Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that nothing is set in stone with the team’s rotation at this point in the preseason.
“I’m open to whatever right now,” he said. “I think it’s still too early to figure that out.”
The Heat begin the 2022-23 regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 19 against the Chicago Bulls, but it appears Spoelstra is going to test some different lineups before landing on one for the season opener.
“We have been doing those rehearsals, regardless of whether everybody and the fans get to see it,” he said. “We had a pretty intense training camp to work through different rotations and different lineups and different roles for guys. So that will be ongoing the rest of preseason.
“We view all of this as training camp until we get to that Chicago game.”
The Heat have a major hole to fill at the forward position, as they lost starting power forward P.J. Tucker in free agency this offseason. The team started Caleb Martin, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Omer Yurtseven against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
It’s clear Spoelstra is testing new groups, but with Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo both not playing in Tuesday’s contest, it opened up opportunities for other players to enter the starting lineup.
The Heat have a deep roster, and it’s a big reason why they made the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2021-22 season.
Still, replacing Tucker will be no easy task, and it’s possible that Spoelstra tests different players in his role this preseason to determine who meshes best with the starting unit.
Spoelstra also gave the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Herro, some time at the point guard position on Tuesday night, as he could play some of that role when Lowry is out of the lineup.
“That was really a lot because some guys were out,” Spoelstra said, with Butler, Oladipo and Gabe Vincent among those held out Tuesday. “And then, I also wanted to play Tyler at least a few minutes at the point, just get him used to initiating and have another ballhandler that can help us get into offense.”
The Heat are hoping that maintaining most of last season’s roster will give them a leg up in the 2022-23 season. Miami finished last season with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and it is looking to repeat that performance again this season.