NBA GMs snub the Miami Heat again in yearly survey

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 2: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat passes the ball against the the Charlotte Hornets during a pre-season game on October 2, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 2: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat passes the ball against the the Charlotte Hornets during a pre-season game on October 2, 2018 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 16: Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts after a call during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 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. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 16: Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts after a call during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 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. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

Deep Sigh

Though Spoelstra earned praise in his motivation category, his rotations have been in question.

General managers ranked Spoelstra fifth among coaches in terms of his ability to make in-game adjustments. The reasoning behind the ranking likely stems from a combination of his adapting to Wade’s midseason arrival last February, as well as to the countless injuries Miami endured.

However, in-game adjustments have largely been a sticking point in Heat fans’ critique of Spoelstra, with substitutions often coming too late – or not at all.

Take Whiteside of last year.

He played 54 games, even though he was injured throughout the year. Spoelstra started him in each of those 54 games, which at times hampered Miami’s opening momentum.

If it weren’t for having to adjust with a star-less team, Spoesltra’s rank here would fall even more, one of the few marks in the armor of one of the NBA’s longest tenured coaches.

"“It’s going to be some times where some guys are left out of the rotation,” Tyler Johnson said during training camp. “It was kind of like that last year, too. It was always a staple of the Heat to have 13, 14 guys who can be ready to play at any time. It really is going to come down to matchups and how Spo sees fit that certain guys match up with certain players and who’s playing really well at the time.”"

Spoelstra can certainly rewrite that narrative this season and Whiteside is going to help him.

Miami’s starting center looks healthy, plays with purpose and will become integral in sussing out the team’s most effective lineups.

Wade’s final season will be similarly useful, as his 16-year veteran saavy will provide additional playmaking help when Justise Winslow and James Johnson falter.

Even though Miami underperformed on the rotation front, the team’s deep roster, along with Spoelstra’s creativity and expertise, should shore up any doubts about nailing down the right group to build success.