Erik Spoelstra has tough decisions to make with Miami Heat's playoff rotation

When "We have enough" might be too much.
Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

There are a great number of Spoisms that the Miami Heat coach will fall back on to talk about his team without revealing too much to the media. We have enough, ignitable and great competition are some of his recent go-to's. 

But on Sunday night, Erik Spoelstra found a new level of cliche Spoism when asked about his playoff rotation after Miami’s win against the Washington Wizards.

Spoelstra responded: “Here’s what the rotation is: Whatever it takes.”

Come on! That’s Spo gold!

Has Haywood Highsmith cracked the Miami Heat's playoff rotation if everyone is healthy?

Spoelstra knew it too. He cracked a slight smile during his answer. Like when you nail the delivery of your PowerPoint presentation at the monthly meeting or a joke lands at happy hour, Spoelstra seemed satisfied.

He should be satisfied. He accomplished the two things a great Spoism needs to accomplish: (1) Sound cool enough that Sylvester Stallone could have said it to end a scene in an action movie and (2) give away absolutely nothing.

With that in mind, let us try to fill in the gaps. What is Miami’s playoff rotation?

The most important thing is whether the Heat are healthy. Duncan Robinson returned from a lower back injury in Sunday’s win, and Kevin Love has been available but did not need to play in a pair of uncompetitive wins over the weekend. Tyler Herro, out since February with knee and foot injuries, is ramping up.

If the Heat have a fully healthy roster come playoff time, we can write in pen seven names that will be in the rotation: Terry Rozier, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love. 

We can probably put second-year forward Nikola Jovic – who has been the team’s starting power forward since mid-February – in there, too. So let’s call it eight names in pen.

That could be the playoff rotation right there, but guys like Jaime Jaquez Jr., Haywood Highsmith, Delon Wright and Thomas Bryant have also made a case to play.

Bryant and Wright are options only in certain matchups or if someone gets hurt or is in foul trouble.

Jaquez, one of the best rookies in this class, has hit a bit of a funk. He’s averaging 8.3 points on 40% shooting (20% on 3s), 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 26.4 minutes over his last 10 games.

Meanwhile, Highsmith is playing his best basketball of the season. He has scored in double-digits in four straight games and is averaging 15.8 points on 63.2% shooting, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and a 1 block over that stretch. Between his defense and 3-point shooting (up to 40.4% this season) Highsmith making a case to potentially leap Jaquez on the postseason depth chart.

The final eight games will be telling. Depth has been a strength for the Heat this season, but Spoelstra will have to offer more than Spoisms and make real decisions if the Heat make the playoffs.