In a podcast episode with Chris Herring last month, Zach Lowe said that the Miami Heat would be a worse regular-season team than projected. While he said that he loved Miami’s starting five, the depth worried him.
Lowe Post podcast: Overrated and underrated teams with @Herring_NBA: Warriors, Jazz, Mavs, Heat, Celtics, Blazers, Hawks, Bulls, several others -- and lots of disagreement.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 14, 2021
Three preseason games in, and Miami’s depth has proven up to the task. Last night, the Heat rested Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker and Dewayne Dedmon. Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin and Marcus Garrett all sat out with injuries. Miami still defeated a San Antonio Spurs team that didn’t rest anyone.
The Miami HEAT's C-Team beat the Spurs A-Team. Yikes.— Tamper Tantrum (@DontHateTheH3at) October 9, 2021
Of course, these are just three exhibition games. But two key pillars of the Heat’s second unit — Tyler Herro and Max Strus — appear suited to score in bunches off the bench.
Herro, who will be the Heat’s sixth man until Victor Oladipo returns, has shown deft ball-handling and separation ability to lead the league in preseason scoring. In both Miami’s preseason opener against Atlanta and in San Antonio last night, Herro went on scoring binges. To do it against Dejounte Murray, a former All-Defensive Team player, is even more impressive.
San Antonio getting a dose of Herro Ball tonight— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 9, 2021
15 on 7-13 shooting in the 1st half pic.twitter.com/g3zQ3fj2pF
Strus made six 3-pointers last night, but he also ran out for a breakaway dunk early in last night’s game. As I said before, if Strus can hit 3s at an above-average clip, he’ll have the backup wing spot over Caleb Martin — again, until Oladipo returns.
Max Strus got all the way loose tonight in San Antonio pic.twitter.com/mmHKLLywwG— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 9, 2021
On the flip side, Markieff Morris has yet to make a 3-pointer in the preseason. He’s never been a great 3-point shooter, but he should at least be a respectable one. If not, defenses will sag off him, like they did to Andre Iguodala the last year-and-a-half.
Its only been two preseason games but I am out on Keiff as a four especially with Dedmon.— Kyle Lowry Lifer (@gnavas103) October 8, 2021
Their depth at that position is non existent so they dont have much of a choice. Might need some more Jimmy at 4 mins than any of us want https://t.co/N7rGkYOufx
Again, it’s just three preseason games. Herro and Strus are not going to play as well as they have all season long. Morris will hit some 3s. But it’s good to see Miami’s reserves playing well before opening night.