Are Heat in need of a steadying influence? – The Mercury News


Q: How can you be the Sun Sentinel basketball expert with expert opinions like Kyle Lowry is going to return to lead the Heat? Do you actually watch the games or just stuff your face with hotdogs? – Alan.

A: Actually, if you happened to be walking by on Wednesday night, you would have noticed I was stuffing my face with a donut, but that’s another story (the Heat only offer hot dogs in the media food room on weekends). And just because my business card reads “Basketball Expert,” I wouldn’t necessarily get caught up in the hype. In all seriousness, though, it became clear with Wednesday night’s 24 turnovers that the Heat need a steadying force for the types of games that Erik Spoelstra refers to as being “in the mud.” So there are two ways to look at Kyle Lowry’s impending return: 1. That the knee will remain an ongoing issue, limiting his efficiency to what he was before he took the past month off. 2. Or that Kyle will return refreshed after a month off, with enough in his tank to close out the season on a solid note. If it’s not the latter, then it could wind up being a rudderless road to the finish for the Heat. So, yes, there at least has to be hope of better Kyle Lowry than what was last seen.

Q: Ira, what’s going on with Gabe Vincent? His stats this season are terrible and have gotten worse as the season has progressed. I used to think he could be a long-term asset for the Heat, but now feel it may be time to move on after the season.– Joel.

A: Regression to the mean? The issue with the Heat is that beyond retaining their own free agents with Bird Rights, their only means to otherwise adding outside talent is either trades or their taxpayer mid-level exception. So with a player such as Gabe Vincent, it could come down to whether the Heat believe they could do better with a street free agent at the minimum, perhaps a veteran who wants to be in South Florida.

Q: It is just so difficult watching the Heat play this year. – Roland, Borrego Springs.

A: Yes, and highly stressful. I think a Pepto Bismol or Tums concession stand at Miami-Dade Arena could do quite well. I believe the season finale on April 9 already has been designated as Indigestion Night.


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