ASK IRA: Could Tyler Herro return from his injury as a Heat reserve?

Q: Looking ahead, could Erik Spoelstra put Tyler Herro with the second unit playing the “easing him back in” card? – Michael, Hollywood .

A: Highly doubt it. Tyler Herro knows what he wants, and that’s to be viewed as a leading man on a contender – and an All-Star. And that doesn’t happen coming off the bench. Now, should Tyler wind up missing closer to a month, then Erik Spoelstra could have the option. But even then, that likely only would be temporary, which would mean having to then reintroduce Tyler into the starting lineup and readjust yet again. I can’t see Tyler, because of a November injury, being willing to play the balance of the season off the bench.

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Q: I think Jimmy Butler should be playing the whole entire fourth quarter and not waiting until five minutes are left and the game is already gone sideways. – Roland, Borrego Springs, Calif.

A: This tends to get more traction after losses, even though it also has been the case with Erik Spoelstra’s rotation in victories. Jimmy Butler has to rest at some point, and with Tyler Herro out, it, at some point in the second half, has to be either/or with Bam Adebayo. At 34, managing Jimmy through the regular season remains a priority. Even in Saturday’s loss, the Heat were ahead when Jimmy returned. But it has to be on more than just him.

Q: Let’s not forget, the Heat flamed out last season, losing seven of nine games to the Celtics and Nuggets to end the playoffs. The Heat will always tire and eventually lose without Herro’s three-level scoring. – Jon.

A: Not always, considering the Heat had won seven in a row prior to Saturday’s loss to the Bulls. And I’m not sure that citing how well a team plays in the playoffs against the Celtics and Nuggets is comparable to regular-season games. But, yes, the Heat’s lack of offensive creativity at the close was, is and will be a concern with the either/or equation with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. It is a hard way to try to win games without additional shot creation.