Q: Ira, this version of the Heat has no identity. They play with no urgency, lethargic. It’s time to blow it up, now or in the offseason? – Juan.
A: Well those certainly are decidedly different approaches, with it far simpler to achieve such a goal in the offseason, when Tyler Herro is trade eligible and Kyle Lowry is on an expiring contract. Heat identity typically has been about the will, drive and desire to overcome talent shortcomings. That has not been apparent not only on a regular basis this season, but on a possession-by-possession basis. The team that often talks about Hunger Games practices has not put together all that many actual hunger games, or even hunger sequences. And that is uncharacteristic, very uncharacteristic.
Q: Rest and lose. The Heat got what they wished for. They might as well rest Jimmy Butler for the rest of the season. That way he is healthy to attend and watch the games. – Cesar.
A: I do wish there was greater clarity about Jimmy Butler’s absence Tuesday night, whether it was injury related. Because while I could understand a prearranged approach going into the back-to-back set against the Grizzlies and Pistons of sitting Jimmy one of the two nights, I would have thought the loss in Memphis should have changed that thinking. Similarly, it looked as if the Heat also were going to sit Kyle Lowry on Tuesday, until Gabe Vincent was declared out.
Q: Without significant contributions (hopefully down the road) from Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven, this Heat team is not one that can claim to have good depth. – Ray, Deerfield Beach.
Q: Correct. There are a bunch of nice players off the bench. But now that Tyler Herro has been shifted into the starting lineup, there is not anyone who necessarily moves the needle in the second unit. This is where being vigilant with the luxury tax can create issues. Even removing Caleb Martin’s second-team energy from the equation, with his current starting role, has changed the Heat bench calculus.