ASK IRA: Are the Heat getting cut down to size?

Q: Opponents’ points in the paint are up, and the Heat are being consistently outrebounded of late. Has Erik Spoelstra ended the two-bigs experiment? — Ken, Coral Springs.

Did it ever really start? If you play two big men in today’s NBA, it is because one of them has the type of 3-point range that retains the respect of the defense.

That Heat had that with Kelly Olynyk, and, to a degree, with Meyers Leonard. Even with Dewayne Dedmon converting his occasional threes or Omer Yurtseven showing such range in limited minutes

The problem is that the power forwards are decidedly undersized, when counting P.J. Tucker and Caleb Martin. Ultimately, Bam Adebayo simply has to come up big on the boards on a nightly basis.

Q: Love Bam Adebayo, but he is too willing to switch out on perimeter players. He does it without effective screens on him. This leads to a cascade of problems Weston.

Exactly. That is not on Bam Adebayo. That is the system. And, yes, it often drives me to distraction about how the Heat simply capitulate to the matchup whims of the offense. 

Q: Ira, do you think there’s any correlation with this horrible stretch of basketball and an extended home stand with fewer games? — Juan, Denver.

It’s almost as if Heat need adversity. When they were climbing the standings, when they were shorthanded, when they were on the road, when they lacked rest and practice time,