Miami Heat: Why there should be no concern after big-man strikeout

Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa (5) makes a dunk against the Charlotte Hornets(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa (5) makes a dunk against the Charlotte Hornets(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Miami Heat
Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks (24) goes to the basket against Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa (5)(Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat will have to rely on Precious Achiuwa down the stretch, perhaps?

Achiuwa, who stands at 6’8” and just 225 pounds, is an imposing yet another undersized talent for the Heat. As Adebayo’s current backup center, Precious has seen increased minutes as the season progresses.

Some would say it’s far-too-early to depend on such a raw and developing athlete, for which Achiuwa is, but experience is the best teacher and the Heat should allocate critical minutes for him.

With great hustle and high-energy plays, we should expect Precious to remain in the Heat’s rotation, no matter where their roster stands moving forward. While the Heat are in the bottom-five in the NBA in blocks per game, they remain in the top-ten in total rebounds and opponent field-goal percentage.

Miami continues to hone in their defense by creating deflections off of help rotations and in zone coverage. With a potential Finals matchup from either Los Angeles team (Davis or Cousins), the Denver Nuggets with Nikola Jokic, and the Western Conference’s first-seeded Utah Jazz with Rudy Gobert, they are all threats due to the Heat’s lack of size.

However, as we’ve seen in last year’s postseason run, we must keep in mind that most teams will match the Heat’s smaller lineups to counteract the speed of Adebayo. Coach Spo has continued to deploy small-ball units for several years, as it remains a winning formula.

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As we move towards the final month of the season, the Heat should accept the challenge of playing a smaller power rotation of Adebayo, Achiuwa and Bjelica. It’s going to take a concerted effort from all five players to collectively help them, but it’s not an impossible task and should only gear them up for a plenty of that kind of play in the playoffs.