Charles Barkley’s latest take on Heat? ‘They need to start over’; Lowry given night off vs. Clippers – The Denver Post

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In what seems like almost an annual call from the entertaining TNT analyst and former NBA All-Star, Charles Barkley again is calling for a breakup of the Miami Heat.

Critical of the Heat for years, even during the team’s Big Three era with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Barkley offered his latest criticism in the wake of the Heat’s Tuesday night blowout home loss to the struggling Detroit Pistons, a loss that dropped the Heat to 11-14 going into Thursday night’s game against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.

“It might be time to break the team up and start over,” Barkley said during Inside the NBA. “They got some contracts that’s like . . . they’re no good.

“So, they need to start over. That’s my personal opinion.”

The Heat already are operating with an eye toward the future, with much of the approach this season centered around 25-year-old center Bam Adebayo and 22-year-old Tyler Herro.

But the Heat also have been hampered by a position hard against the luxury tax, a position that includes salaries this season of $28.3 million for point guard Kyle Lowry and $16.9 million for forward Duncan Robinson. The Heat also are limited in tradable assets, still owning a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s like, ‘Hey, trade some of these guys to contenders or teams that [can] get us some young guys and start over,’ ” Barkley said.

Of course, it is not beyond Barkley to lob such shots toward struggling teams.

During an appearance this week on Chicago’s WMVP-AM 1000, Barkley had similar views on the Chicago Bulls.

“It’s time to break up the Bulls,” he said. “Blow it up. It’s time. You’ve got some good players, you’re not good enough. It’s time to start the rebuild.

“Come on, man, you’re not close. The Celtics and the Bucks are on a whole other level than [the rest of] the Eastern Conference.”

As for his job requirement on set of reviewing the video of Heat-Pistons on Tuesday night, Barkley implored his broadcast partners to skip the highlights and “wait for it to come out on DVD.”

Kyle’s day off

The Heat on Thursday afternoon listed Lowry as out for Thursday night’s game for “rest.” Lowry had been the lone Heat player not to miss a game this season, the lone player on the roster to appear in at least 24 of the first 25 games.

Lowry stood fifth in minutes played entering Thursday’s game, at 907.5, trailing only Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, 958.2; Nets forward Royce O’Neal, 934.1; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, 915.6; and Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby, 909.7.

Lowry had been listed as questionable for Tuesday’s loss to the Pistons with ankle soreness, but played 33:41 in that game.

With Gabe Vincent also out Thursday night, due to ongoing knee pain, it left Dru Smith, who is on a two-way contract, as the only available true point guard on the roster.

For their part, the Clippers announced at midday that Kawhi Leonard would be out due to his ongoing injury management, having played in Wednesday night’s overtime road loss to the Orlando Magic.

Griner thoughts

Adebayo said he was heartened by Thursday’s news of WNBA star Brittney Griner being released from Russian captivity.

“I’m so happy for BG. I’m happy BG is coming home, man,” said Adebayo, who got to know Griner during the Tokyo Olympics, where both won gold in 2021.

“Just from knowing her from the Olympics, she’s such a sweet girl,” Adebayo said. “She doesn’t bother anybody, minds her own business, stays in her own lane. I’m really happy that she gets to come back and see her family and just be back in her own bed.

“I feel like it’s going to be hard for her to get readjusted with the world. Because obviously, none of us had any idea what she was going through. When she gets back over and hopefully she tells her story one day, I feel like that would be a great story for people to hear.”

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