« Decisions loom in Heat training camp; Discouraging Fins news; UM, Marlins talk | Main | Media notes: Assessment of network changes; Van Gundy news; and Spoelstra press briefing »

Heat signs two players; Spoelstra addresses Wade injury, other pre-camp issues

The Heat filled out its training camp roster Thursday evening, signing veteran NBA small forward Rodney Carney and forward Robert Dozier, a former Heat second-round pick.

Here are some snuppets from Erik Spoelstra’s preseason briefing with fewer than a dozen reporters today:

### Spoelstra said Dwyane Wade is not 100 percent in his recovery from knee surgery “and we’re going to be very vigilant how to progress with him. Hopefully, he won’t miss any regular-season time.” He said Mike Miller (who has battled back problems) is ready to go and will participate in parts of training camp. Jarvis Varnado (hamstring) might be limited for the first day or so.

He said Ray Allen (who had an ankle injury last season) is not 100 percent but “I haven’t noticed it" during workouts. "He’s a bona-fide legitimate catch and shoot player. You must have a scheme for a player like him if you’re the opponent.”

### Spoelstra said he again wants to “manage” LeBron James’ minutes during the regular season and isn’t concerned about the fact he didn’t have a lot of time to rest during the offseason, when he helped lead the U.S. team to an Olympics gold medal.

“He’s done it in 2008,” Spoelstra said of playing in the Olympics. “It’s easier when you have six months off. But if you have six months off, your team isn’t going to the second season. We’ve managed his minutes as significantly as he’s ever had it managed in his career. He's as driven a professional as I've been around. He understands the opportunity this organization has. He savors that.”

### The Heat played at a fast pace early last season and Spoelstra said, “We would like to play faster when it’s ideal to us.” He talked this offseason with Paul Westhead, known for his up-tempo style in college and the NBA. “Are we going to play a frenetic style of basketball? No. We will continue to emphasize the cornerstones of Heat basketball: to defend, to attack the paint in particular.”

### Spoelstra spoke to several coaches about the challenge of repeating, including Pat Riley and UF coach Billy Donovan. “One of first guys I flew up and met with was Billy Donovan. It was a seven hour meeting. Every team is different. The bottom line is [repeating] is not easy. It’s hard to win a title in any professional sport.”

He said he spoke indirectly to Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick through an intermediary.

Spoelstra met Tony Dungy during the summer of 2011, and they spoke again at Donovan's camp this summer. Dungy praised Spoelstra. "That was pretty cool."

### Spoelstra was non-committal about whether Shane Battier would be used extensively in a power forward type role. He said he wants his team to be "position-less. It's more important playing to our strengths than what other teams are doing."

### Spoelstra said players have been working out since the middle of August "looking forward to this."

### Spoelstra said: “We haven’t changed the philosophy of Miami Heat basketball from when Pat was coaching. We still feel we’re a power/paint team. We do it in a different way from the teams with Shaq and Zo. We will be an inside/out team still.”

### With 12 players on the roster who have been part of an NBA rotation before, Spoelstra said, "I'm not going in with pre-conceived notion of how many players I'm going to play. Guys have signed up for these roles. We're going to use the players how we think best gives ourselves a chance to win. It is about we and not me."

### He said the Heat's young centers "are a little different. Varnado and Mickell Gladness bring that shot-blocking and energy and quickness. Dexter Pittman has had a good month; this will be the best condition by far he's ever come into in training camp. He brings physicality and size. Josh Harrellson brings the stretch shooting with size, and already has had a role on a good team, and is clearly a different dynamic than the rest of them."

### He said Norris Cole "had a great summer. I really liked the work he put in. He took great strides" in perimeter shooting and ball-handling. "He's a tough kid and he's hungry." 

### He said Juwan Howard will not be signed "to start camp" but "we're still open to Juwan."... He said it won't take long to indoctrinate Allen and Rashard Lewis to the Heat's defense.... On Joel Anthony: "It's hard to keep Joel off the floor, as active as he is."

### Spoelstra, on coaching after winning a title: "Bill Gates said success is a horrible teacher because sometimes you forget the process and everything it took to get to that point. As a coach, you live in a constant state of uneasiness. My back started getting tight last week. This is how I felt last year in training camp and during the playoffs this year."