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ASK IRA: Is Kevin Love in starting lineup in Heat’s best interests?

Q: Move Kevin Love to the bench. It’s too late to change the scheme of what has gotten them to two Eastern Conference finals and a Finals berth. – David.

A: But often when a player is added from the buyout market, it is with certain assurances. While Kevin Love said he did not make starting a prerequisite of joining the Heat, there assuredly were commitments made about playing time (he did not leave a playoff contender in Cleveland to sit on the bench for a play-in contender). If such commitments aren’t honored then opposing teams will use that against you the next time there is competition for such a player on the buyout market. So if Kevin doesn’t start, and if Caleb Martin remains in the second unit, then the only viable role for Keven would be as backup center, which is basically a role that maxes out at about 14 to 16 minutes a game behind Bam Adebayo. And that also would mean losing the size Cody Zeller brings to that second unit.

Q: Hello Ira, do you think Victor Oladipo is the best drive-and-kick option we have on our current roster? It seems he’s got his quickness and burst back. If surrounded by a few shooters can we get more out of Oladipo and out of our shooters by making him the de facto point guard of the 2nd unit? – Carlos, West Park.

A: For as much praise as I offered for Victor Oladipo’s performance in Monday night’s victory over the Hawks, I still do not believe he has the innate ability to play as a point. He tends to mostly have eyes on the rim, which is not the preferred approach from a point guard. That said, he largely has been cast as the backup point guard this season due to the time missed by Kyle Lowry. It will be interesting to see what happens when Kyle returns, which is expected to be sooner rather than later. With Kyle back in the starting lineup, Victor likely gets cast as the backup shooting guard. But that is with the assumption that Gabe Vincent remains in the rotation. Lots of moving pieces here.

Q: By Bam Adebayo concentrating on getting his own shot, our shooters are losing the great screens and passes that helped them get off good shots. – Rich, Plantation.

A: Correct. But you can’t stifle Bam Adebayo’s potential just because he does other things well. Now, come playoff time, the Heat often get to a more concentrated and cohesive back, which certainly could again prove to be the case.


Source: Berkshire mont

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