Miami Heat Roundtable: Who is the team’s X-Factor this season?

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 21: Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat during NBA Off-season training with Remy Workouts on August 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 21: Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat during NBA Off-season training with Remy Workouts on August 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – APRIL 21: Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat reacts to a play in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 21: Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat reacts to a play in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Who will be the Heat’s X-Factor this upcoming season?

Ebrahim: I’m going to go with Duncan Robinson. After watching him in the Summer League, you can tell he’s a complete sniper and someone who could definitely make a name for himself on this Heat roster. I fully anticipate him supplanting Ellington by the end of the season; Adebayo has actually already compared playing with him, to playing with Ellington. If Ellington didn’t have a no-trade clause, I could’ve seen Miami shopping him at the deadline, to accumulate some type of asset for him.

Leniart: There are plenty of players on the current roster that are capable of stepping up and becoming someone we consider an “X-Factor.” If I had to choose one, it would be Winslow. I think Winslow will show improvement in multiple facets of his game this season. He can make impact plays on both ends of the court, and he could very well become one of the veteran leaders of this team in the near future. There are a number of guards on the Heat’s roster that will be fighting for playing time; however, Winslow has the size and strength to play small forward in some lineups, so I don’t think his minutes will end up being reduced.

Rahming: Many people hope its poison pill player Tyler Johnson. But I’m here to tell you it won’t be. Once again. the Heat’s X-Factor will be Whiteside. He is an enigma off the court. Last season, he was only able to play in 54 games due to injury. But even when he was on the court, his was limited by two factors, one limitation being his ability; he has to come back a more skilled/refined player this season. The second limitation was Spoelstra. By preaching ‘next man up’ and positionless basketball to the extent that he did, he minimized what Whiteside could really do. Two seasons ago, Whiteside led the league in rebounds per game and finished fourth in blocks per game. Last season, he dropped out of the top 20 rebounders and fell to 20th in total blocks. Sheesh. What a fall. The Heat really goes as he goes. If he can bring the right level of refinement and health, and if Spoelstra can fit more of the scheme around him, we’re in for a treat as fans.