The Miami Heat are pretty deep.
And normally, that is a good thing when you talk about an 82-game season. But when you are talking about a condensed 8-game season with the playoffs and everyone is healthy and expecting to contribute...they may have a problem.
The Heat made an in season trade to acquire some players to help in the playoffs. And now, with everyone 100% healthy heading into their August 1 matchup for the NBA restart, there are going to be some people who don’t see the court.
I don’t know what Erik Spoelstra is going to do. In fact, I have had e-mails before from readers telling me what I should tell Coach Spo...I’m sorry that’s not how this works. But it was flattering nonetheless.
But I have an idea of an ideal minutes distribution for the restart considering everyone is healthy. With 240 minutes available, and knowing that you need to allow the players to play to find their rhythm, here’s what I came up with.
|NUNN (26)||ROBINSON (32)||BUTLER (33)||ADEBAYO (35)||LEONARD (19)|
|DRAGIC (28)||HERRO (23)||CROWDER (19)||JONES JR.||OLYNYK (14)|
I went for a 10-man rotation...which is still pretty large considering what is at stake. The biggest surprise will be Jones Jr. not seeing any minutes...and I promise you that you can easily convince me that all of Kelly Olynyk’s minutes should be given to him. But that can’t split 14 minutes. So choose one, it doesn’t matter and that could change game to game depending on the matchup.
Additionally, I still favor heavy minutes to Duncan Robinson — his impact on the game goes beyond the box score, and the Heat are better with him on the floor.
The biggest variance here is going to be Kendrick Nunn. How playable is he going to be in these important games and the playoffs? He’s inexperienced, and he will shoot himself into or out of rhythm. His defense is not superb and there is serious consideration to just allowing Jimmy Butler to take care of the ball and guard PG’s if Dragic isn’t on the floor. His minutes could be sliced in half and given to Iguodala or a few more to Herro.
But the reality is that there aren’t a lot of minutes to go around when everyone is healthy. This is a good problem to have, but still a problem. Ultimately, regardless of what we think, Spo is going to have to find the best new combinations that work in this format and setting and bring out the best in his team.
Fortunately, the Heat don’t have much seeding to lose or gain and have some room to experiment during their 8-11 games in Orlando before the playoffs start.
What do you think?