Report: Miami Heat list whopping 11 players out for Thursday’s game vs. Atlanta Hawks

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The Miami Heat are making sure that most of their key players get some rest for Thursday night’s preseason game, with 11 players not scheduled to play against the Atlanta Hawks.

The meaningless status of the game allows Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra the freedom to sit what will make up the bulk of his roster at the start of the upcoming season.

Against the Hawks, Spoelstra will be able to make one final assessment on the players who are either on the bubble or don’t figure to see much action once the season gets underway.

The Heat do have a game set for Friday night against the Boston Celtics, which will avoid key players playing in back-to-back contests.

Spoelstra’s main concern is focused on the Oct. 21 opener against the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, which will serve as an immediate challenge in the Heat’s effort to make deep playoff run.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.