While the Heat did not touch its workforce this summer, the departure of PJ Tucker to Philadelphia de facto left a void this season on the position of starting strong winger.
By default, the club then thinks of Jimmy Butler or Caleb Martin as a fallback solution, two natural wingers but nevertheless capable of sliding a little more towards position 4, with their defensive qualities and their “all-around” profile.
Another track considered: playing with two real “bigs”. It’s not in the DNA of the Heat, who like to leave room for Bam Adebayo in the paint by associating him with a position 4 which evolves further wide, but the club does not really have the embarrassment of the choice and must therefore be open to all options.
That’s what the preseason is all about, and so the Heat gave it a shot, with a pairing of former Kentucky center Omer Yurtseven on the line in the Heat’s preseason opener against Wolves. A defeat (111-121) during which the experiment was not a great success, since the two players played 20 minutes together, and their opponents scored 9 more points over this period.
” They are still working on it, that’s why we kept this combination for several minutes declared Erik Spoelstra, who recalls that this is a test. ” If they play together [en saison régulière], they won’t play as long. It’s a configuration that requires more preparation time than if you decide to play fast, or spaced out. »
Do not compromise the “spacing”
Two natural pivots, Bam Adebayo and Omer Yurtseven are logically more comfortable near the circle than wide: the first was at 0/6 in the outside shooting exercise last season, the second at 1/11.
The whole challenge of their association is therefore to optimize their interior/interior relationship near the circle, without hitting the “spacing”.
” You learn on the job, so it’s not perfect. We only used this combination at training camp and Tuesday’s game. So these are steps to be taken gradually » said Bam Adebayo. ” Once we have developed our communication and we are on the same wavelength, we will be more comfortable I think. »
” The most important thing is to know at all times where the other is on the ground “Judged the Turkish pivot. ” For example, if someone drives to the circle and Bam goes to the rebound, I’m not going to go or there will be too many people in the paint. So if Bam goes there, I open the game and step back. And vice versa. If one is towards the circle, the other moves back. »
Two different defensive strategies
If the placement in attack is a major problem with these two pivots, the defense is of course just as much. With Erik Spoelstra in charge, we can indeed expect adjustments depending on the forces involved.
In other words, Omer Yurtseven will be closer to the circle to compensate for his lack of mobility, while Bam Adebayo will “switch” on everyone.
” When we are both on the field, we send the attack to rub shoulders with Omer. He’s 2m16, and on the assist side you have Jimmy, Kyle or myself. We want him against anything in sight, and we’ll be there to cover his back. On the other hand, when he is on the bench and I am the only pivot, we “switch” from position 1 to position 5 “explained Bam Adebayo.
And Erik Spoelstra added that the former pivot of Georgetown is making efforts in training to become more alert on the defense on “pick-and-roll”.
” Every day in training, he defends in 1000 pick-and-roll situations. His thinking is becoming more nuanced, especially in drop coverage situations, but he still has room for improvement. Because it’s one thing to defend in drop off the screen, but then you have to adapt when the attack develops its possession. He will continue to work on it concluded the Heat technician.