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Author Topic: HEAT Playoffs - Bench as an asset  (Read 57 times)
Dave Gray
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« on: May 13, 2022, 11:11:53 am »

I don't really talk HEAT basketball on here much, but I am really, really into the team sometimes, but other times I fall off -- I still care and pay attention, but I don't know the strengths/weaknesses of players as well from season to season.  I think it's just the nature of the basketball season being so long and much of it, meaningless.  Plus, the TV rights here make it difficult to watch the games, so it limits my options.

With the Dolphins, I pretty much watch every game, no matter the situation...there are just fewer of them.

Also, since I've watched basketball, there have been two pretty enormous strategy overhauls.  From 90s big men to 2010s position-less basketball to the 3 point extravaganza that is the current NBA.  Some of that is "moneyball" GMs figuring out the math, but some of it is rule changes.

Anyway, coming into this playoffs, the HEAT stumbled a little bit in the last games of the regular season.  It was a discussion between fans of whether they were worried.  I was not.  Ebbs and flows are a thing and teams fight with each other.  HEAT Culture is very strong.  That's not a bullshit catchphrase.  We have a strong organization, top to bottom....good front office, good coaching, good leadership, good legacy guys -- the system is stronger than any piece of the puzzle, so we can overcome a lot.

However, I WAS concerned at how we were getting so many of our regular season wins, which was a deep bench, where a ton of guys could step up and give you good minutes and any number of dudes off the bench could get hot and give you big games.  The last time I was really close to the NBA and paying attention and watching just about every game, the playoffs were a different animal.  Benches shrank and superstars took over.  In the Wade/Lebron/Bosh era....those guys were going to play all but a handful of minutes.  The bench guys that gave you rest through the regular season were going to be only strategically played in the final minute before a quarter ended to give maximum superstar rest.  ...or when you had a comfortable lead or deficit -- you'd pull your stars.

I wasn't sure if the current HEAT were set up like that.  Were these deep bench guys still going to put in big minutes?  And I think we're still figuring that out.  Max Strus is giving big minutes, but Duncan Robinson can't see the floor.  I'm not sure if the shrinking bench is the only way through the playoffs.  I'm still concerned about it, but don't know what to expect.

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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 11:25:39 am »

Generally, your bench doesn't play as much of a role in the playoffs.   You go with 7 or 8 guys and make sure your stars are out there 40 minutes per game.   Now if you're in a situation where you have a 1A/1B starter at any position, that's a different story.  You go with the hot hand.
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