We love Mike, Riley said during his state-of-the-Heat preseason media session at AmericanAirlines Arena. We want Mike to play for us and make jumpers and help us just like he did in the playoffs.
Miller is sidelined by recent hernia surgery, but is optimistic about an expedited recovery schedule that could have him back on the court with fellow Heat wings LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier in early January.
He's had just a horrible run of bad luck with injuries, Riley said, with Miller also undergoing offseason thumb and shoulder procedures, and so we hope this is the last one and that he and LeBron and Dwyane and Shane are going to be a formidable and versatile perimeter combination.
Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas and Indiana Pacers forward James Posey already have cleared amnesty waivers and are free agents. Asked if the Heat might have interest in either, Riley said, not right now.
Roster almost full
In assessing his roster, looking ahead to the final cut to 15 in advance of the Dec. 25 season opener against the Dallas Mavericks, Riley said, We have 13 slots filled. We have two spots that are open. So we're going to maintain them, our flexibility.
Those 13 roster spots figure to be held by centers Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman, forwards James, Chris Bosh, Battier, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard and James Jones, and guards Wade, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Eddie House and Miller.
That could leave free-agent hopeful Eddy Curry as an odd man out. The widebody center has been sidelined by a hip flexor, but is hopeful of a Saturday return to practice.
He's talented, first of all, Riley said. He's proven that if he can stay healthy, he's an 18 and 10 guy, shoots 55 percent. He's very unique. He's huge body, quick feet, great hands. He dunks everything over the top. He's been out of it for three years, so he has to go and discipline himself and get back some fundamentals and technique and stuff like that. But he's an intriguing player for us.
Riley said the Heat's payroll situation kept him out of the market for the upper echelon of centers in free agency.
We'll see what Eddy can give us, Riley said, but we're looking and we will wait for something to develop.
To the point
While Cole was impressive during Thursday's scrimmage, Riley said additional steps are needed from the rookie point guard.
We're just going to let him grow and play every day, Riley said. He's had his good moments in practice and he's going to have to learn to play against length.
Cole's early-season play could dictate whether the Heat reach out for a veteran point guard.
I'm waiting for another month or two into the season to see where he is, Riley said of the first-round pick out of Cleveland State.
But we will continue to try to tweak the team. But unless you make a major trade, you're not going to get what you want. So we have to find good opportunities that sort of fall through the cracks.
(c)2011 the Sun Sentinel
Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at http://www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
KeyWords:: BC-BKN-HEAT-MILLER:FL BC BKN HEAT MILLER FL