NBA: LeBron James expected to play when Heat open preseason
LeBron James will be among the Miami Heat players expected in the lineup on Sunday when the reigning NBA champions open their preseason schedule at the Atlanta Hawks.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said point guard Mario Chalmers and center Joel Anthony, both dealing with minor injuries, will not play Sunday. Most everyone else would be under consideration for at least some minutes against the Hawks, including guard Dwyane Wade, who will be listed as "day-to-day" for the entire preseason while he works his way back from offseason knee surgery.
"I feel good," Wade said. "That'll be coach's decision. But I'm going to try to come in and do what I've done every day, get to the gym and work out and see how I feel from there."
James said it would have been "a little bit" awkward to sit out the first exhibition of the season for the Heat, who will be on the floor against an opponent for the first time since beating Oklahoma City in Game 5 of last season's NBA Finals.
"Those Atlanta fans, they'll be happy that Spo is making me active," James said. "It'll be fun. Whatever I play, I don't know how many minutes I'll play, but the minutes I'm out there I will produce."
Also expected to be among those in the Miami lineup on Sunday: Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. If they play, Allen and Lewis would be making their Heat game debuts, albeit debuts that won't ultimately count for much.
After Sunday's game, the Heat will depart for a week in China and two games against the Los Angeles Clippers
Mavs beat Germans
Dirk Nowitzki scored only eight points in his return to Germany and the Dallas Mavericks overcame 27 turnovers to beat Alba Berlin 89-84 Saturday night in Berlin. Chris Kaman, Darren Collison and Vince Carter each scored 14 points to lead the Mavericks.
Deon Thompson scored 20 points to lead the eight-time German champions.
The Mavericks' next game on the NBA Europe Live tour is at 17-time Spanish champion FC Barcelona Rega on Tuesday.
NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, who broke his right hand in July during a summer league practice in Las Vegas, played in the Cleveland Cavaliers' intrasquad scrimmage Saturday night. Irving scored 13 points and had five assists as his team lost 54-44. Irving, the top pick in the 2011 draft out of Duke, averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 assists in 51 games as a rookie as the Cavaliers went 21-45.
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