Q: Why does it seem year after year we don’t know how to draw up good last-second shot plays? – Sean, Pompano Beach.
A: First, let’s not forget about a pair of Gabe Vincent inbound passes from the sideline during the waning ticks last season that led to winning baskets, including Jimmy Butler’s at the end of regulation in Game 5 at Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs. So there also is that. Plus, it just as often can be the execution as the play call. Friday night might have been such a case, with the inbounds pass coming before the play fully developed. And with a timeout still in the Heat’s pocket, there is no reason to rush at such a moment.
Q: It drives me crazy when the Heat players get into the lane and instead of shooting a 3- to 5-foot shot, pass out to the 3-point line. – Joel, Fort Lauderdale.
A: You are not alone. And, yes, some of those kickout passes do result in 3-pointers. But what is the point of getting the ball to point-blank range, which often involves intricate ball movement, only to bypass shots with the highest percentages? Truly maddening, with ample examples in Friday night’s loss to the Hawks,
Q: Ira, I love Udonis Haslem as much as anyone and have no doubt the Heat did the right thing in retiring his jersey. But there also are games to be played and these ceremonies drag on too long. I like what they did with Dwyane Wade, having a pre-ceremony the night before at the arena and then keeping it tight at halftime. This is not the Super Bowl (or Orange Bowl, down here) where you expect extended halftime. – Tomas.
A: First, Dwyane Wade is at a different level, because he just is. So I’m not sure what attendance might have been like for a similar night with Udonis Haslem. In that regard, Udonis’ private party Friday night at the Hard Rock was a smart way to go. But with so many after parties, such as the one the Heat had when honoring Dwyane last Sunday, it certainly could have been handled similarly with Udonis. Have the heart of the ceremony during something close to typical halftime timing, then a postgame celebration on the East Plaza after the game. Two events, one ticket. But I also appreciate that the extended halftime allowed the Heat’s players and coaches to strategize at halftime Friday and still witness the jersey to the rafters.