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Is notion of Heat ‘blowing it up’ overstated when it comes to current roster? – Boston Herald


Q: It might be time to blow this thing up. Mediocre at best. – Lazaro.

A: The notion of “blowing up” means trading those perceived as a team’s leading men. I don’t see that happening with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. And with all due respect to Kyle Lowry, any move beyond Butler, Adebayo or Herro would still leave the Heat with the same core. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either, even taking into account Sunday’s disaster in Charlotte. Subtle upgrades still could produce tangible change. For example, if you find an answer at power forward, that also allows Caleb Martin the opportunity to again energize the second unit. Win, win. And if you add a 3-point shooter who actually makes 3-pointers, then the rest of your two-point offense doesn’t get quite as bogged down. So even something subtle with the contracts of Dewayne Dedmon or Duncan Robinson still could result in a net gain.

Q: Isn’t the real reason the Miami Heat are struggling is bad personnel decisions by Pat Riley? Their roster has more undrafted players than any other team in the NBA. Draft picks have been traded away and ridiculous contracts have been given to players who don’t deserve them. Kyle Lowry, really? And, the Heat shouldn’t expect undrafted talent to perform at consistently high levels. Yet, they are forced to rely on players like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent, who simply don’t have the talent to be starters. You build a team through the draft, not by overpaying for aging free agent veterans. – Jeff, Plantation.

A: Fine. But your last four first-round picks have been Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa and Nikola Jovic. The Heat certainly got it right with Bam and Tyler. and Precious lately has been playing well for the Raptors. Plus, Nikola has displayed the possibilities of growing into something special. Have there been missteps? Sure. The Kyle Lowry trade so far has paid about a half season’s worth of dividends. But other than Duncan Robinson, it’s not as if the presence or contracts of Max Strus, Caleb Martin or Gabe Vincent have held the Heat back. In fact, those are the type of value contracts that teams covet. Again, the Heat were in the 2020 NBA Finals and within a game of last season’s NBA Finals. That still is an impressive run . . . with this season’s story yet to be fully told.

Q: Some might say after 51 games, that we still don’t know how good they can be, and maybe seven games against top-10 teams in the next 11 games gives us that read? – Morgan, New Orleans.

A: Which is sort of what we’ve been waiting for, with all due respect to the Bucks twice without Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Pelicans twice without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. These next three, in Cleveland, New York and Milwaukee, could be telling when it comes to staying out of the play-in bracket, as well as potentially moving up the standings. Who are the Heat? We might be about to find out.



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