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ASK IRA: Can Heat play big more often?

Q: Why in the world won’t Erik Spoelstra start Kelly Olynyk and Hassan Whiteside together? It’s clear these two play well off each other, and the offense isn’t so stagnant. — Darryl, Fitzgerald, Ga.

A: The Heat have shown this season how the NBA can be about different horses for different courses. Against a bigger team, one that not only features a Rudy Gobert but also a Derrick Favors, it is easier to go big. But more than that, when the Heat find an opponent more willing to play a halfcourt, it unlocks so many more of their possibilities. So there remain opponents more favorable for the Heat than others. To be above average, you have to be able to win against multiple approaches. The Heat, in fact, struggled at the outset Sunday when the Jazz played at pace and the Heat could not get their halfcourt defense settled. The Heat still have issues with small and with pace, answers that will have to come to reemerge anything more than marginal. The elite can impose their approach with regularity. The Heat are not close to that.

Q: Every team deals with injuries. — Daniel.

A: The problem for the Heat is with Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder and even Derrick Jones Jr. and Dion Waiters out, the injuries are clustered at a similar position. I’m not sure the bringing Duncan Robinson or Yante Maten back from the G League is the answer, either. The Heat need a two-way guard. It might be time to fill, at least temporarily, that 15th roster spot.

Q: The offense is so much more fluid when Dwyane Wade is commanding the point guard spot. He makes others better. We struggle a bit when Josh Richardson and or Justise Winslow is running point. — Kenny.

A: But Dwyane also is 36, and even Sunday’s 30:26 might be pushing it. Plus, you need him for late scoring, so there only is so much that could or should be on his plate. Look, he is an impending Hall of Famer, so obviously he can do just about everything better than anyone else on the roster. But there are limits, and even Sunday, when he shot 2 of 7 in his 10:28 in the fourth quarter, you could get a sense of running on fumes. Follow him at or

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