Miami Heat: 4 crunch time lineups for the 2017-18 season

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 11: Bam Adebayo
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 11: Bam Adebayo /
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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 05: Tyler Johnson
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 05: Tyler Johnson /

Goran Dragic-Dion Waiters-Tyler Johnson-James Johnson-Hassan Whiteside

There is a strong possibility that this ranks as the Heat’s most popular closing lineup by the end of the season, and particularly against teams that match up against the Heat with a number of offensive threats (think the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, etc.).

Giving the ball to Goran Dragic at the end of games is never a bad decision, and pairing him with the clutch playmaking of Dion Waiters, will allow the Heat to put the type of offensive pressure on these higher scoring teams that will keep the game close.

No combination has been more potent than The Brothers Johnson, once again poised to lead the second unit off the bench (after it was presumed James Johnson would enter the starting lineup). Late in games, their cohesive style of playmaking is invaluable, with both offering the type of offensive creativity and defensive stability the Heat will need against the league’s elite.

This all, of course, centers around the big man in the middle, as the four other pieces work well together to funnel all shot attempts towards one of the best rim protectors in the league. Hassan Whiteside is afforded all of the space to operate on both ends of the floor, and is paired with some of the very best passers on the roster along with top perimeter defenders.

Variation: The next man up in this lineup would be Richardson, who (depending on the situation) could enter for anyone from Waiters to James Johnson. Richardson will factor heavily into many of the Heat’s crunch time lineups for his long-range shooting and relentless defense.