Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/20/13

After losing to the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night, the Miami Heat played very well against the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night. With Dwyane Wade sitting out against the Nets Thursday, the Heat lost 86-62. LeBron James and Chris Bosh both had 16 points but Brooklyn put on a show. I always mention how the Heat has a “swagger” when they’re on the court. Well they still have that swagger, even if they’re losing to teams like Brooklyn and the Wizards. The Nets trio of Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett will be some of the few to try and knock LeBron and the Heat off the throne in the eastern conference. They seem to have good chemistry so far but will they be able to contend the Heat come post season? I doubt they will but I do believe they will always play the Heat hard, especially since Garnett and Pierce joined the Nets. The rival that Garnett and Pierce had with LeBron while they played for the Boston Celtics will carry over to the Nets. The eastern conference is full of teams with a stacked roster, but what about the West? Who will face the Heat in the finals if they make it back this season? Last night was a rematch of the championship last season. The Heat played the San Antonio Spurs and beat them 121-96. LeBron didn’t play a single minute and the Heat still dominated the Spurs. Yes, it’s only preseason but it seems to me that the Heat still have the Spurs “number”. I say this because of the way the Heat won the championship. The Spurs were less than 30 seconds away from winning it all in game 6 and they blew it. Ray Allen made a historic game tying 3-pointer to send them to overtime which broke the Spurs. That game will probably haunt the Spurs. Though LeBron didn’t play last night, Wade stepped up and proved that he is back and healthy. Wade has sat out every other preseason game so far and hasn’t put up high numbers, but last night was different. Wade looked like he was healthy, he played with a lot of energy, and he led the Heat like he used to before LeBron came to Miami. Wade had 25 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. He played for 27 minutes and was 10 for 14 from the field.It looks like the rest has paid off for Wade and the Heat. It’s only preseason, but this game gives Miami fans hope. A lot of people are worried that Wade won’t hold up, that his knees won’t make it. The NBA has a long season but if Wade continues to rest, and play smart, he could impact the Heat more than he did last year. With LeBron being in his prime, Chris Bosh stepping up his game, and young stars like Mario Chalmers and Chris Cole maturing, Wade shouldn’t be stressed. When Wade is healthy, the Heat is a better team. I think LeBron could honestly win without Wade due to the depth of their roster, but Wade makes the Heat even better. As a defender, shooter, and as a leader, Wade is vital for the Heat. He has already accepted that LeBron is the leader of the Heat, and that was probably tough enough for him to accept. With back-to-back titles, and a possible 3-peat this season, he’s proven that he’s accepted it, and that he’ll still be the same player. With a healthy Wade and a dominate LeBron, along with a stacked roster, the Heat should dominate. It won’t be easy but they have the talent to do it and I’m excited to see them attempt to do so. The Heat’s next preseason game will be Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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