A: Yes. The ship has sailed when it comes to deciding on whether the re-sign Dragic. The Heat have no other choice, considering they sent a pair of draft picks to the Suns that both could be in the lottery. The Heat have to re-sign Dragic. Anything short of that would make February's trade a disaster. Yes, disaster. And based on the quantum leap the salary cap will make in 2016-17, the Heat, even with a max or near-max deal for Dragic, still should have ample cap space to satisfy Whiteside. The Heat need Dragic to maximize the remaining years Wade has in the league.
Q: Why does Erik Spoelstra insist on starting Henry Walker against bigger teams? -- Darryl, Fitzgerald, Ga.
A: Because his hands have been tied due to injuries. Many times when Walker has started at power forward it has been because Haslem has been needed as the backup center, due to time missed by Whiteside or Birdman. So many times while lamenting the Heat's rotations and lineups we tend to lose sight of the reality that the Heat's top two options at power forward, Bosh and McRoberts, are both sidelined. Put it this way, it is likely that Henry Walker starts more games this season than he does the balance of his NBA career.
April 1, 2015
Q: When is Luol Deng not hurt? Birdman and Dwyane Wade, too. We have the most injury-prone team I've ever seen. -- Cory.
A: To a degree, that's always a risk you run when you have older players in their 30s. But the reality is that the most serious Heat injuries this season were not because of the age of the roster, but rather Josh McRoberts' knee injury in Phoenix and the blood clots on his lung that Chris Bosh developed. Even Hassan Whiteside's shredded right hand was a freak accident. If Bosh had been available after the All-star break, the likelihood is the Heat would not be in this desperate state when it comes to making the playoffs.
Q: Thirty lineups, just another stat we beat the Cavs at. -- Andrew.
A: Yay? Of course, when you have LeBron James and his play-every-day mentality, it makes the rest of the lineup largely moot. But even this season, LeBron took an extended break in January. The rapid-fire pacing of the schedule is hurting the product. Fortunately, the schedule is something Adam Silver said he would like to address. It's something the players' association should want addressed, as well. To many teams are showing up at less than 100 percent. The Spurs showed on Tuesday night just how good an elite team can be when 100 percent.
Q: Can you help me? I'm trying to figure out which team's I should be rooting for that will help Miami make the playoffs? I'm assuming Boston and Brooklyn, since we own tiebreakers. -- Gary, Port St. Lucie.
A: Exactly, the Heat finished 4-0 against the Nets and 3-1 against the Celtics, so they not only would win the head-to-head tiebreakers against both, but also a potential three-way tie with those two for seeding. Actually, the Heat could be in decent shape in tiebreakers if they win their remaining games against the Pacers and Hornets, since they would close out those season series at 2-2. The problem is any hope of getting up to No. 6, after closing 0-4 against the Bucks. In fact, if the Bucks fade, the Heat also would have trouble in any multiple-team tiebreakers that involve Milwaukee. That could turn into an issue, as well.