Q: Ira, how many games do the Heat have to win in Orlando? -- Edwin.
A: I'm not sure how to answer this, considering that if they don't win any of their seeding games, they already are still in the playoffs. If you're talking about getting to No. 3, since they now are within two games of Boston after the Celtics' Friday loss, then you probably are talking at least 6-2, with one of those wins on Tuesday against Boston. Remember, they would lose out in a tie with Boston, with the Celtics 2-0 against the Heat this season. Now, if you're talking about not falling out of the No. 4-No. 5 matchup, I'd say even going 3-5 should be good enough, considering both the 76ers and Pacers are two games behind in the standings, with the Heat having clinched the tiebreaker over both. Plus, the 76ers play the Pacers on Saturday, so that's a loss for one of the two teams right there. As it is, if it does get tenuous for the Heat, two of their final three games in the eight-game seeding round are against the Pacers. So if a final statement is needed, it could be made then.
Q: Day after day Heat fans and local media are always praising Bam Adebayo for having a high motor, but in the playoffs a high motor will get you know where if you’re only able to score off dunks and layups. He has a limited skill set, struggles against bigger players, and offers no rim protection. Miami will struggle if they face a team with size in the playoffs. -- Charlie, Fort Lauderdale.
A: Understood. And it is why he has yet to enter the All-NBA discussion and is more of a factor for All-Defense, because of his ability to defend all five positions. You are correct about the limited offensive repertoire. But the Heat mostly surround him with scorers, minimizing the demand for that facet. And remember, he's also only 23. When you consider the net gains he already has made, it's not as if the growth potential isn't there to further grow his game. The difference now for the Heat is there isn't an Hassan Whiteside in the middle demanding the ball. Bam takes what he gets, but also is more than willing to share, as the assists show.
Q: Why are we talking about Goran Dragic starting? -- Nick.
A: Not quite sure myself, since it has worked so well to this point with Goran Dragic playing off the bench. I think some of it is a concerns about Kendrick Nunn being a playoff starter. But what matters most will be who finishes for the Heat. And having a fresher Dragic figures to be more significant than having him out with a first unit that already has facilitators in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
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