In this year's offseason, there was a time when the Miami Heat got included in Kyrie Irving's potential destinations. However, when this news broke out, Heat guard Dion Waiters said in an interview that there is already an "alpha male" in South Beach. This statement meant that if Irving selected Miami, he would defer to Waiters.

As the offseason progressed, Irving ended up with the Boston Celtics, while Waiters signed a four-year extension with the Heat. The contract gives Waiters the opportunity to prove that he is indeed the "alpha male" in Miami. Unfortunately, in two preseason outings so far, the 25-year-old is not looking like what he claims to be.

During the Heat's preseason opener versus the Atlanta Hawks, which they won 96-90, Waiters only had seven points. Yesterday, in a 107-88 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets, he just tallied two points despite being on the floor for around 20 minutes. These numbers are distant from his offensive production in the 2016-17 season. In Miami's previous campaign, the former fourth overall pick was scoring close to 16 points each night.

Surprise player

If Waiters is struggling this preseason, Tyler Johnson is thriving. The 6-foot-4 guard from North Dakota is the leading scorer of the Heat in both their preseason outings. In their game facing the Hawks, he contributed 14 points off the bench. Johnson improved his production when they played the Nets as he exploded for 21 points and also had nine rebounds.

Sadly for Johnson, it is unlikely for him to be a part of Miami's starting lineup. At point guard, the Heat are going with the much experienced Goran Dragic. Meanwhile, Waiters owns the starting job at the shooting guard position. Johnson has been a backup playmaker and is expected to keep this role for the new season. Last season, the 25-year-old had his best year as he averaged 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

Heat preseason

Waiters, Johnson, and the Heat still have four contests remaining on their preseason schedule. They currently hold a 1-1 record which can get better this Saturday when they visit the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Following this, they are heading back to Miami for a two-game homestand as they host the Charlotte Hornets (October 9) and the Washington Wizards (October 11) at the American Airlines Arena. To close the preseason campaign, the Heat are hitting the road for a clash with the Philadelphia 76ers on October 13.