Can Heat thrive through strength in numbers? – The Denver Post


Q: As teams in the East have upgraded this offseason, it’s been interesting to read your take on the Heat staying put. Being a shot away from the Finals doesn’t require you to make a brash move. One thing we have seen is injuries for front-loaded teams remove them quickly from contention (Brooklyn, Lakers, Clippers, Philly to name a few). One thing about the Heat is they are deeper than most and able to weather those injuries throughout the season and even playoffs. Having the depth they did this past season and this upcoming season will play a bigger part than most think. Do you see them finishing in the top four again? – Aaron, Miami.

A: I do, because winning matters to them during the regular season. They showed that last season, even when risking a potential first-round matchup with the Nets. When the Heat say, “next man up,” they can say it with confidence. Still, talent wins, and that means that Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo will have to be at their best at the right time.

Q: Ira. I think most of we diehard fans would agree that last year we had a very good team, and this year we still have a very good team. However, the real question is not whether The Heat are a good team but, given the offseason activity of rival teams in the East, and our lack thereof, are we a championship caliber team? My heart says yes, but my mind says, probably not, unless we make a dramatic addition after the start of the regular season, and Victor Oladipo plays consistently this season the way he played in encouraging spurts last season. Your thoughts? – Bill, Palm Beach Gardens.

A: If Victor Oladipo gets even close to his previous form, then an argument could be made that his offseason signing will trump any outside signing by the Celtics, Bucks, Nets or even 76ers (with all due respect for P.J. Tucker).

Q: Hello, Ira. It appears that at least for the moment we will go into the season with no true power forward on the roster. You have fielded many questions/suggestions from fans that would like to see Erik Spoelstra play a big alongside Bam Adebayo. Your answers are always similar, citing that Coach Spo has been hesitant to play a lineup featuring two bigs, but Coach Spo did play a starting line up featuring a power rotation made up of Meyers Leonard and Bam (albeit not for long stretches). My question is what did Meyers Leonard bring to the table that neither Omer Yurtseven nor Dewayne Dedmon bring? – Carlos, West Park.

A: Proven, floor-stretching NBA 3-point shooting. It’s about more than Omer Yurtseven or Dewayne Dedmon having the ability to make them. It is about developing a reputation that demands defensive attention (as also was the case when Kelly Olynyk played alongside Bam Adebayo).



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