations were to win a championship, said James. That doesn't change. But with new members to the team his year will be a new story for the Heat. One of those players is Ray Allen, who joined from the Boston Celtics this offseason. Allen saw his first action as a member of the Heat, with ten points and five assists in 27 minutes. Allen was efficient according to Spoelstra and his ability adds stability to the Heat lineup. For now, as he and the rest of the Heat work into condition, the Heat will try to come together in China. We're here to win and we're here to come together and we know it's a process. It's a new team and we have to form a new identity, said Battier. It comes with time and repetitions. With many trips to Asia already under the belts for many on the Miami Heat, they'll be able to focus their energy on getting those reps as they prepare to defend their title.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jamaal Charles admits he hid concussion symptoms

Kobe Bryant on ESPN article: ‘I just kind of roll with it’

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Mo’ne Davis' Chevy commercial won't affect amateur status

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.