Heat guard Victor Oladipo made his season debut on Tuesday night, taking the court for the first time since May and scoring nine points in 19 minutes off the bench. However, it will take more than Oladipo’s return to fix Miami’s second unit, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
As Winderman outlines, with Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin promoted to the starting lineup, injuries affecting a handful of players, and the club unwilling to fill its 15th roster spot due to luxury tax ramifications, depth no longer seems to be one of the Heat’s strengths. Miami ranks 29th in the NBA in both bench scoring (26.6 PPG) and bench shooting (.420 FG%) so far this season.
Here are a few more notes from around the Southeast:
- While Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma have thrived as the Wizards‘ “Big Three,” the team needs more offensive production from its role players, especially with Beal out due to a hamstring injury, says Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Wallace singles out Monte Morris, Will Barton, and Deni Avdija as a few rotation players who “haven’t been operating at their full potential.”
- Injuries have prevented the Hornets from getting a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “We haven’t played enough lineups together,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “We have individual goals for the guys. But in terms of our group, we’ve had no continuity. So, it’s been hard to figure out. Usually by 15 games, you can say, ‘When we defensive rebound, we win.’ ‘When we don’t turn the ball over, we’re good.’ And we’ve been all over the place. So that’s a good question, but we are not there yet.”
- In a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer (subscriber link), Boone says Hornets forward Kelly Oubre is a player worth keeping an eye on this season. As Boone outlines, Oubre would be a movable asset if the team decides to sell, but he appears to have interest in remaining in Charlotte if the club is interested in keeping him.