Is Heat’s development program running out? – Denver Post


Q: When Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo is on the bench, the Heat are a bad team. All the others are mediocre. The story that they have this amazing player development program is pure fiction. Developed players all around the league are just as good and better. – Morgan, New Orleans.

A: I agree that when Max Strus is inconsistent, when Gabe Vincent can’t shoot and when Duncan Robinson can’t play, the development program doesn’t quite have the same shine. But you have to recognize how Caleb Martin was developed from a two-way perspective. Moreover, we have to see where the development program takes Omer Yurtseven, Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain. So there is still hope. At least there is that.

Q: Over this season, we’ve gone from hoping the Heat are a championship-caliber team to believing they were, at least, playoff material, to wondering if they’re even a team .500. We’re 4-5 against teams with losing records and we’re off on a tough road trip. So a .500 season now seems like an ambitious goal. Bill, Palm Beach Gardens.

A: I know it might sound like apples to oranges, but the Heat are also just three games under .500, in a much better place than NBA runners-up Boston Celtics are. found last December. What this team still needs to do is sustain. But there are also 55 games to smooth things over. Do they look like championship gear right now? No, not compared to the Celtics or the Bucks. But in their best moments, they looked a lot like a team with a better than .500 chance. Erik Spoelstra’s teams have almost always improved over the seasons. So, for now, that would be the hope.

Q: Let’s stop sugarcoating this team, shall we? They are bad. Erik Spoelstra was bad. Down two against Spurs and we’re off for two 3s? Seriously, where are the run or play calls? No Kyle Lowry to stage a play? Jimmy doesn’t touch the ball? Bam Adebayo was behind on the rebound, but decides to throw it to Caleb Martin? It’s unbearable to watch. –Marc, Arlington, Texas.

A: You raise very valid points. And you name the exact players who should shape wins. Yes, Tyler Herro had an open 3-point look. And, yes, we wouldn’t have had this discussion if Caleb Martin had dumped his open 3-pointer. In fact, Bam Adebayo would have been credited with making the right play. But Jimmy Butler is the closest to this team, and that should never be lost in the reshuffle. It gets to the foul line, which is all the heat needed at the time. And Kyle Lowry was brought in to dictate such situations, more of a natural playmaker than Goran Dragic. For his part, Bam is the muscle of the operation, at a time when the muscle was enough. Yes, if any of the 3 point attempts fail, we will not have this discussion. But they didn’t. U.S. too. Just as it has after similar losses, including Tyler’s 3-point miss late in the loss at Indiana, where the Heat return Monday.



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