When you're on the back end of one of the best rosters in the NBA, there are some qualities you must possess. Patience, for sure. Perspective. Initiative, too. And so, those who arrive early Friday night to Bankers Life Fieldhouse — where the Pacers will try to win a 13th straight game at home — will witness competition equally as intense, if not quite as aesthetic, as what will occur after Miami and Indiana commence their contest. Since early in the season, those on the fringe of the Heat's rotation have squared off in 2-on-2 half-court skirmishes — starting about 75 minutes before tipoff and ending, as Dexter Pittman put it, when "the coaches pull us off the court." Originally, these were 2-on-2 matchups, and the since-departed Josh Harrellson was a regular. Now the proceedings have expanded to 3-on-3, with Pittman, Jarvis Varnado and Rashard Lewis taking on Mike Miller, James Jones and Chris Andersen. "If you watch it, we're not BS-ing out there, we're really going at each other," Pittman said after Thursday's optional workout. "Yesterday, I got a bloody nose. The other day, (Varnado) got a bloody mouth. J.J. said every day there's going to be bloodshed." "They're very serious," Lewis said. "You're guarding guys, you're getting shots up, playing with a defender on you. It helps a lot." Pittman played some in January for Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League, and Varnado was just signed for the remainder of the season. They are young players trying to carve out permanent places in the NBA. Miller and Jones, however, have been critical cogs for the Heat at times over the past few seasons, Lewis is a former All-Star, and Andersen — while still working into shape — has proven his NBA worth as a shotblocker and rebounder.
For Miami Heat reserves, pregame scrimmages intense, serious
Palm Beach Post | Feb 1