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ASK IRA: So respect now for the Heat, or still more to prove?

Q: Ira, I can already hear it, that the Heat only can beat the Celtics without Al Horford and Marcus Smart, just like they only beat the 76ers when Joel Embiid missed two games, just like the bubble. – Andy.

A: OK, just like the Celtics beat the Bucks because Khris Middleton was out and beat the Nets because Ben Simmons and Joe Harris were out, or the Bucks beat the Bulls because Lonzo Ball was out or the 76ers beat the Raptors because Fred VanVleet was out. And if you are going in that direction, then what about Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic missing time in the 2020 NBA Finals? It’s all part of it. And sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. Debate how deserving any of these NBA final four might be, but they all managed to find a way. And that’s part of the postseason, as well, finding a way.

Q: Does Kyle Lowry come back when Marcus Smart returns? – Anthony.

A: According to Erik Spoelstra, the lone determinant with Kyle Lowry is Kyle Lowry, and how that balky hamstring responds. Spoelstra previously said his team’s standing in a series would not impact the approach with Lowry (although it certainly seemed otherwise at the end of the Hawks series). Then again, it’s not as if Gabe Vincent in any way is holding the Heat back.

Q: What do you think about the Magic winning the lottery? Could Heat-Magic become Panthers-Lightning? – Barry.

A: Initially, it means the Magic simply will be less bad. No one could look at that Magic roster last season and say they merely were one player away. More than even Orlando’s direction with the No. 1 lottery pick, what likely will matter most is what comes next with Jonathan Isaac. The Magic still need answers from their previous lottery picks before any next lottery pick can be deemed a savior.


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