Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/7/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Manfred: No significant rule changes in 2017, blames MLBPA

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker