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Thoughts on Sixers vs Heat (Preseason finale)

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

-The preseason is finally over for the Heat after playing in eight games.

-This time Babbitt got the start over Derrick Williams which means there could be still be a chance Babbitt starts next week. 

-Waiters got the night off for rest.

-First matchup between Whiteside and Embiied. Both players were going at it all night. Whiteside finished with 15pts and 8 rebounds.

-Goran Dragic ended the preseason on a good note with 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds in his 25 minutes.

-One of the things the Heat wants Hassan to improve on is his on court awareness. He showed good signs of that when he made a couple of good passes to wide open teammates

-Another good first half for Willie Reed who was very aggressive off the bench. 

-Ellington left the game with a quad bruise in the first half. He would miss the rest of the game.

-McGruder played in the first half while  Udrih and Weber didnt. Both Weber and Udrih played in the second half.

-In the first few minutes of the third, the Heat lost Rodney McGruder, who replaced Ellington, to a finger injury on his left hand. Like Ellington, he was also ruled out.

-Decision day for the Heat tomorrow with the deadline to make cuts without taking on additional cost. Three players(Weber, McGruder, Udrih) are competing for the last spot.   

-Next game: The Heat will start their season on the road against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. 

Report: NBA scout not high on Justise Winslow

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In Sport Illustrated's new basketball site "The Crossover", Anonymous scouts gave their opinion(good and bad) about each eastern conference team.

One scout,who gave his opinion on the Heat, wasn't high on Heat forward Justise Winslow. Here's what he said:

I’m not real high on Justise Winslow. His only strength is taking it to the basket, and then transition. He’s not a good shooter at all. He lacks confidence, he lacks technique, he lacks a lot of things.

I'm not a scout, but I do know that attacking the basket is not Winslow's only strength. Defense is also one of Justise Winslow's biggest strengths. He has one of the best defensive IQ in the league for his age. Unlike most rookies, he's very disciplined on that end rarely biting on pumpfakes. He's also versatile enough to defend smaller guards as well as bigger players due to his strength.

His offense still needs development, which is no secret. However, he's making progress. Although a small sample size, Winslow's made 4 of 5 from corner threes this preseason after shooting 26.7 percent from threes last season(credit: Anthony Chiang,Palm Beach Post). His jumper looks smoother and he's looks more comfortable shooting it. 

The scout may not be high on Winslow, but the Heat are. They know the impact Winslow makes on the floor making winning plays that are not seen on the boxscore that are very important. And they expect the same, along with a bigger role on offense, this season. 

Thoughts on Heat vs Hornets (Preseason)

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

-Spoelstra continues to warn everyone not to read anything into the lineups. But it appears Derrick Williams and Dion Waiters might be in starting lineup next week.

-Speaking of starters, Hassan Whiteside made his return to the lineup after missing the last two games. Dragic and Winslow sat out for rest.

-Despite missing Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller, the Hornets played their regular rotation players with eye on the final result. The Heat, with key players out, didn't.

-Wasn't a great first half for Hassan Whiteside. He struggled in his first game back. The Heat may play him again tomorrow in limited minutes to help him get back in the groove.

-Uneven game for Briante Weber, who got his first start of the preseason. He's competing with Udrih and Rodney McGruder for the last spot. 

-Slow start for the Heat who struggled offensively. It was also not a great start defensively for the Heat. Shots were coming too easy for the Hornets.

-Beno Udrih came off the bench as the backup point guard with the Heat giving Tyler Johnson the night off.

-Willie Reed did what he normally does bringing energy off the bench.

-The Heat trailed by as many as 20 before cutting the lead to 11 to end the first half.

-Whiteside and Waiters sat out the second half.

-Statement game for Rodney McGruder tonight, who was the team's leading scorer. Not only was he making threes, he making plays as well. 

-With a lineup few would recognize, the Heat outscored the Hornets by 9 in the third quarter to cut the lead down to two.

-Next game: Preseason finale against the Philadelphia 76ers.