Q: The grade of the players depends on the coach. Give the c to Eric Spoelstra. If there is a spo coach, the heat will continue to subside. – Carlton.
A: This was in response to the Sun Sentinel’s Heat player grades for 2021-22. And you are right that there were no grades for the coaching staff. But if there were, and probably should have been, I would give Eric Spoelstra and an A or an A+. Consider what this team did amid COVID and injuries and player absences. The former was still the No. 1 seed, eliminating the Hawks and 76ers in skilful fashion and a 3-point effort against the Celtics going into the NBA Finals. Yes, you can delve into the details of timeouts not called during opposing runs, overriding trust when replacement options may have been better, the play call went south. But Kyle Lowry missed 19 games during the regular season, Jimmy Butler 25 and Bam Adabayo 26. And, then, during the playoffs, Lowry, Butler, Tyler Herro, and others on the roster were sick. I’m not sure it’s possible to get more than one coach. To judge Spoelstra on minute aspects is to judge players on decisions such as turnovers or missed free throws or attempting to win the pre-finals with a single 3-point attempt. No, he was good this season, very good, as was Front Office. And, frankly, when you finish with the best record in the past and then go within one shot of the NBA Finals, do you need to observe what went wrong? After all, did something really go wrong?
Q: Does Pat Riley need an offensive coordinator? Drummond Green said he chose the Celtics to beat Miami because he didn’t think the Heat could build up enough offense. You can’t argue with the success of Riley, 21 of his 27 years in Miami that the Heat have made it to the playoffs. Basketball is relevant in South Florida every year. We know about the NBA Championship and he is the godfather. But over the years they have had more than a few teams that seem challenging aggressively. – Stuart.
A: Like the question and answer above, success is appreciated. , , Then asked. Success has been driven by defense, and will likely remain so as long as Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra are calling the shots. The structure of the roster ultimately determines the game plan.
Q: Is there any chance that Riley Dame Lillard could pull off the trade? Why is Portland going nowhere, ruining Lillard’s best years? -Faye, Miami.
A: First, if there is a Damien Lillard trade, it has to come with Damien’s blessing given the emotional bond between Lillard and Portland. But still, can a team have an opening backcourt of 6-foot (probably) Kyle Lowry and 6-2 (probably) Damien Lillard? I’m not sure Eric Spoelstra can do anything for him defensively. Besides, did the Heat dare to replace the 22-year-old prospect in Tyler Harrow at Lillard’s soon-to-be 32-year veteran?