There’s never been an NBA season with more opportunities for players at the bottom of the roster than this year.
As we continue to see stuff occurring in the NBA with positive Covid tests and contact tracings, it’s clear every player will be utilized for every team going forward.
The big question coming in for this Miami Heat team was the rotation decisions. And although it seems as if Coach Erik Spoelstra has his 9 man rotation set for now, things can change at any time. Especially when discussing the youth at the end of the roster.
Coach Spo talked about Kendrick Nunn’s continued persistence a few days ago, mentioning him staying ready for any opportunity, “which will come again.”
There have been mixed emotions surrounding Kendrick Nunn from the bubble to now, since his role has taken a huge dip. But when these unfortunate circumstances occur involving the virus on a team, you have to feel comfortable with your 10th or 11th guy being a starter in the year prior in one of the most effective starting lineups.
Added opportunities are not only forming for Kendrick Nunn though. The biggest chance at an increase in role will be for KZ Okpala.
Many can break down the reasoning for Okpala’s lack of playing time this season, but his biggest necessity right now is just floor time. He has every attribute you would want in a lengthy and athletic wing, but as Spoelstra alluded to in the past, it’s about putting it all together. And quality reps at the NBA level is the fastest way for improvement.
There may be a game going forward where Miami only has 8 players available, and if KZ Okpala is one of them, that can be his big chance to break into the rotation.
KZ Okpala’s journey up to this point has been quite the roller coaster. But one thing that has stayed steady is the public belief in his skillset between fans and the Miami Heat organization.
Now, this is also where Miami’s two-way guys can come into play. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus have both shown flashes of offensive firepower through their shooting.
When Coach Spo touched on Miami’s G-League team not going to Orlando, he said, “Our two way guys Max and Gabe are getting a great deal of work. Those are bonuses to staying here with us.”
They’ve been going through the same reps as the starters over the past few weeks, so if it comes down to it, they will be ready as well to prove themselves.
The point is that, although the current situation in the NBA is unfortunate, players will be getting opportunities that would not be possible in a normal NBA season.
It’s hopeful that not only the players on the Miami Heat get cleared and stay healthy, but the rest of the teams in the NBA as well. But with the current situation involving the Miami Heat, some guys may get their time to shine if the league decides to push through.
This period of time will be something this Heat team looks back on in a few months, since I have a feeling the rotation looks a lot different by the end of the season, just by in-house adjustments.