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Nine-man rotations make scouting the Heat defense too easy for other teams

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Expanding the rotation to what the Spurs or Warriors use could help making scouting harder and reduce fatigue for Miami.

NBA: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Who is this Bryn Forbes who made all five of his 3-pointers? He's an example of the deeper rotations teams have been using, rather than Miami Heat's predictable nine person line-ups.

A tight rotation works until other NBA teams catch on and make adjustments. So far this season the Heat have used only nine men who played over 15 games. Other teams have gone deeper with their reserves (16 games or more): Spurs 13 men, Warriors 15, Celtics 11, Cavaliers 13.

One reason could be those teams empty the benches in lopsided games, whereas Miami's largest margin of victory this season was 12 points. The Heat won six of their 11 games by six points or less, so they couldn't gamble with the rotations in the fourth quarters. Losing four or their last five games, and giving up 100 or more in each one isn't a recipe for the playoffs.

Perhaps time to bring up 7-footer A.J. Hammons and give Jordan Mickey some minutes. Last night Hammons was a +17 for the Skyforce, with 15 points on 6 of 9 from the field, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocked shots. He's currently on the Heat roster and is a legit 7-foot center. Mickey isn't an All-Star, yet he would also give some relief on the defensive side.

Nine-man rotations aren't sustainable over an entire season. Most of the top-4 teams use 13 players on a regular basis with success: to combat fatigue and easy-to-solve defenses. Expanding the rotation a bit with forwards might ease the Heat depending on 3-point baskets to win games.

Hammons isn't a Hassan Whiteside, but at least he may stem some of the carnage in the paint Heat fans witnessed the last five games. Perhaps Goran Dragic misses having a 7-footer to protect the rim and run pick-and-roll plays. So far though, giving up 57 points or more in the first half isn't the type of habit the Heat coaching staff want their players to memorize.