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Winderman’s view: Heat show against Spurs that, yes, it can get worse

Observations and other notes of interest from Saturday’s 115-111 loss to the San Antonio Spurs:

– The preferred starting lineup was back in place.

– The injury list was as limited as it has been in a while.

– So this basically is who the Heat are.

– And that makes this week particularly sobering.

– You lose to the Pistons, at least the excuse of no Jimmy Butler.

– You lose to the shorthanded, resting-everyone Grizzlies, at least the reality of the end of an eight-day trip.

– But this was against a team that had just snapped an 11-game losing streak.

– Tied for the worst record in the Western Conference.

– And there the Heat stood, late in the fourth quarter and trailing.

– Shooting threes, twice, when they just needed two to tie.

– At a point when Jimmy Butler was working his way to the foul line.

– So a possession with an offensive rebound and no Butler touch.

– Now with a four-game trip looming.

– So much for the soft spots on the schedule.

– Nothing at this stage can be assumed.

– Including the upcoming road games against the Thunder, Rockets and Spurs.

– And, so, more misery.

– Again a team with seemingly little desire for victories.

– So, yes . . . rock . . . bottom.

– For just the 10th time this season, the Heat had their preferred starting lineup of Bam Adebayo, Butler, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.

– The Heat, in fact, were mostly whole, with Gabe Vincent (knee) the lone rotation player sidelined.

– The other sidelined players were Omer Yurtseven, who is recovering from ankle surgery, and Jamal Cain and Nikola Jovic, who are on G League assignment.

– Even in a game like this, it is doubtful that Erik Spoelstra would have utilized Jovic.

– Questionable before the game but available was backup center Dewayne Dedmon.

– With the start, Butler tied Dan Majerle for 21st on the Heat all-time list.

– The Spurs opened with Tre Jones, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Romeo Langford and Zach Collins.

– Victor Oladipo and Max Strus entered as the Heat’s first two reserves.

– Dedmon then played as the third reserve.

– Spoelstra did not go nine deep until Duncan Robinson entered midway through the third period.

– It’s as if Spoelstra is on a quest to find a bench that works.

– So Haywood Highsmith shuffled out.

– All that talk going into the season of depth?

– Idle chatter.

– It’s not as if Vincent has been a panacea this season.

– There is nothing close to the bench boost that Herro provided last season.

– It’s almost down to a second-unit hope and a prayer with Oladipo.

– Who fouled out in the fourth quarter when needed most.

– Although he did provide a bench spark.

– Arguably the Heat only bench spark.

– Herro’s fourth 3-pointer was the 450th of his career.

– Butler’s third assist moved him past Kevin Edwards with 10th on the Heat all-time list.

– Dedmon’s first block was the 400th of his career.

– Crazy that the Gregg Popovich Spurs rank last in the NBA in offense.

– Then again, few have played the lottery game better than San Antonio.

– David Robinson, Exhibit A.

– Tim Duncan, Exhibit B.

– Next up . . . Victor Wembanyama?

– No, not a good night when it came to the Heat protecting that paint at the point of attack.

– And this was not a team getting all those paint points from the post.

– Just a bad, bad night.

– To cap a bad, bad week.

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Source: Berkshire mont

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