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With Olynyk questionable, Spo ponders Whiteside/Adebayo pairing

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Whiteside and Adebayo have played 36 minutes together this season.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

After suffering a shoulder injury last night, Kelly Olynyk was told not to move his shoulder. But he may be back on the floor tomorrow night against the Houston Rockets, in a bit of good news for a team that is on a four-game losing streak.

Even if Olynyk returns tomorrow, Erik Spoelstra signaled that he may play more lineups including Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo. The following excerpt is from an article by Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post:

“If you look at the summary of (Monday’s) game in many ways two of our most impactful players were Hassan and Bam,” Spoelstra said

“It’s going to force me to possibly think a little bit different with this team to see how to get both those guys more minutes and eventually more minutes together. I really liked the way Hassan played, the way he came out in the game with energy and Bam is becoming undeniable now. But both of them are forces for us and you have to look at in a different lens going forward.”

Up until this point, Spoelstra has routinely used either Olynyk or Adebayo as the center in the fourth quarter, having Whiteside on the bench. We’ll see if the Whiteside/Adebayo pairings occur in the fourth quarter — part of the reason Spoelstra hasn’t played Whiteside is because opponents go small.

But the Whiteside/Adebayo pairing has had success in the past — most notably in Jan. 9’s win over the Toronto Raptors. Overall, Whiteside and Adebayo have played 36 minutes together; the Heat have been out-scored by three in those minutes.

Do you think Spoelstra should play Whiteside and Adebayo together more often? Let us know in the comments.