ASK IRA: Can the Heat persuade Tyler Herro to revert to a reserve role?

Q: This Heat team just makes more sense with Duncan Robinson in the starting lineup and Tyler Herro coming off the bench. Duncan is a better fit with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. He is happy to just shoot the 3 and doesn’t see his role as being a scorer. When he drives, it’s because it’s wide open and not forced. Tyler is a three-level scorer and you want him to get in a groove in the mid-range and at the rim, which can clog the paint with Jimmy and Bam in there. Often it feels like Jimmy is not involved and staying out of the way when Tyler is getting his game going. Can Erik Spoelstra convince Tyler that him getting in a groove with the second unit is just better for the trio of him, Jimmy and Bam? – Dave, Placentia, Calif.

A: Fully agree with your points. And it makes total sense to go in that direction. Except . . . except that part of managing a team means managing egos. And I’m just not sure that you wouldn’t lose Tyler Herro with such a request. From a strategic standpoint it makes too much sense. But Tyler also feels he has graduated from such a role. In the void of that move, at least stagger the minutes of Tyler and Terry Rozier as much as possible, if for no other reason than to maintain a degree of defensive sanity.

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Q: Ira, The problem with the Heat is that they no longer have a star. Boston has stars, Milwaukee has a star, Philly has a star, etc. We have a good player who no longer is a star. He might have a few very good games during the season, but not enough to be considered a star. Even when he gets to his scoring spots, he sometimes has problems getting off a shot. His defense has also slipped. – Rich, Plantation.

A: Here’s the reality there: I agree that the Heat do not have a regular-season star. But they do have a playoff star. Jimmy Butler already has vanquished Boston stars, Milwaukee’s star and Philadelphia’s star in the playoffs. So until we see (or don’t see) Playoff Jimmy, the evaluations remain somewhat incomplete. To your point, Jimmy isn’t even being mentioned as a possible All-Star. The league is fully aware of what he thinks of the NBA regular season.

Q: Will the Heat issue No. 7 again? – Thad.

A: Ah, that will be interesting, because if Goran Dragic had not acceded to Kyle Lowry’s request to wear the number, it would have been intriguing to see if the team would have kept No. 7 in mothballs to determine whether the number eventually would be retired in Goran’s honor. So, yes, it will be curious to see what the next step will be with No. 7.