Over here at Hot Hot Hoops, we will be doing a five-part roundtable leading up to the Miami Heat’s 2022-23 season-opener on Wednesday, Oct. 19 against the Chicago Bulls. Today, we will be kicking off part 1 of the series: While it might already be solidified, we still want to answer one of the biggest questions leading up to the season — Who commands Miami’s final starting spot at the power forward position heading into the season?
Question: Who will be the Miami Heat’s starting 4 to begin the season?
Daniel Riccio: There are definitely some options when it comes to this position, during pre-season we have seen the team go both big and small. However, it seems going small with Caleb Martin has to be my answer. Small ball 4’s is something Miami has had success with for a very long time now. Martin looks comfortable in the starting unit and the group looks like they indeed have some nice chemistry. Puts Miami in a position to have more speed, athleticism, and versatility both offensively and defensively. Martin has all those qualities specifically, and is a known “Swiss army knife” type of guy to coach Spoelstra.
Matt Hanifan: After what we saw against New Orleans in the final preseason game, you have to say it’s Martin, right? At least to start the season? It was Miami’s first real dress rehearsal ahead of the new season, and the Lowry-Herro-Butler-Martin-Adebayo flourished on both ends of the floor. Miami has truly four scoring options with Martin — who can still spot up from deep as well as create off the bounce — be the presumptive fifth option. This lineup only played 17 minutes last year, but looked like it played 117 minutes together, albeit in a preseason game against a less motivated New Orleans Pelicans team. Regardless, Martin’s my pick right now; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I’m sure we’ll see a revolving door of 4s throughout the season, but Martin adds a degree of athleticism and creation Miami hasn’t had at the starting 4 spot in quite some time. He’s ready.
Surya Fernandez: I liked what I saw in their last preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans with a versatile player like Caleb giving them a lot of different options on both ends of the court. I’m not quite sure if that lineup necessarily works reliably against certain teams however, but Spoelstra has shown the last few seasons he is willing to fine-tune as needed. I expect this to be a revolving door of sorts throughout the season until a definitive starter (hopefully) emerges. Who knows, maybe with more seasoning it could be Nikola Jovic down the road, or even slot Bam Adebayo (who should keep working on those 3s) there and insert Omer Yurtseven at the 5.
Naveen Ganglani: Truth be told, the four-spot can be a revolving door of options depending on each night’s matchup, at least until a bonafide permanent filler for that spot is found. But if we had to pick one member of the team right now, it’s definitely Caleb. He matched up well against Zion in the limited minutes during preseason. He wasn’t only getting the stops required on defense, but also used his advantage, particularly speed, on the other end. His jumper is reliable. He’s earned his shot.
Who do you think earned the starting 4 nod? Answer the poll and comment your answer below!
Who will be the Miami Heat’s starting 4 to begin the season?
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