The Russians have landed in Florida and they’re ready: Five days after the defending NBA and Euroleague champions met in Barcelona, a pair of would-be dethroners will meet when the supercharged Miami Heat host CSKA Moscow in the first game of the Euroleague American Tour 2010.
A few connections between players on both sides may be noted, as Lithuanians Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ramunas Siskauskas will be going head-to-head while there’s a minor University of Kansas reunion scheduled with Sasha Kaun and Mario Chalmers representing the Jayhawks out there.
While Dwyane Wade, Jamaal Magloire and Carlos Arroyo will likely sit out tonight’s game after not practicing yesterday, Chris Bosh (noted a tad uncharitably by the Miami Herald as having been a member of the 2005-06 Toronto Raptors who lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv) and LeBron James will be suiting up for the Heat.
Viktor Khryapa will probably not play in the Miami game, as he had limited practice time Monday night, but his presence in the ‘States indicates that he’ll see his first action of the 2010-11 somewhere in America this week. CSKA Moscow did not bring possibly the happiest player on either side in J.R. Holden, who after seeing specialists in Germany about a potential career-ending heart problem was given the go-ahead to play on Saturday.
The official story from the CSKA Moscow club runs below and you can click here for the NBA.com preview. The Miami-Moscow game tips off at 8pm EST (2am CET). On October 14, CSKA travels to Oklahoma to take on the Thunder while Caja Laboral Baskonia plays the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee. On the 16th, Baskonia goes to San Antonio, while CSKA plays the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete the tour.
(CSKABasket.com) – There will be no opponent at such a level for our team this season. CSKA remembers Suvorov’s saying, “Difficult to study, easy to fight,” and the team is anxious to face the Miami Heat in the first game of the Euroleague American Tour.
CSKA held a two-hour practice on the renovated floor of American Airlines Arena on Monday. Heat scouting staff was allowed to see the team play and the Moscow team’s young guys during the session. Sasha Kaun and Andrey Vorontsevich practiced with no restrictions as Victor Khryapa continued to work out individually.
“Miami collected a team of stars this summer,” CSKA head coach Dusko Vujosevic said. “It will be interesting to test ourselves in a game like this. I think it is an honor for us to be chosen to participate in this game. CSKA history knows a number of important and prestigious games, but this one is still special. Surely, Miami is the favorite but we have no complexes. This will be great experience for us because if you want to become a champion, you have to learn to play against a champion.”[Wait a minute … With all due respect to coach Dusko, who made the Miami Heat *champion*?]