The need for four play? Heat can live without it – Orange County Register

When it comes to the Miami Heat lineup and rotation for the upcoming season, this has largely been a month that has focused on four games, such as who will be the team’s starting power.

Complaints raged for weeks that 2021-22 starter PJ Tucker escaped to the Philadelphia 76ers on a free basis.

From there, attention turned to the signing of the undersized Caleb Martin, the development of the unproven Haywood Highsmith in the Summer League and the ongoing intrigue for more minutes for the untried Omer Yurtseven.

For their part, Martin and Highsmith have noted their deep insight into Tucker’s playing style and their hopes of emulating the 37-year veteran. For his part, Yurtseven has been pushing hard to prove its value as a complement to the Bam Adebayo starting center.

Then, while performing at Heat’s Youth Clinic at Hard Rock Stadium as part of the preparations for the Rolling Loud music festival, Adebayo addressed the, well, lack of an elephant in the room by highlighting the possibilities of 6-foot-5, 205 -pound Martin as starting power forward.

“Everyone on our roster has been asked to do something they’re uncomfortable with or play a role they’ve never played,” Adebayo said. “And a lot of guys have excelled because we’ve put so much work and dedication into it that it’s our job, it’s our livelihood.

“So guys come and try to make the best impression as best as possible. So I think it’s going to be good. I know Caleb, he’s probably at the gym somewhere right now. I have a feeling he will do well.”

All the talk and speculation is probably making Erik Spoelstra’s head explode. Of course, he believes that there are no power forwards in positionless basketball because there are no positions, there are no boundaries.

In that context, if Martin starts, he’ll be the heat to start, whatever you want to call him.

And that’s the thing, as you go through the list of current NBA starting power forwards, many are of the size, skill and shot menu that they’d be just as good of Jimmy Butler (or maybe even Max Strus, should he stay) could be defended a starter).

Take the Eastern Conference, with the Heat’s 52 regular-season games and first three rounds of the playoffs going against that subgroup.

Yes, there are certainly exceptions like Al Horford with the Boston Celtics, Giannis Antetokounmpo with the Milwaukee Bucks, perhaps the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins (who tends to hover on the sidelines).

Otherwise, there are and will be plenty of small-forward, jump-shooting, and perimeter types thrown at the four to the east.

At the Brooklyn Nets, you’re talking about Kevin Durant (if he stays) or maybe Ben Simmons (whose last incarnation was a point guard).

With the Philadelphia 76ers it would be the undersized Tucker or again Tobias Harris.

With the Toronto Raptors, it looks like OG Anunoby or even a little bit of Scottie Barnes or Thaddeus Young.

He currently performs as Patrick Williams with the Chicago Bulls.

For the Charlotte Hornets, who appear to have moved past Montrezl Harrell and have the uncertainty at Miles Bridges, the answer could be PJ Washington.

At the New York Knicks, who knows where Julius Randle is headed, a potential year-round wonder.

And the conference continues, from Jalen Smith with the Indiana Pacers to Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards, as well as the unproven offspring of Paolo Banchero (or Jonathan Isaac) with the Orlando Magic, Evan Mobley with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This isn’t the Western Conference where opposing power forwards wear the greatness of Christian Wood, Aaron Gordon, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zion Williamson, Chet Holmgren.

So you need a prototypical power forward in the east. . . Because?

Many of the East power forwards mentioned above would be the very guys Martin would normally get minutes against, players who can also be defended (and choked) by Butler.

So who is the starting power of the Heat?

does it matter?

For years, Spoelstra has been telling us that there are no power forwards.

For years, Spoelstra’s approach has been that of a coach who doesn’t believe in big things in his power rotation.

And last year, Spoelstra launched a 6-foot-5 power forward

Yes, Durant’s colors in Heat would moot the debate.

But even with what the Heat has in place, Eastern answers abound.

play four? The exercise appears to be just a hoax.


ACT II?: After attending the Jr. Heat basketball clinic at Hard Rock Stadium ahead of this weekend’s Rolling Loud music festival, Heat Guard Victor Oladipo was asked if he could possibly reprise his Thingamajig persona from his appearance on The Masked Singer. “I wouldn’t mind putting on the Thingamajig mask and doing a little double step for the crowd. I think it would be nice. Maybe I’ll get a spot on the rotation,” he joked. “There’s never no place for Thingamajig to just be real.” Matthew Zinger, a founder of Rolling Loud who helped coordinate Heat’s clinic, said he sees the natural intersection between music and sports. “Many athletes want to be musicians,” he said. “Many musicians want to be athletes. So there is a lot of respect in the industry.”

Still pushing: Bam Adebayo may prove able to overcome last season’s disappointment at losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Celtics, but he doesn’t seem to let up on being named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons was beaten Markus Smart and Rudy Gobert. “I should have won it the last two years,” Adebayo told the assembled campers at Heat’s youth clinic when asked about his running goals, “and I’m going to win it this year.” Caesar’s Sports Book has Adebayo with a + 700 as a second pick to win the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, behind only Gobert (+550) and well ahead of Smart (+1000).

GO ON, GO ON: Despite the solid guard game Kyle Allman Jr. For the team’s summer league roster, the Heat expect Allman to further his commitment to his French league team. Allman closed out the summer league by converting the winning 3-pointer against the Clippers’ summer list. The 6-foot-3 guard, who was not drafted from Cal-Fullerton in 2019, said during the summer league he was keeping his options open. “I’m open to anything,” he says. “I can go back to Paris. Of course we’re still negotiating, but I’m open to anything at the moment.” Allman said it was a rewarding experience. “They like me and I thought it would be a good opportunity to play with them and show what I can do,” he said. “And they gave me the opportunity to play point guard and shooting guard and show my skills. So it was kind of mutual [agreement].”

FURTHER: The rollercoaster year for Kyle guy now includes a contract to play at Joventut Badalona in Spain. Guy played in the summer league for the Golden State Warriors last August, then attended camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers and started last season with the Cleveland Charge in the G League. He then made an immediate impact as a heat emergency adjunct during the team’s COVID outbreak in late December, scoring 17 points on his debut. From there, he received another Heat 10-day contract and then a Heat two-way contract on January 17, which lasted until his cancellation on March 24, when it was rescinded and replaced by rescinded since Mychal Mulder. Guy ended the season in the G League.


50 Over Under betting line on Heat wins in the 2022-23 regular season, per BetOnLine. The opening line of the Heat was set at 48 1/2 last season, with the Heat finishing at 53-29. Unlike other teams who are rumored to be linked with potential franchise-changing trades ahead of the season, Heat’s futures total remains on most books. BetOnLine lists “Off the board” as the current futures totals for the Lakers, Knicks, Jazz and Nets.

() The need for four play? Heat can live without it – Orange County Register

Caroline Bleakley

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