Q: As Eastern teams have improved this offseason, it’s been interesting to read your take on the Heat staying put. Being close to the final does not require you to make an impetuous move. One thing we’ve seen are front-loading team injuries that take them out of competition quickly (Brooklyn, Lakers, Clippers, Philly to name a few). One thing about the Heat is that they’re deeper than most and able to weather those injuries all season and even into the playoffs. Having the depth they gained last season and the season ahead will play a bigger role than most realize. Do you see them finishing in the top 4 again? – Aaron, Miami.
A: Yes, because winning matters to them during the regular season. They showed that last season, even risking a potential first-round clash with the Nets. When the Heat say “next man,” they can say it with confidence. Still, talent wins, and that means Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo will need to be at their best at the right time.
Q: Will. I think most of us diehard fans would agree that last year we had a really good team, and this year we still have a really good team. However, the real question is not whether The Heat are a good team but, given the off-season activity of rival teams in the East, and our absence, are we a championship-caliber team? My heart says yes, but my mind says, probably not, unless we make a dramatic addition after the start of the regular season, and Victor Oladipo is playing consistently this season like he played in encouraging surges last season. Your thoughts? – Bill, Palm Beach Gardens.
A: If Victor Oladipo even comes close to his previous form, then it could be argued that his off-season signing will trump any outside signings by the Celtics, Bucks, Nets or even 76ers (with all due respect to PJ Tucker).
Q: Hello Ira. It looks like at least for now we will enter the season with no real power forwards on the roster. You answered many questions/suggestions from fans who would like to see Erik Spoelstra play alongside Bam Adebayo. Your answers are still similar, citing that Coach Spo was hesitant to play a formation with two greats, but Coach Spo played a starting formation with a power rotation of Meyers Leonard and Bam (but not for long stretches). My question is what did Meyers Leonard bring to the table that neither Omer Yurtseven nor Dewayne Dedmon brought? – Carlos, West Park.
A: Proven, ground-stretching NBA 3-point shot. It’s more than Omer Yurtseven or Dewayne Dedmon who have the ability to make them. It’s about developing a reputation that demands defensive attention (as was also the case when Kelly Olynyk played alongside Bam Adebayo).