Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that he is “open to anything” when it comes to experimenting with new lineups for the Heat this season.
Spoelstra appears to be looking to make any tweak that will help the team succeed, and he’s employed some smaller lineups with Kevin Love and Haywood Highsmith playing the center position.
Those lineups are similar to when Miami went small with P.J. Tucker playing the center spot in the 2021-22 campaign.
“We’ll see. I’m open to anything,” Spoelstra said, when asked if that could become a late-season staple. “Right now this is what it’s got to be. Everybody has to clear their mind, help our team win.
“The roles might not be exactly what everybody wants. It doesn’t matter at this point. We’re way past all of that stuff. It is about one game. What do we have to do to get a win?”
The Heat are hoping to climb out of the play-in tournament field in the Eastern Conference and into a top six seed. Right now, Miami is in the No. 7 spot and half a game back of the No. 6 seed Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets have lost four consecutive games, which has opened up a chance for Miami to jump up the standings.
The center position has been an issue for the Heat when Bam Adebayo hasn’t been in the game this season. The team moved on from Dewayne Dedmon prior to the trade deadline due to his ineffective play, and young center Omer Yurtseven has struggled in limited minutes since returning from an ankle injury.
Yurtseven, who was extremely important last season when Adebayo was injured, is playing just 6.8 minutes per game in the 2022-23 campaign and averaging 1.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 personal fouls per contest.
Playing Love or Highsmith at the center spot gives Miami more spacing and shooting on offense than it has when playing a true center like Yurtseven or the injured Cody Zeller.
It’s certainly something worth testing down the stretch of the regular season for Spoelstra to see if it will be a viable lineup in the postseason.
After earning the No. 1 seed in the East last season, Miami has taken a step back in the 2022-23 campaign. However, Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in the business, and he seems focused on finding a way to win games with the current roster.
The team added Love in the buyout market to help add to its frontcourt, and he may end up paying a major role for the team at both power forward (when Adebayo is in the game) and center if Spoelstra decides to stick to these smaller lineups.