APRIL 23, 2013
Q: Will the Heat have to yell at Mario Chalmers more if we are going to repeat? It seemed to work wonders last year. -- Sal, Coral Springs.
A: Mario certainly was all over the place in Game 1 against the Bucks, especially with his defense. But I'm not sure there are many guards in the league who can consistently keep Brandon Jennings in front of them. What is needed from Mario is a modicum of consistency. While the Heat can get past the Bucks with the combination of Mario/Wario, something more reliable will be required once the level of competition rises this postseason.
Q: If Birdman wants to, can the Heat offer him the veteran-minimum for next season, like what they offered to Rashard Lewis this season? -- M.J., Rome.
A: Sure, but Chris Andersen, as an impending unrestricted free agent also has the right to shop his services starting July 1.
Q: Novelty uniforms are fun in the regular season, but only the main three uniforms should be worn in the playoffs. -- I.B.H.
A: I agree, with the Heat switching so often between their road reds and blacks that it's difficult to tell which is the primary road uniform (technically the black uniforms). But the Heat have already sold plenty of those, so now the kids can get you to drain the wallet one more time. (Actually, since the "White Hot" uniforms are rather basic, just get a white T-shirt, a black Sharpie, cut off the sleeves and make your own "White Hot" jersey. I'm sure no one will be able to tell the difference.)
APRIL 22, 2013
Q: I already knew Erik Spoelstra wouldn't change the starting lineup. Well, that's on him if they don't repeat as champions. -- Queen.
A: First, the possibility of Spoelstra changing lineups and going with Shane Battier instead of Udonis Haslem was never anything more than media speculation (myself included). But even then, it was pointed out (here and elsewhere) when you win 37 of your final 39 regular-season games, there's also plenty of merit in the status quo. That doesn’t mean there might not be further adjustment, particularly now if Larry Sanders, going forward, is going to be guarding Udonis instead of Chris Bosh. Still, Udonis only played 17 minutes Sunday, so there still were plenty of times that Milwaukee's big men had to pick their poison. Erik will change only if the Bucks force him into that position, which doesn't appear likely based on how Game 1 went.
Q: So let's get this straight, Mike Miller averages roughly 13 points a game for three weeks and earns no playing time? -- Bo.
A: Um, perhaps I might have missed something. But the Heat did win Sunday's opener 110-87. So Spoelstra made a mistake with his rotation how? In fact, save for Shane Battier being off with his shot, just about everyone who played in the primary rotation had their moments. This is who the Heat are, a team of quality depth. Perhaps the consternation should be for the Bucks not playing Samuel Dalembert or not even having Drew Gooden active.
Q: Chris Andersen has become the Heat's Dennis Rodman. We've got to get him on a two-year deal this summer. He's a major piece. -- D.J.
A: And as long as he's willing to play for $3 million a season (the most the Heat can offer), it shouldn't be an issue. Birdman sure looks like he's having a good enough time.
APRIL 21, 2013
Q: What situation would LeBron be in if he didn't win the championship last season? He seems to have led a charmed existence since. -- Winston, Auckland.