Unlike previous seasons, Coach Spoelstra seems to have pretty much settled on his starting rotation early on and it appears to be working quite well. The starters for the most part are Butler, Adebayo and Leonard up front joined by Robinson and Nunn in the backcourt.
Looking at the stats at this writing, which is 33 games into the season, the only member of the starting five who seems a little out of place is Leonard. Of the five, he has the fewest average minutes, and does not have impressive stats in terms of points or assists per game. However, he shoots from three-point range at a nearly 47% pace and, when he is on the floor, the offense seems to run more smoothly. That enables the team to “jump” on its opponent early in the first quarter and hopefully set the tone for the rest of the game.
Spo then has the luxury of bringing in Dragic and Herro for energy and scoring, Olynyk for his height and long-range shooting touch, and Derrick Jones for spectacular scoring bursts. When Silva is available, this provides the team with a very versatile cast to choose from, depending on the defensive style of the other team.
Even with this abundance of talent, too often this group becomes the “cardiac kids,” letting subpar teams stay close and require a hard push at the end, or in overtime, to secure the “W.” Our cardiologists would prefer a little less stress coming down the stretch.
There’s still a long way to go before we start talking playoffs. Whichever way you look at it, the remainder of the season won’t be boring.