Former NBA star Paul Pierce had an interesting take on the Miami Heat and their rotation in the 2022-23 season.
Pierce believes that the Heat should bring veteran point guard Kyle Lowry off the bench this season since he’s played so many minutes in his career.
“Man, he’s up there in age,” Pierce said of Lowry. “He’s got a lot of miles. I think his best role on a championship team is a vet guard coming off the bench, truthfully. I think at your guard positions you need youth in those positions. So now when you’re looking at guys like Ja Morant, LaMelo Ball, you need more youth. I think he’d be best suited as coming off the bench, being that veteran guard and somebody you can use at the end of games, too.”
Pierce makes an interesting point about using Lowry to close games even though he wouldn’t be in the starting lineup. That would allow the Heat to start a younger guard like Gabe Vincent, who is an elite defender, to help take some of the workload off of Lowry in the regular season.
So far in the 2022-23 season, Lowry is averaging 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, but he is shooting just 35.4 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Heat have already experimented with using both Lowry and Vincent in some of their closing lineups this season, and Heat star Jimmy Butler has praised Vincent for stepping up in that role.
Vincent’s shooting numbers aren’t much better than Lowry’s at the moment, as he’s shooting just 40.9 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc, but he’s also taking three less shots per game (6.3 shots versus 9.3 shots) than Lowry.
It doesn’t seem like Pierce is calling for a complete demotion of Lowry from his role, but rather that the Heat better manage his usage so he can be the most effective version of himself at this point in his career.
With young guards like Vincent and Tyler Herro ready to take on bigger roles, it could make sense for the Heat to switch their rotation up at some point in the 2022-23 campaign. Vincent already has experience starting in place of Lowry last season in both the regular season and the playoffs.
The Heat are just 2-5 so far in the 2022-23 campaign, but they have yet to play a game at full strength with Victor Oladipo still sidelined by a knee injury.
It’s possible that Oladipo could also take some of the workload off of Lowry as the season progresses. It’s still early for the Heat, but if the team continues to struggle, it couldn’t hurt to shuffle things around in the starting lineup to spark the team.