Q: You’re going to kill Bam Adebayo asking him to run point-guard duties and also play his game and run the paint. Remember I said this. – David.
A: While I’m not sure if making a few passes from the elbow and advancing the ball occasionally is going to run Bam Adebayo, at 26, into the ground, this goes to my ongoing point that just because Bam Adebayo can do it all doesn’t mean he has to do it all. In fact, it might be the responsibilities on the other end that take the greatest toll. Based on a projected Heat starting lineup of Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry, that’s a lot of defensive compensation to ask of both Adebayo and Butler, Yes, the Heat often have featured a negative defender or two in the lineup, but you could be talking a significant number of blow-bys for Adebayo to compensate for with his ability to defend all five positions. What matters most, though, is having a reliable backup to buy Bam adequate time on the bench. In that regard, more than Adebayo having to run the point or anchor the defense, what could matter most is Thomas Bryant being reliable and available.
Q: After the smoke clears, who do you think are the Heat’s most valuable players? I would think Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro would be because of their age. How about you? – Tony, Port Saint Lucie.
A: Since the Heat are a live-in-the-moment franchise, it would be Jimmy Butler, particularly when it comes to the most significant junctures of the season. Could it one day be Bam Adebayo? Certainly. And he does plenty already. Might it be Tyler Herro if he takes his scoring efficiency to another level? That is another possibility. But at this moment, with this roster, no Heat player is more valuable than Jimmy.
Q: The season hasn’t started yet and there is already a list of players injured. Nowadays the NBA players are the most delicate and injury prone of all time. – Ossie.
A: Or are they the most prudent, appreciating what truly matters and when it truly matters? Yes, the preference would be for a full, healthy, available Heat roster for Wednesday night’s season opener at Kaseya Center. But an even greater preference would be a full, healthy, available roster for a May or June game against the Celtics or Bucks. No disrespect to the Pistons on Wednesday night, but Game 1 of 82 hardly is must-win basketball. That’s just the reality.