ASK IRA: And yet, could the Heat still learn from the Bucks?
Q: Ira, I had tickets for the opener and saw Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez were out. I went to see Giannis Antetokounmpo, so I’m not complaining. But if Milwaukee is sitting players two games into the season (after a day off!), isn’t the Heat, with an older roster, forced to do the same? — Evan.
A: To me the first litmus test could come next week, when the Heat are at home Friday against the Hornets and then play Saturday in Memphis. That could be the first sign of Erik Spoelstra’s intentions with Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker, along with some of the other Heat 30-somethings. Of course, the Heat also have two days off after that back-to-back before playing Tuesday in Dallas, so there would be ample recovery time. As it is, of the Heat’s 14 back-to-back sets, only eight will involve travel, with five as consecutive home games, as one on consecutive nights against the Los Angeles teams. Then again, that might make it easier for Spoelstra to therefore designate the eight travel back-to-backs as rest days.
Q: Tyler Herro is for real. — Glenn.
A: He certainly has retained the hop in his step that we saw during the preseason, including his 3-pointer at the end of Thursday’s third period. He does seem to be trying to do too much at times, but you also need his type of isolation scoring. For a team with several older elements, his energy is a welcome and needed contrast. The boy-wondering certainly was back in the opener. The speculation of Sixth Man Award appears justified one game in. Hey, you have to start somewhere. He was as dynamic as any player on the court Thursday night.
Q: Will the Heat be keeping Marcus Garrett? — Anthony.
A: Under contract? Yes, he is on a two-way deal, eligible to be on the Heat active roster for up to 50 games this season. But if you are asking whether he will be sent to the G League for seasoning? Yes, at some point it would seem to make sense to send him to the Sioux Falls Skyforce for playing time, perhaps when Victor Oladipo is able to make it back to the active roster. And remember, teams are allowed to swap out their two-way players until midseason, something the Heat have done before.