This is normally the time of year when I write something perspicacious about the Miami Heat. Of course, as of this writing they are in the early-season mode and that makes any accurate analysis or prediction difficult if not impossible.

At the present time, Spoelstra is not so much trying to see what he has, because most of the players are holdovers from last year, but to see how to merge them into cohesive units, both as starters and reserves. You might remember that, with injuries and inconsistent play last year, the coach tried many different lineups, and none was consistently good.

He has that same problem this year, and one or more to boot. The first is that there is not a proven three-point shooter who can be the go-to consistent, dependable scorer. Several players can shoot the ball well, but not consistently beyond the arc. Second, most coaches welcome players who are versatile and can play shooting guard and point guard, small forward and point guard, center and power forward, etc. In the case of the Heat, there may be too much versatility and not enough pure shooting talent, playmaker talent, drive-to-the-basket talent, etc. Most of the players have multiple talents but have not honed one or two to make them stand-out from the rest.

As a result, Coach Spoelstra will have to come up with line-up combinations that will give the team the advantage against the night’s opponent but which might not work against the next opponent. The result is that playing time will be widely dispersed and not everyone likes that
type of direction. It’s hard to make everyone happy when they are not playing the number of minutes they visualize themselves deserving.

As we get further into the regular season it will be interesting to see the pairings that coach puts on the floor. Now, if Riley is able to land Jimmy Butler without dismantling the team, that’s a whole new story. He would certainly be a strong addition to the team and perhaps solidify the positions to be accepted by the remainder of the team.





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