Q: If Omer Yurtseven is ready for meaningful minutes, he slots in for Dewayne Dedmon and lets Nikola Jovic focus his minutes as a four. Do you see Erik Spoelstra giving Jovic non-garbage minutes if Yurtseven proves ready? – Michael, Boca Raton.
A: If you had asked before the season whether it was possible that both Omer Yurtseven and Nikola Jovic could both be receiving rotation minutes, the notion would have summarily been dismissed. With Dewayne Dedmon having struggled, the question is whether it was because of the current foot injury, or something deeper. First, of course, we have to see Omer Yurtseven get to the court and show if he can be a fit. But based on the early returns with Nikola, it would be intriguing to see him continue at least in spot minutes.
Q: Ira, was the loss in Golden State a one-off or a one awful? – Jesse.
A: Got to admit, enjoy the phrasing. It used to be that when the Heat ended a lengthy western swing with a game at altitude in Denver it was written off as the cliche “schedule loss.” This one, on the second night of a back-to-back against a Warriors team idle the day before, had that feeling. Look, even on the Heat’s best of nights, winning at Chase Center is a chore. Perhaps the stat that best summed up the night was this: The Heat were outscored 10-8 on second-chance points in the first half . . . and then 17-0 in the second. The legs grew weary. The irony is that one of the most difficult games on an NBA schedule can be the first one back after an extended trip. And the Heat’s first one back after this trip? Tuesday at FTX Arena against the . . . Warriors.
Q: Hello, Ira. Beside the fact that we need a real power forward in the starting lineup that complements this unit, Tyler Herro needs time to adjust his play to fit better next to Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Forcing Herro back to a sixth-man role will only stunt his growth. I think we need some patience. Even Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James needed time to adjust their games when they first got together. – Carlos, West Park.
A: Fair point. But the Big Three always knew they would secure a quality seed and be well positioned for the playoffs. In this season’s Eastern Conference, there are no guarantee that an uneven start can be as easily overcome.