Observations and other notes of interest from Tuesday night’s 113-103 loss to the Chicago Bulls:

– Erik Spoelstra continues to stress that the 3-point shooting will come around for the Heat.

– Based on last season’s success, his optimism can be understood.

– It also doesn’t have to be an all-the-time thing.

– But it has to be a when-needed element.

– Tuesday, with Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin out, it was a night that it was needed.

– Because the defensive options were limited.

– As were the attack scoring options.

– So from beyond the arc it had to be.

– As the Bulls sat back and allowed the Heat to fire at will.

– Clank. Clank. Clank.

– (Until late, meaningless conversions that skewed the percentages.)

– From Victor Oladipo, it can be understood.

– It has been a while since he has been cast as go-to scorer.

– With Duncan Robinson, it’s almost a bonus, considering his erratic playing time.

– But from Max Strus it’s needed.

– And has not been there.

– Even when whole, the Heat have needed better 3-point shooting.

– But when fielding a lineup such as Tuesday’s, the margin for error is minimal.

– Which basically also is the contribution that Heat got beyond the arc.

– Make it a dozen lineups for the Heat this season.

– So Oladipo into the starting lineup, along with Haywood Highsmith and Strus.

– With Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro the lone available starters.

– No, not optimal at the start of a four-game homestand.

– But at least two days off now to follow before Friday night’s game against the Pacers.

– All as Gabe Vincent remains among the missing.

– “This is the NBA,” Spoelstra said. “This has been our normal. We’ve had enough time to prep with shootaround and we’ve also played a bunch of different lineups.”

– He added pregame, “So we’re just focused on who’s available and what we have to do tonight to play well, play together, play to our identity and get a win.”

– Butler actually had attended the morning shootaround before falling ill.

– Spoelstra said the absences should not serve as a barrier.

– “We have a great opportunity in front of us right now,” he said. “Our homestands have not gone the way we’ve wanted ‘em to. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves in terms of looking at the four games in nine days. But it is important.”

– He added, “We want to make this a much tougher place for teams to visit and we have an opportunity to start that tonight.”

– Said Bulls coach Billy Donovan, “I have great respect for Miami. They have a system and style they’re going to play. I’ve always said this, when good players go out, there’s no question it impacts your team. It just does. But I know they’ll come out, they’ll compete, they’ll play hard and there’ll be other guys prepared and ready to go.”

– Robinson played as the Heat’s first reserve.

– With Jamal Cain and Dewayne Dedmon entering together next.

– Adebayo’s second offensive rebound moved him past P.J. Brown for seventh on the Heat all-time list.

– Strus’ third defensive rebound was the 300th of his career.

– Highsmith’s first steal was the 20th of his career.

– His fourth was a career high for a game.

– Lowry sat on the Heat bench in a Messi jersey.

– Robinson’s first defensive rebound was the 700th of his career.

– Oladipo’s first free throw was the 1,400th of his career.



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