There’s plenty to discuss regarding the Miami Heat this off-season, especially since there will be a long period of time with no basketball following Tuesday’s final Summer League game. So, with a bunch of recent player breakdowns and many more on the way, this piece is all about answering your guys’ questions.
The roster looks different, the scheme will look different, which leaves us with quite the debate toward the bottom of the rotation. Anyway, let’s hop right into some of the questions…
Backup PG: last year, we didn’t trust Herro or Nunn with this role, so will we trust any of our G-leaguers to do so, or is that a role-by-committee for 21-22?
— Wright is better than Might…peace out🍷 🇯🇲 (@DaWr1ghtOne) August 16, 2021
If you consider Gabe Vincent a “G-Leaguer,” then possibly. But for the most part, the answer is the latter.
Last season, there really wasn’t a way to utilize facilitators by committee, due to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo being the only true threats. And even though there was only one major addition in that department, in Kyle Lowry, it’ll make all the difference.
One point that I will continue to hammer home this off-season is that a back-up point guard would be ideal, but it’s not as necessary as it was in past years. There won’t be many moments that Lowry, Butler, and Adebayo are all on the sideline at the same time, which is why the roles will be sustainable barring zero injuries.
Although I don’t see them fluctuating Tyler Herro’s role in that fashion, there will be some minor play-making usage from guys like PJ Tucker and Markieff Morris.
Tucker is the gem that can run some hand-offs for Duncan Robinson, allowing Adebayo to play off the catch. Morris will be used mostly as a screener at the top of the key, where he’s shown to be pretty useful as a passer with skip passes from that area.
The point is that bench play-making shouldn’t be much of a worry in my eyes, due to the roster catering to others stepping up.
Do you think it Yurt expands his game a bit, there can be a lineup with he and Bam at the same time?
— Garth not Brooks (@TheOtherGarth) August 16, 2021
When discussing the possibility of playing Omer Yurtsveen next to Adebayo in certain lineups, it’s not really about Yurtseven making any type of expansion. His skill-set blends in well with Adebayo’s right now.
The question is more about Yurtseven’s capabilities against the NBA competition at this stage, since he clearly fits the build of the lengthy bigs that can be effective front-court pairings.
Defensively, we all know what Adebayo can do on the perimeter against smaller guys, but the most important part about playing at the four is that he can be more of a weak-side free-lancer to help out as Yurtseven drops in the action. He’s been highly effective so far as a shot-blocker, which is the one piece Adebayo can use as a defensive combo.
The offensive side of the ball is even simpler. Yurtseven’s role would be simplified to constant screening and popping for his most coveted spot of the floor: above the break threes. That fits with Adebayo’s interior and mid-range play pretty perfectly, and some 4-5 PnR’s would unlock plenty of things for Adebayo’s game.
This of course is best case scenario when talking about the development of Yurtseven, but there’s no doubt that it makes more sense than the development and fit of Precious Achiuwa.
What’s the best possible lineups you could play with Bam-Yurt together? What were Bams numbers playing with Meyers?
— qel (@maw95_) August 16, 2021
After touching on the combo of Adebayo and Yurtseven in the front-court, I just don’t feel the best possible lineup with those two is very complicated. Throwing out Lowry, Butler, and Robinson is a pretty ideal blend of shooting, dribble penetration, and defense.
I’ve seen many bring up the point about Adebayo thriving next to Meyers Leonard or Kelly Olynyk for long stretches due to having a drop big as his side-kick, but I feel there’s a deeper meaning.
The reason for that high level play according to the numbers wasn’t because of who was next to Bam Adebayo. It was Bam Adebayo.
The only reason those numbers jump out at you is due to it being over a longer period of time. Jae Crowder was acquired at the trade deadline before the league shut down, then went on to make a run to the NBA finals without any true on-court chemistry.
The same goes for Trevor Ariza this year, which even though the playoff outcome was entirely different, it was a short period of time where the plan was basically for Adebayo to just “figure it out.”
