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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The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside, middle, reacts as the Philadelphia 76ers lead late in the fourth quarter in Game 4 of the first-round NBA Playoff series at the AmericaneAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Sixers won, 106-102, for a 3-1 series lead. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside, middle, reacts as the Philadelphia 76ers lead late in the fourth quarter in Game 4 of the first-round NBA Playoff series at the AmericaneAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Sixers won, 106-102, for a 3-1 series lead. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images) /

Finally, talk about an unconventional viewpoint you have regarding the team, heading into 2018-19…

Ebrahim: Maybe this doesn’t apply specifically for this upcoming season, but my unconventional viewpoint or ‘hot take’ would be that Spoelstra is the best coach in the NBA. Yes, the Heat play in the Eastern Conference. But no coach (other than maybe Gregg Popovich) could take a roster like this, one without a single top five player in their position, to the playoffs, or could run off that insane second half that the Heat endured two seasons ago. The closest player to being top five in his position would have to be Whiteside, and everyone knows that he gets farther from that status with every tantrum. His ability to turn G-League and unknown players into serviceable role players, rivals Popovich.

Leniart: Albeit unlikely, I think there is a possibility that the Heat could miss the playoffs this season. There current roster has some redundancies and is a bit confusing. I could see Spoelstra struggling to find effective rotations throughout the season. On top of that, the team may be looking to shed some salaries before the deadline. Doing so would require trading away one of their younger, more promising players. If any major trades do take place, they are sure to be followed by an adjustment period. During that time, the team’s performance might dip. I think Miami is clearly behind the top three teams in the East. After that, there are four or five teams that could put together seasons that were better than expected, leaving Miami on the outside looking in.

Rahming: Olynyk is a starter. Last season he was a part of Spoelstra’s second most used lineup and placed sixth in total minutes for all Heat players. This lineup featured him at center, with Bam Adebayo as his partner in the frontcourt. I’m sure the starting lineup this year will be Dragic, Waiters, Richardson, Olynyk, and Whiteside. Spoelstra was only able to get to this lineup for 20 possessions all season, for a grand total of 9.7 minutes. This is the key to the Miami Heat Universe right here. Last season, he ranked in the Heat’s top five for field goal and 3-point percentage (minimum five attempts) and rebounds, yet he was only playing 23 minutes per game. I expect Spoelstra to do whatever it takes to get him more time on the court and in a position to make winning plays.

Next. Miami Heat: The biggest questions fans need answers to. dark

Happy September.