March 16, 2014
Q: The Big Three have worked well again this season, while Greg Oden and Michael Beasley have not so far. Pat Riley is so savvy that he is already planning his moves for next season, learning from the personnel mistakes he made this year. -- L.K.
A: But that's next year. To a degree, as Rashard Lewis, Roger Mason Jr., James Jones and even Toney Douglas have fallen to the wayside, it's as if Beasley and Oden have to be able to make it work in order for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to have the needed support. While Ray Allen certainly took a step forward on Friday night, there continues to be regression from Norris Cole. The question about the Heat's depth at this late hour is both legitimate and somewhat disturbing.
Q: I know Toney Douglas isn't the long-term answer, but what happened to adapting during the game? If Cole and Mario Chalmers are letting guys burn by them, might as well try Douglas. -- Scott, Los Angeles.
A: Well, if you're a regular reader of this space, you know that I had been an advocate for years of a third point guard, albeit more in case of injury than any other reason. But your point is valid, especially for this reason: The Heat have far too many players on this team who have no role whatsoever. There is nothing wrong with specialists, as long as your specialty is not "DNP-CD".
Q: Please explain to me why Shane Battier is still starting. He hasn't produced at all. It's time for a change. Please Spo! -- Justin.
A: And yet, a change at this point just might be construed as panic.