It isn’t about the player build next to Adebayo, it’s about longevity and chemistry. And with the PJ Tucker pick-up, there’s a good chance he will finally have a full season with one front-court pairing. That’s the difference maker.
Do you think Max Strus can become a legitimate 3&D Player?
— ℌ𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔩𝔢𝔰 (@RejectedByBam) August 16, 2021
Max Strus’ recent play in Summer League definitely shouldn’t be pushed under the rug. Shooting consistency, on-ball flashes, and strong all-around play. But with that said, I don’t know if I see him getting the “3 and D” label.
Since we’re projecting forward in this scenario, I think there’s more of a chance that he breaks out in different areas offensively than becoming a full out 3 and D player. This isn’t a knock on his defense, since his physicality on that end allows him to be successful in many areas, but it just points to his offensive up-side.
His overall qualities trend toward being a trusted rotation piece over many other guys in the running. Like I said previously, he is consistent, and that is huge when we’re talking about those final rotation spots.
The team knows his primary skill, and he knows that he can do it well on a regular basis. Other guys are still in that middle ground trying to discover their biggest strength while trying to improve their all-around game, so it honestly feels like Strus will come out on top in that grouping.
Was Gabe Vincent in Vegas? What's his status?
— Karen Schwartzkopf (@KarenRFM) August 16, 2021
Gabe Vincent has indeed been in Vegas, but there was a good idea that he wasn’t going to play. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anything injury related, but it was due to him just coming off an extended stretch of games with Nigeria in the Olympics.
As much as some may think it’s a crucial development period to just get out there and get some reps, I don’t know if I 100% agree when talking about Vincent. Of course we see where Strus’ stock has gone over the last few weeks, but Miami pretty much knows what they have in Vincent already.
KZ Okpala, on the other hand, was in a similar situation as Vincent in the Olympics with Nigeria, but his story is completely different. This time is more important for him than anybody else. There isn’t really a chance that he will be getting any type of run next season as a rotational player, so he had to utilize this time correctly.
Vincent sees a rotation spot standing right in front of him, and it’s totally on him to take full advantage of it. If he shoots the ball at a decent clip, I believe it is his. The Heat trust him in a bunch of different spots, and having a tough defensive guard next to Herro off the bench isn’t the worst thing.
The question becomes: Who takes the offensive initiator role? Herro or Vincent? It’s an interesting conversation to be had, since I believe they will use Herro in different ways next season, but Vincent is much more of an off-ball threat even after playing so much point guard last season.
We will see what happens with that, but ultimately, it’s setting up nicely for Vincent to get a real opportunity.
Garrett or Jarreau?
— The ROMAndalorian (@LupoMannaro16) August 16, 2021
If this was a question about the two-way contracts, I wouldn’t have to answer because it will most likely be both of them in that spot.
Marcus Garrett has essentially been a two-way lock since his first game, since teams like when they can distinguish a specific skill immediately as a major strength. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t remember many Heat Summer League guys that were this solid defensively this soon.
His biggest strength is fighting over screens both on and off the ball, but his ball-pressure is elite, he can hit passing lanes at a high level, and can really get under the skin of ball-handlers in the half-court. To sum up, he’s a Heat guy.
DeJon Jerreau, on the other hand, is more of an all-around threat. He may not be as good of a defender as Garrett, but he’s not too far behind. Another guy who is a very savvy on-ball defender, and loves to pick the pocket of dribblers as a help defender.
He’s a very good finisher due to his flashy ways, has a fall-away jumper makes it hard for defenders to contest, and he took full control as primary facilitator of this Summer League unit. He can make serious reads in the pick and roll, not only in the action, but watching the weak-side tagger for the easy skip pass.
Jerreau is super skilled, which is why it’s hard to really see them passing up on him with the two-way. As I said before the draft, Miami would be looking for a defensive guard to try and develop. Not only did they find one, but they’ve got two.
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