Q: I’m not sure what the timeline is for Kyle Lowry’s return, but he should be off the bench for a few games whenever it happens. He is prone to rust and can’t get off to a bad start in either game against the Heat Bucks or the Celtics. If Dwayne Wade can come off the bench, so can anyone. – Parag, Weston.
A: And next to it are the layers that start. Because it’s not only about Kyle Lowry starting again, but it’s also about the back end of the rotation. With Kyle back, there are Kyle and Gabe Vincent in the form of a 1-2 punch at point guard. With Kyle out, there are Gabe and Victor Oladipo on point guard as a 1-2 alignment on the depth chart. So after Kyle is back in the mix, it strikes a role for Vic. More than anything, this is a condition that has to be monitored. And it comes down to it: You play Kyle if he’s 90 percent behind his hamstrings. But what if that’s 80 percent? Or 70 percent? or even less? At some point, an argument can be made that Vincent-Oladipo may trump Lori-Vincent.
Q: I believe one of the reasons Miami got PJ Tucker was to be able to beat Milwaukee. They will know what they are going to do before they do. He probably defended Giannis Antetokounmpo in practice last year. Pat Riley has a history of figuring out which player to pair to be able to beat the defending champion. – Martin.
A: Or they got him because that just makes them better. I doubt PJ Tucker can offer anything about the Bucks playbook that the Heat doesn’t know after consecutive seasons of playoff matchups. And PJs get used to knowing what every opponent is going to do before they do. If anything, the two-way guard could pass along the Javonte Smart Bucks’ playbook if he keeps a copy after Milwaukee released it in midseason.
Q: What can the Heat do to propel Tyler Harrow to the next level in the playoffs? – Stuart.
A: Have the other team stop double-teaming him and make him the focus of their defense. That was the approach by the 76ers in the second round. It all comes down to the opponents taking their poison. And the Celtics certainly remember what Tyler Harrow did to them in the 2020 playoffs.