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ASK IRA: Have Celtics exposed Heat’s 3-point limitations?

Q: Ira, where’s the shooting? Duncan Robinson is hurt and playing, so no complaint there. But the Celtics are showing why having shooters makes a difference. – Andy.

A: The difference is the Celtics have shooters who also are complete players. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown make 3-pointers and just about any other type of shot. Derrick White and Jrue Holiday make 3-pointers and also are elite defenders. Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford make 3-pointers and also offer size. This is not about Sam Hauser and his four 3-pointers in Game 1. That’s the difference. With Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the 3-pointers are the exceptions. With Tyler Herro, they are not necessarily the shot of choice. And Erik Spoelstra has shown over the years, he does not play players who solely are 3-pointer shooters (think James Jones), which is why Duncan Robinson didn’t get fully back into the rotation until he showed a greater diversity with his offense. The thought was Josh Richardson and Thomas Bryant might add that element. But not. Terry Rozier certainly is not known as a 3-point specialist. And while the Heat could have moved Cole Swider onto the playoff roster amid Duncan’s back injury, would Spoelstra have played him? Likely not. This is where the losses of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent hurt. What the Heat and the rest of the NBA covet is what the Celtics have – 3-point shooters who are far more than 3-point specialists.

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Q: Tyler Herro first off the bench. – Rich, Plantation.

A: I still believe this is the way it should trend if Tyler Herro is to be an enduring element for the Heat. He has shown he can thrive in that role. But it is not something you can do at this moment, with Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier out, in the middle of a series. A wing with a big more defensive presence, even a Delon Wright type, at least would add deterrence during those big opposing opening runs. It will be hard sell, no doubt, to sell Tyler on the idea. But tough times call for eventual tough solutions.

Q: Will Bam Adebayo playing in the Olympics help him (more experience) or hurt him (more games)? – Kris, Oceanside.

A: I believe help, considering it does not look like another lengthy playoff run for the Heat. In fact, in the 3-centric international game, it will be interesting to see if Team USA coach Steve Kerr allows some space for Bam Adebayo at the arc. But an issue for Bam might be heavy minutes, considering Joel Embiid does not look like a player who should go from his current limp into a busy international offseason.