5 Biggest questions facing the Miami Heat for the playoff push

Plus four more of the biggest storylines to monitor over the Miami Heat's final 27 games.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Miami Heat v New York Knicks / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Is the new starting lineup the answer?

Although Miami’s new starting lineup – Rozier, Herro, Butler, Caleb Martin and Adebayo – has played only 41 minutes together, the results have been encouraging. That group has out-scored opponents by 19 points in those minutes –  or a rate of 24.5 points per 100 possessions.

Rozier is the biggest difference from the group that started the season to now. He provides much-needed rim pressure and physicality at the point of attack. 

Coming off Rozier’s first game with the Heat, a Jan. 24 debacle against the Memphis Grizzlies, Erik Spoelstra could recognize the dynamics of what Rozier could provide even in the loss.

“He is extremely skilled offensively, off the dribble and even some of the things he can do on the catch,” Spoelstra said. “Defensively, once he gets accustomed to how we do things, he can be very disruptive.”

That much has been true. The Heat are 4-6 with Rozier in the starting lineup, but 4-2 since snapping the losing streak. Their only two losses came against the LA Clippers and Boston Celtics, and both were narrow.

Miami’s new starting lineup has sparked on offense, scoring 126.7 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com, in a limited sample.

It needs time to gel, and Rozier’s knee sprain delays that process. There wasn’t much time left when Miami acquired Rozier in January, and now the team will have even less by the time Rozier returns. If the Heat can get 18 to 20 games with this starting lineup, that would be a huge win.