Q: We just don’t have the playmakers and scorers for this new high-paced game. You see it in the league-worst shooting percentage and the near league-worst turnover issues. Most teams with offensive issues want to limit the number of possessions played, but we play at the 10th highest pace. Do you think we should take a page out of the Grizzlies’ book and slow the game down? I think that plays better to the personnel we have on this roster. — Sal, Miami.
A: First, I’m not sure how far you’re going with this roster in today’s NBA with 7-Eleven closed. So until Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters make it back, there might not be making it back for the Heat. But it does remind me, as I’ve often mentioned in this space, when Pat Riley used to threaten that he would “bring this thing to a crawl” if his players continued to make costly mistakes, similar to the pick-6s that Erik Spoelstra has referred to. In today’s NBA, not even that is a guaranteed way to limit pace, with Toronto streaking past the Heat on Sunday night even after made baskets. And the other part of the equation is that to play halfcourt, you have to have halfcourt scorers, like Alonzo Mourning in his prime or Dwyane Wade in his prime. Have you seen the Heat in the halfcourt lately? I’m not sure they would even get shots off in time.
Q: Ira, this would really suck if the Heat were tanking on Dwyane Wade’s last season before retirement. I know that we have our first-round pick this year, but it’s just not right to see Wade not playing on a competitive team this year. Do you see the front office pushing for trades or just throwing the towel on this season and go all in on tanking? — Daniel, Miami.
A: Still a bit early for any definitive game plan going forward, but I did sense in the locker room after the game that this was not what Dwyane Wade signed back up for. He does not want to go out in the lottery, wants “One Last Dance” to include a playoff chapter. I’m just not sure that his priorities with align with the Heat’s. The ultimate irony would be Wade representing the Heat at the draft lottery.
Q: If this team is not actually tanking, they are worse than I thought. — Bruno, Fort Lauderdale.
A: Yes, they are. When preseason prognostications were made there was not a sense of the dramatic turn the game has taken toward offense. Good defense can’t beat good offense these days. The rules do not allow it.
For daily Heat mailbag go to sun-sentinel.com/askira