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Heat Nation, The NBA Is Back – Washington Wizards v Miami Heat

After a grueling off-season wait, Miami has played (and won) it’s first “real” game of the post-LeBron era. Boy, was it it exciting. Even with the likes of Bradley Beal and Nene Hilario out for the Wizards, the Heat manages to win against one of its biggest competition for a top 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. In what seemed to be the most energetic regular season game for Miami in the past few years, there was a sudden revelation. Who cares if LeBron left? Yes: he’s the greatest player in the game right now, and is on target to be one of the greatest of all time. However, your team is living dangerously when it is defined by one player.

On opening day, Miami showed that they will not back down this season. Even the co-captain, Haslem, reassured Heat fans that they will play with every available ounce of energy this season. Chris Bosh seemed to summon his Jurassic era play from Toronto, and led Miami with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Dwyane “Declining Since ’08” Wade had a great game as well, posting up 21 points along with 2 three-pointers (both of which helped seal the game in the 4th quarter). However, there was a nervous atmosphere in the arena when he went down in the 3rd quarter, with what he called spasms in the calf. Yet, he returned, and like usual, put the game on his shoulders in the closing moments. Topping off the Big 3, Luol Deng seemed very aggressive early on; scoring 12 points while playing some excellent on-ball defense.

Norris Cole’s work ethic has always been second-to-none and it’s finally paid off, as he seems to be locked at the starting point guard position. He put up a career-high 23 points, and played some nice defense on one of the top point guards in the league, John Wall. Chalmers backed up Wade at the two spot, seemingly locked into the hybrid guard role this year. He played a decent game, notching up 8 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds in 25 minutes.

There’s new blood in Miami, with the likes of Shabazz Napier and James Ennis. Napier played a forgettable game, yet made a huge steal on John Wall in the fourth quarter to help put the game out of reach.

And Ennis? Well, ok:

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