Miami Heat Secret Santa Roundtable: Good health and new award conversation

Can Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro stay healthy? Does Jaime Jaquez Jr. need to be mentioned in the conversation for an award other than Rookie of the Year?
Miami Heat v Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

It’s almost Christmas and so, to celebrate, we’re playing Secret Santa. The All U Can Heat staff got together to hand out gifts to various Miami Heat players before the team takes on the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day.

Bam Adebayo gets a new hip

Before Bam Adebayo missed seven straight games with a left hip contusion, the Heat ranked 10th in defensive rating. In those seven games without him? 21st. Humbug! Adebayo had been laying the groundwork of a Defensive Player of the Year campaign even while the hip injury lingered, but the Heat decided to shelve him until his hip was fully healed. Missing games hurt the Heat in November and December, but it would be potentially even more harmful if Adebayo was limited in April, May and June. As long as Adebayo is right, the defense is a strength and the Heat remain a contender. – Wes Goldberg

Tyler Herro gets a longer wingspan 

Tyler Herro with a longer wingspan wouldn’t get attacked as much on defense as he does now. Herro tries defensively and this year has been better reading passing lanes and has gotten more steals. Offensively, it would help his ability to finish which, honestly even with his wingspan the way it is now, isn’t exactly a weakness. But Herro with a longer wingspan would stop the trade rumors, and would really help Miami on both ends of the court. – Max Marshall 

Unlimited Health for Tyler Herro

It was so unfortunate for Tyler Herro to break his hand last postseason where he was trying to make a play on a loose ball. Herro has missed time in the last two playoff runs for Miami, and his scoring ability was missed especially in the 2023 NBA Finals. Herro admitted he wasn't playing his best in the 2022 playoffs, so it's only right for him to remain healthy and show why he can be a key contributor to another deep playoff run. – Alex Villasis

A perimeter defender for Erik Spoelstra

I’ve been pressing this issue since the start of the season and I fully believe it is something that can take this team to the next level. There is no one on the team able to do this consistently besides Highsmith, who is necessary to guard wings. In the 4th quarter, the Heat are allowing more drives than in any other quarter, with 57.3% field goals off those drives, compared to 50% in the other 3 periods. They're also allowing handlers to score on 56.6% off pick and rolls, compared to 39.8% in the other quarters. Again, in way more attempts. When the game slows down and teams go for more actions like these, the Heat have not been good and that is easy to see every time we watch a 4th quarter. Giving a good point-of-attack defender to Spoelstra might be just what he needs to get this team back on track on the defensive end. More than anything else. – António Dias 

A new award conversation for Jaime Jaquez Jr.

As great as a rookie that Jaquez has been, the Rookie of the Year award is a two-man race between Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama. But what if, instead of ROY, we threw Jaquez’s name into the ring for another award? What about Sixth Man of the Year? Jaquez has played mostly off the bench for a winning Heat team this season, and among bench players is 12th in points per game, first in field goal percentage, fifth in rebounds, fifth in assists, third in steals and third in minutes per game while shooting 42% on 3s. Austin Reaves, Cole Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. are among the favorites, but a Jaime campaign could help him get into the mix. – Wes Goldberg