1. Not having Hassan Whiteside around creates a lot of problems and coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t trying to hide that anymore. You know Spoelstra is a no excuses kind of guy. He always says the Heat has enough to win on most nights. But his tune was a little different after Miami’s latest loss to another elite Western Conference foe.
With Whiteside out and Miami looking to match San Antonio’s size and experience with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol in the frontcourt, Spoelstra swapped Justise Winslow and rookie Bam Adebayo in the starting lineup for veterans James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. The Heat was still outscored 54-28 in the paint and outrebounded 34-29.
"I mean, obviously he changes so many different dynamics," Spoelstra said of his 7-foot, 265-pound center, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a bone bruise and ninth this season (the Heat is 3-6 without Whiteside and 8-7 with him). "So we felt that this would give us our best chance to get off to a good start and work it from there. They’re unique, because they start two 7-footers and they both are legitimate post-up threats and I felt that we needed to get a little bit bigger with J.J. in there, and K.O. obviously brings some things to that starting group offensively. I don’t know if I’ll stay with that group for the Brooklyn game, but we’ll see."
Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs, Game takeaways, Wed., Dec. 6, 2017
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