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Heat show against the Spurs which, yes, it can get worse – The Denver Post

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Observations and other interesting notes from Saturday’s 115-111 loss to the San Antonio Spurs:

– Favorite starting lineup was back in place.

– The casualty list was as limited as it has been for a while.

– So that’s basically who the Heat are.

– And that makes this week particularly disappointing.

– You lose to the Pistons, at least Jimmy Butler’s no excuse.

– You lose to the Grizzlies shorthanded and at rest, at least the reality of the end of an eight-day trip.

– But it was against a team that had just ended an 11-game losing streak.

– Tied for the worst record in the Western Conference.

– And there the Heat stood, late in the fourth quarter and trailing.

– Shooting three times, twice, when it only took two to equalize.

– At a time when Jimmy Butler was heading for the foul line.

– So a possession with an offensive rebound and no Butler touch.

– Now with a four-game trip looming.

– So much for the weak points of the calendar.

– Nothing at this stage can be assumed.

– Including upcoming road games against the Thunder, Rockets and Spurs.

– And, therefore, more misery.

– Another team with apparently little desire for victories.

– Then yes . . . rock . . . bottom.

– For only the 10th time this season, the Heat had their favorite starting lineup consisting of Bam Adebayo, Butler, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.

– The Heat, in fact, were mostly whole, with Gabe Vincent (knee) the only rotational player sidelined.

– Other players ruled out were Omer Yurtseven, who is recovering from ankle surgery, and Jamal Cain and Nikola Jovic, who are on assignment in the G League.

– Even in a game like this, it’s unlikely that Erik Spoelstra would have used Jovic.

– Questionable before the game but available was backup center Dewayne Dedmon.

– With the start, Butler tied Dan Majerle for 21st on the Heat’s all-time list.

– Spurs opened with Tre Jones, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Romeo Langford and Zach Collins.

– Victor Oladipo and Max Strus entered as the Heat’s first two reserves.

– Dedmon then played as a third reserve.

– Spoelstra didn’t go nine deep until Duncan Robinson entered midway through the third period.

– It’s as if Spoelstra were looking for a bench that works.

– So Haywood Highsmith managed.

– All these discussions before the season of the deep?

– Chat.

– It’s not as if Vincent had been the panacea this season.

– There’s nothing close to the bench boost Herro provided last season.

– This is almost a second unit hope and prayer with Oladipo.

– Who fouls in the fourth quarter when he needed it most.

– Although he provided a bench spark.

– Probably the Heat bench spark only.

– Herro’s fourth 3-pointer was the 450th of his career.

– Butler’s third assist moved him past Kevin Edwards with 10th place on the Heat’s all-time list.

– Dedmon’s first boulder was the 400th of his career.

– Crazy that the Gregg Popovich Spurs rank last in the NBA in offense.

– Then again, few have played the lottery game better than San Antonio.

– David Robinson, Exhibit A.

– Tim Duncan, Exhibit B.

– The following. . . Victor Wembanyama?

– No, not a good night as far as heat protecting this point-of-attack paint is concerned.

– And it wasn’t a team getting all those paint points from the post.

“Just a bad, bad night.

– To top off a bad, bad week.

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