The Heat don’t plan on Dwyane Wade playing under a minutes restriction this season, and coach Erik Spoelstra wants to utilize the veteran shooting guard as much as possible in 2015/16, Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post writes. “Dwyane has to be our leader,” Spoelstra said. “He’s grown in that role and with new veteran players, everybody naturally turns to Dwyane as the cornerstone of our franchise and they turn to [Chris Bosh] and they turn to [Udonis Haslem]. He’s fully accepted that responsibility. Dwyane is coming into this season ready for whatever challenges it brings, and I’m not coaching him with restrictions in mind. We’ll adapt and be aware of anything that may come up as the season goes on.”
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- Center Tyler Zeller thinks that the Celtics‘ stocked frontcourt will be a boon to the team, despite him having extra competition for playing time, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes. “I think [the frontcourt will] be good,” said Zeller. “Hopefully we can learn from Amir [Johnson] and David [Lee]. I know David has had a lot of success all over the board in being an All-Star, winning a championship, those kind of things. Hopefully we can learn a lot from him and he can push us in the right direction and help us become a better team. I’m really looking forward to playing with them. I think they are going to be great assets to us and hopefully help us take that next step.“
- The Bulls are expected to have much more freedom on the offensive end under new coach Fred Hoiberg than they previously did under former coach Tom Thibodeau, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. “Obviously it’s going to be different,” swingman Jimmy Butler said of his new coach. “I’ve studied some film with my trainer how [Iowa State] played in college. We go over some of the offensive schemes [Hoiberg’s] told me and my trainer about. So we work that into our workouts, but it’s definitely going to be different. I think it’s not going to be so much concentrated on defense like it was [with] Thibs. I think it’s actually going to be more offense [minded].“
- The Wizards believe that a healthy Bradley Beal and John Wall, along with the team’s stout frontline, give the team potential for significant growth, which is one reason the team held off from making a splash in free agency this summer, the crew at Basketball Insiders write in their season preview of the team. Washington has the capability to make it to the second round of this year’s playoffs, but advancing to the Conference Finals is unlikely with the current roster, the panel concludes.