We all know the concerns with the Miami Heat’s roster going into the season. They didn’t find someone to take P.J. Tucker’s role as the starting power forward. Miami re-signed Dewayne Dedmon — possibly to use his contract in a mid-season trade — despite seeing him shelved for large parts of the playoffs.
And Miami’s roster was unbalanced, with a glut of guards and not enough options at the power forward and center positions. Some thought Miami’s best lineup would have Jimmy Butler at the four, flanked by players like Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry and Victor Oladipo.
Now that we’re a month into the season, injuries have exacerbated these roster construction issues.
Oladipo, who was supposed to take Herro’s role from last season, still hasn’t played one game this year. Omer Yurtseven hasn’t either, which has forced the Heat to play Dedmon for longer stretches than he should. Dedmon didn’t grab one rebound last night, in a game that saw Toronto dominate the boards 42-23. Last season, the Heat withstood an extended absence from Adebayo because Dedmon, Yurtseven and P.J. Tucker temporarily offered the various skills Adebayo provides.
Yes, it was nice to see Nikola Jovic exceed expectations in his first career start. But if Jovic as a 19-year-old rookie is Miami’s best option as either a backup five to Adebayo or a starting power forward, something is wrong.
And that’s not even getting into the fact that Tyler Herro hasn’t played since November 4. With Oladipo already out, losing Herro for an extended stretch means the Heat don’t even have the glut in the backcourt. They’re shorthanded at both the perimeter and interior.
Of course, Herro coming back will help some. But Herro won’t solve the issues in the front court. The Heat badly need a trade, and it’s puzzling why the executives didn’t foresee this happening over the off-season.