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No big beyond Bam: The Heat are back where they started

Omer Yurtseven is injured, and Dewayne Dedmon has broken down.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are 2-4 to start their 35th season in franchise history. While it’s not cause for alarm — Miami was 7-14 to start the 2020-21 season — it is cause for concern. Last year, the Heat got off to a 6-1 start, and the only loss came with Kyle Lowry sidelined.

We knew that Miami had a guard-heavy roster coming into training camp and never signed a player to take P.J. Tucker’s role. But did any of us foresee that Jimmy Butler would play backup center before the month of October ends?

Omer Yurtseven hasn’t played in a regular season game yet. Dewayne Dedmon trailed off towards the end of last year, and Erik Spoelstra sometimes played Tucker as the backup center in the playoffs.

Dedmon has looked even worse to start this season. He’s questionable for tonight’s game at the Sacramento Kings, but Spoelstra shouldn’t give him regular rotation minutes if he can play.

It’s sad to see Dedmon break down because he filled a key need for Miami in 2021. Meyers Leonard, who played as a spot starter for Miami in 2019-20, played just three games the following season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury and possibly ending his career with the utterance of an anti-Semitic slur. Precious Achiuwa had a bad rookie year.

At the trade deadline in March 2021, the Heat traded Kelly Olynyk for Victor Oladipo. The Heat had no one beyond Bam.

Two weeks later, Miami signed Dedmon. And while it wasn’t like adding Alonzo Mourning in 2005 or Chris Andersen in 2013 — the Heat’s best mid-season signings of backup centers — Dedmon exceeded expectations. Folks at the Miami Heat Beat coined the nickname, “The Mechanic” for him, and it caught on.

Instead of letting Dedmon walk during the off-season, the Heat signed him to a contract with a salary of $4.7 million this season. Some thought Miami overpaid him to use his contract in a mid-season trade.

The Heat need Yurtseven back healthy. And they need to find someone who can play both the starting four and if needed, backup five.