Winderman’s view: No relief, just another loss that leaves Heat gasping

Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 105-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves:

– The Heat way might be to say you stop opposing runs by getting defensive stops.

– But that only pauses the opposition.

– What you need are relief baskets, or at least free throws.

– That’s what Jimmy Butler can give you.

– Or Tyler Herro.

– Or heck, maybe even Gabe Vincent or Duncan Robinson.

– None were available Monday night.

– Few have been available this past week.

– So whether it was the Raptors rolling back from 11 down or the Wizards from 15 down, there was no relief.

– Lament the losses.

– But what the Heat need is health.

– Because they’re simply not winning without Butler.

– Or Herro.

– Now they might have had there been Victor Oladipo.

– But he has yet to play this season.

– Even as he traveled on this trip,

– And it has to be more than Max Strus or bust.

– That is not why he is here.

– As for Kyle Lowry, exactly how much should be expected at 36?

– So now back to FTX Arena or whatever it is called these days.

– It was Round 2 of Nikola Jovic-Bam Adebayo as the Heat’s starting power rotation, after they started together for the first time in Sunday night’s loss in Cleveland.

– Caleb Martin, Strus and Lowry rounded out the starting lineup.

– Lowry’s first steal tied Ben Wallace and Mugsy Bogues for 65th on the NBA all-time list.

– Strus’ third 3-pointer moved him past James Jones for 17th on the Heat all-time list.

– The Heat again were without Butler, Herro, Vincent, Udonis Haslem, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven.

– With Robinson also out after turning his left ankle late in the loss to the Cavaliers.

– It is only the second career game Robinson has missed due to injury, with Friday’s hand injury that kept him out in Washington the first.

– That left the Heat with four available reserves: Dewayne Dedmon, Haywood Highsmith, Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson.

– Vincent said his injury is mostly a matter of bumps and bruises.

– He said nothing invasive is involved in the treatment.

– The Timberwolves opened with a lineup of Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell.

– Highsmith played as the Heat’s first reserve.

– With Cain next in.

– And then Dedmon.

– For the second consecutive night leaving Orlando Robinson as the lone available Heat player not to see action in the first quarter.

– Spoelstra said with Vincent and Herro out, Adebayo’s ballhandling becomes even more essential as the de facto backup point guard to Lowry.

– “He’s been our point center now for a couple of years,” Spoelstra said. “So we can function and run our offense with him handling.”

– The absences also opened the possibility with Jovic.

– “And then game out of hand [Sunday],” Spoelstra said, “we were able to look at Niko handling the ball as well in a similar fashion as Bam.”

– The absences have forced the Heat to somewhat dial back the playbook.

– “Of course a little bit, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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