The Heat enter the 2012/13 season as the team to beat given their status as reigning NBA champions, but will face numerous improved squads on a nightly basis. From the Sixers' deeper frontcourt to a reloaded Nets team, Miami faces an uphill battle as it looks to take home another ring. Here's the latest from around the Eastern Conference…
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Heat should be able to count on Udonis Haslem as the team's backup center even after having a disappointing season last year. The big man's struggles most likely stemmed from his continued recovery from a previous foot injury. Beyond Haslem, the Heat have few options to provide depth to their frontcourt and may have to add pieces during the season like they did last year.
- Dwyane Wade spoke with Winderman about how the Heat's style of play evolved over the course of the season to best fit the players they had on their roster and their respective skill-set. "You never know what player is going to start off and be playing a certain way and you switch things up a little bit," Wade said. "But we have that luxury, because we have not only three marquee players, but we have a lot of other players on our team that's very capable, highly capable, and very good."
- Sixers head coach Doug Collins says that he sees himself continuing to coach in Philadelphia for four or five years, writes Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He also wants to make it clear that he's not campaigning for Coach K's former spot as the head coach of USA Basketball. "It's a tremendous honor that somebody would even throw my name out there," Collins said. "It's four years down the road and I understand in this business you hope you are an active coach at the time."