Observations and other notes of interest from Saturday’s 119-113 loss to the Kings:
– This perhaps stood as the counter to why Udonis Haslem holds a roster spot.
– Erik Spoelstra actually utilized the Heat’s 42-year-old captain in a rotation role.
– In the first quarter, and in the third quarter.
– But it also goes to why there was a question of perhaps better roster utilization.
– Because if not Haslem, then perhaps it might have been Markieff Morris or Montrezl Harrell in those minutes.
– Or DeMarcus Cousins (but assuredly not Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside).
– This likely will stand as an exception.
– With Dewayne Dedmon unable to go because of an upper-respiratory infection (while also dealing with a foot issue).
– And with Omer Yurtseven still dealing with his ankle injury and back in South Florida.
– But it also showed the limitations that Spoelstra is willing to go with 19-year-old Nikola Jovic at this stage.
– Still, with Dedmon uneven in his minutes, and no guarantees of what Yurtseven can be, Haslem by default appears to be the current fallback.
– Which runs the risk of running Bam Adebayo into the ground.
– It again was Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry as the first five for the Heat.
– The game was Adebayo’s 350th regular-season appearance.
– Undrafted rookie Jamal Cain was inactive, with the plan to next send him to the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.
– Also inactive were Dedmon, Yurtseven and Victor Oladipo.
– It then got interesting with the Heat’s first substitution, with Spoelstra going with Haslem when Adebayo was called for his second foul midway through the opening period.
– Max Strus followed as the second reserve.
– And then Gabe Vincent as the third and Duncan Robinson as the fourth.
– Ultimately with a token minute for Jovic in the first half.
– Robinson largely remains a fringe rotation player.
– And Jovic largely remains break open only when needed.
– Sioux Falls time yet could be in his future when the Heat power rotation is whole.
– Butler’s third free-throw attempt moved him past Eddie Jones for 1th on the Heat all-time list.
– Butler’s fourth free throw moved him past Stephon Marbury for 89th on the NBA all-time list.
– With his third assist, Butler moved past current assistant coach Anthony Carter for 12th on the all-time Heat list.
– Butler also moved past James Johnson and into 25th on the Heat all-time defensive-rebound list.
– Herro’s third 3-point attempt moved him past Kelly Olynyk for 12th on the Heat all-time list.
– Herro’s third 3-pointer tied Dan Majerle for 11th on the all-time Heat list.
– Lowry’s fourth rebound was the 4,500th of his career.
– The Kings entered seeking the first win under new coach Mike Brown.
– Brown said before the game it was time to tighten his rotation.
– “Just like I’m demanding the guys to keep trying to get better, hopefully sooner than later, I have to do the same thing, so it’s no different for me,” Brown said. “I’ve got to try to tighten up the rotation a little bit and give the guys who are on the floor an opportunity to see what they can do after getting some rhythm.”
– That said, he went 10 deep in the first quarter, including former Heat forward KZ Okpala.
– Albeit only briefly.
– The game was the first of nine Heat starts this season earlier than 6 p.m. local time (starting at 3 p.m. Pacific), the most for the Heat since 2017-18, when they also had nine.