Heat guard Tyler Herro declined to speak to reporters after Monday’s loss, but his body language suggested that he was disappointed not to get into Game 5 after receiving medical clearance following a two-month recovery process for a broken hand, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra explained after the loss that the physicality and intensity of the game made him hesitant to call on a player who hadn’t suited up since mid-April. However, he also didn’t sound certain that he made the right decision by not using one of Miami’s best scorers in a game in which the team finished with just 89 points.
“It’s just a really tough call and I’ll probably have to wrestle with that all summer,” Spoelstra said, adding that the intensity in the Finals was “totally different” from the first round of the playoffs, let alone the regular season. “… That’s the hardest-played, most physical competition you can have. And that would be a tough thing for a guy that’s been out for two months that hasn’t had any kind of ramp-up. But that won’t save me from thinking about that for the next few weeks.”
Here’s more on the Heat:
- Jimmy Butler, who sprained his ankle earlier in the postseason, wasn’t willing to use that injury as an excuse after Monday’s loss, telling reporters that his ankle was “fine” and had “zero” to do with his 5-of-18 shooting night, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Butler also didn’t necessarily agree with the idea that the Heat need to make offseason moves to improve their offense. “No. We just missed shots,” he said. “That’s what this league is about. We make two, three more shots. … We did enough to win.”
- In his preview of the Heat’s offseason, Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link) says that re-signing Gabe Vincent should be a top priority for the front office, which will have to decide whether bringing back Max Strus is a necessity or a luxury.
- One under-the-radar decision the Heat will have to make before the end of June is whether or not to extend a $2.3MM qualifying offer to center Omer Yurtseven, Winderman writes for The Sun Sentinel. That QO would make Yurtseven a restricted free agent. He has shown some promise but was limited to just nine games this season due to ankle surgery, so it’s hardly a lock.
- While winning a championship would’ve been a storybook ending for his 20-year NBA career, Udonis Haslem isn’t unhappy about how his final season ended, according to Winderman. “I tell the guys, I have no complaints, I have no regrets. I’m thankful,” Haslem said. “They gave me a final season that I will never, ever forget. That’s all I can ask for.”
- Assistant general manager Adam Simon and the rest of the Heat’s draft staff had been trying to “stay out of the team’s way” while bringing in prospects to the Kaseya Center for workouts since last week, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. With the Heat’s season now over, the draft preparation can take center stage — the club owns the No. 18 pick in next Thursday’s event.