Former Skyforce Center Hamilton Returns to Floor after Missing Most of Preseason
The final NBA preseason tune ups are complete and Miami has 15 players on the roster in advance of the season starting Tuesday.
After being treated for a heart condition during training camp, former Skyforce center Justin Hamilton returned to the floor for his first live action during the preseason for Miami’s 104-98 win over Memphis Friday night. The stat line shows that when given extended time, Hamilton can fill a nice role. The 1st Team all-NBADL performer logged almost 26 minutes contributing 7 points (3-6 shooting, 1-1 from deep), 5 rebounds, a block and an assist. Even the fact that Hamilton played over half the game is an encouraging sign.
Putting aside the exhibition exploits against the Grizzlies, Hamilton would probably need to do a little catch-up work from the time missed during camp before expecting major minutes.
Monday afternoon 5pm Eastern/4pm Central is the deadline for NBA teams to set their rosters to begin the regular season. Late Saturday afternoon, Miami announced the waiver of Khem Birch joining Tyler Johnson, Shawn Jones and Larry Drew II as the final preseason roster cuts. Any of them are eligible to be allocated to Sioux Falls should they choose to enter the NBA D-League. The roster still could change before the Monday cutoff should any prospects from other teams entice the Heat to maneuver.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel predicts what the Heat will likely do to start the season:
Based on the current status of the roster, which includes Josh McRoberts' questionable status for Wednesday's season opener, I think, in Spoelstra's view, it sets up as Chris Bosh starting at center, Shawne Williams starting at power forward, Luol Deng starting at small forward, Dwyane Wade starting at shooting guard and Norris Cole starting at point guard. From there, I think off the bench the first center will be Chris Andersen, the first three-four will be Danny Granger and the first one-two will be Mario Chalmers. After those eight, you get into the as-needed/as-wanted portion of the rotation, and I do think the Heat will try to get regular minutes for Shabazz Napier, if only to get a long-term read on their possibilities at point guard. Once McRoberts returns, I'd slide Williams into the second four in the rotation, with Napier then as a 10th man. Beyond that, it does not look like more than spot minutes, when everyone is healthy, for Udonis Haslem, James Ennis, Justin Hamilton, Andre Dawkins and Shannon Brown.
For your enjoyment below watch some of Hamilton's defensive prowess with the Skyforce last season.