Heat Notes: Rotation, Playoffs, Butler, Strus

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has changed his rotation since losing four straight games, replacing Duncan Robinson with Max Strus in the starting lineup, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. In addition, Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris have both received DNPs for the past two games.

“These are tough decisions and there’s a lot of different things that could work,” Spoelstra said this week. “We just felt at this time, this particular time, that these moves may clean up some things with the rotation. But those aren’t easy things. I think we all just have to have empathy and grace for some of these changes for the guys that didn’t necessarily play tonight.”

Miami defeated Sacramento 123-100 on Monday and Boston 106-98 on Wednesday. The team is attributing its success to better offensive spacing, but the defense has also improved. Prior to that, the club allowed 110, 111, 118 and 113 points in its four consecutive losses.

Here are some other notes from Miami:

  • Speaking of the team’s rotation, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether Spoelstra will use a 10-man group in the playoffs. Spoelstra has played Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro, Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon off the bench these past two games, though Caleb Martin (calf) missed both contests.
  • Jimmy Butler briefly acknowledged his recent altercation with Spoelstra and Udonis Haslem, Winderman notes in a separate story. “Things happen… and we move on from it,” he explained. Butler, Spoelstra and Haslem all discussed the incident and quickly moved past it shortly after the March 23 game, sources said.
  • In addition to starting games, Strus is proving he can close games for the team, Winderman writes. Strus logged nearly 32 minutes against Boston on Wednesday, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He also registered a team-best +17 net rating.
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