Q: Hi Ira, Throughout the season I have seen many people suggest replacing Duncan Robinson in the starting lineup and your response has always been to say that the team was good enough to be in the first place. Do you think Erik Spoelstra tampers with the composition due to the recent team match and trying to incite the troops? Should this change have been made weeks ago as we are only weeks away from the playoffs? – Victor, Bethlehem, Pa.
A: First, I believe Erik Spoelstra’s moves are almost always made from a strategic perspective, not an emotional one. But it also became clear that something was wrong with Duncan Robinson and his wildly inconsistent swings as an appetizer. Now, with additional tampering, it allows Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry to each have their moments in control of the offense, while also making sure there is enough floor space. Because as well as Bam Adebayo liaising with Duncan, it was almost as if it had become a priority, at the expense of Bam’s aggression. But, again, we are only one match in this remix. So there is hardly much of a sample size.
Q: What happens when Caleb Martin returns? – Gene, Coral Gables.
A: That’s a good question, because I consider Caleb Martin’s turmoil and defense essential to the Heat’s overall mix. Based on the remixed rotation, I could see him cutting into the minutes of Max Strus and Duncan Robinson, especially as Caleb hit his 3-point shot. There may also be more smaller ball, which may cut into Dewayne Dedmon. I would at least think Caleb would be next man before Victor Oladipo or Markieff Morris.
Q: I’m starting to believe that at this point it should be Gabe Vincent about Victor Oladipo. – Hug.
A: You do not have to believe, that is, as Monday night showed. With his superb 3-point shooting, Gabe Vincent offers more efficient spacing compared to Victor Oladipo. At this point, Victor may be more open in case of emergency, in case Jimmy Butler or Kyle Lowry are forced to miss time. And even then, he still barely showed the return to a player form.