Q: I know no one within the Heat organization would ever admit it, but do you get a sense of concern from within? The Heat simply lack the height and bulk to compete with many teams. To compensate, maximum effort must be a constant, too often resulting in injury. The best players in the league can compete with only spurts of high energy. With many players on the Heat, peak effort is required 100 percent of the time, something not sustainable. I believe the Heat get the most out of their players, but I think the injuries are a result of the desire to play at a level impossible to maintain given the talent. – David, Venice.

A: I believe a lot of it is there is no easy button when it comes to the offense. They previously had it with 3-point shooting that could bail them out of almost any offensive lull. But now, outside of Tyler Herro, there are few on the roster who have an ease-of-scoring way about them. Bam Adebayo has to work in the post. Jimmy Butler has to work his way to the foul line. And Kyle Lowry has been almost a reluctant scorer. So, instead, at a time when the league is in a how-high-can-you-go period with offense, the Heat, as you note, are attempting to grind their way to wins. Over 82 games, grinding creates a grind. What the need is for the 3-pointers to fall.

Q: Couldn’t the Heat use Goran Dragic off the bench? – Bob, Davie.

A: Well, that ship has sailed in one regard, with Goran Dragic already having stinged the Heat with a 3-0 record as an opponent. But the thought once the Heat acquired Kyle Lowry was that they would develop younger, emerging talent at point guard, with Gabe Vincent initially appearing on such a track. Of all the elements the Heat have missed since Goran’s departure. arguably the most significant is the optimistic, passionate outlook he maintained. Since his departure, some of that has been missing.

Q: Hey Ira, don’t you think Haywood Highsmith could become our next James Posey? – Aviv, Miami.

A: Well, those are two names I wasn’t expecting in today’s mailbag. But while James Posey was a far more polished player by the time he joined the Heat for the run to the 2006 championship, Haywood Highsmith certainly appears to possess many of the same intangibles. The difference is that when the Heat added James Posey, there was ample talent to complement. With the current roster, and the ongoing injury concerns, the Heat often find themselves with more complementary pieces than pieces to complement.



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