Q: PJ Tucker looks and plays like someone cut PJ Brown about 6 inches short and 6 inches wide. Heck, he even has the same name. As important as Jay Crowder was during our 2020 NBA Finals run, the same can be said of Brown, er, I mean Tucker. – Joy, plantation.
A: Actually you raise an interesting debate between Jay Crowder and PJ Tucker about better fit and better contributor. For the past three seasons, the Heat have risen to power with a seasoned placeholder. In 2019-20, it was crowder. Last season, Trevor Ariza. This season, Tucker. For now, you may have to give Crowder the lead, as he helped the Heat move up to within two wins of the 2020 Championship. But such a runway, or perhaps even more, is still there for Tucker. Crowder was an offensive threat, Tucker more of a two-pronged presence. Ironically, Tucker will have the same question as Crowder: Can the heat keep him going? Tucker has opted-out this summer. Or will it just be the next guy from the pool of experienced power available?
Q: We look so dead in the back of the basket compared to the other teams. Why don’t Heat fans have white noodles, like fans of Philadelphia, when the opposing team is shooting free throws? – Amparo, Delray Beach.
A: Among the reasons I didn’t put this question up before, I’m not sure it would make sense to go with a headline: Should heat fans keep waving their white noodles? I’ll just leave it like that.
Q: Ira, please tell me why is the NBA community hesitant to give the Miami Heat any credit for a better-than-expected performance so far this year? It’s so frustrating as a Miami fan that he’s constantly on the lookout for something that never comes from the press and the rest of the NBA family. It’s almost as if he never forgave the Heat for his Big Three in 2010 that angered so many people. – Brent, Wellington.
A: No. What the national media seeks out is the story. And except for Jimmy Butler’s sideline outburst in March, the Heat haven’t offered many this season. Those who focus on basketball appreciate what has been accomplished and what can be achieved. Those who are focused on the salty and juicy bits know that it’s almost always better to turn to New York and Los Angeles in those instances.