While some head coaches prefer to shake up their starting lineup over the course of the season, Erik Spoelstra has found comfort in consistency this year, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. After using 29 different lineups in 2018/19, the Heat have started the same five players – Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard, Kendrick Nunn, and Duncan Robinson – in 27 of their 33 games so far this season, and in every game since November 27.
Spoelstra didn’t necessarily plan on sticking to a regular starting lineup coming out of camp, and youngsters like Nunn and Robinson certainly weren’t penciled in as everyday starters during the offseason. But the Heat are 21-6 in the 27 games those five players have started, so it’s hard to argue with the results.
“Those guys earned it coming out of training camp and coming out of preseason, for a lot of different reasons,” Spoelstra said.
Here’s more on the Heat:
- The clock is ticking for two-way player Chris Silva, who is nearing his 45-day NBA limit, Winderman writes in a separate Sun Sentinel article. Winderman estimates that Silva’s 45-day clock will be up by about January 24, at which time the club will have to decide whether to convert him to a one-year, minimum-salary contract, leave him in the G League, or try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal.
- The Heat and Raptors have been two of the NBA’s most successful teams in recent years at uncovering hidden talent outside the first round of the draft. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explores how those two teams do it.
- Jimmy Butler and the Jordan Brand have mutually agreed to part ways, making the four-time All-Star a sneaker free agent, reports Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
- As The Sun Sentinel relays, the Heat, led by owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley, issued multiple statements on the passing of former commissioner David Stern. The club’s statement notes that the franchise originated when the league expanded under Stern’s watch: “There is no Miami Heat without David J. Stern.”