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ASK IRA: Are Heat in a cycle where injuries beget injuries?


Q: By waiting for a player to be 100 percent before returning from a minor injury you overburden the other players. Then they get hurt. Seems to be a repeating pattern over the last few seasons. It’s sports. You are almost never going to be 100 percent. – Andrew, Coral Gables.

A: And yet to the player who is injured, it’s never a minor injury. They also somewhat stand as independent contractors, having to look out for their own long-term welfare. I believe where this has largely changed is players working with their own training and support staff. Now you have additional voices guiding players in multiple directions.

Q: Heat fans, don’t despair. The Celtics were 16-19 last Dec 29, 2021. They were the No. 10 seed. – Stuart.

A: Which is both heartening and still concerning, considering the Heat are four games under .500 and 12th in the East. So even to follow the Celtics’ model, gains have to be made. And that’s with a pair coming up next week in Boston. It’s almost as if these next two against the visiting Wizards are must-win, considering road games against the Hawks, Celtics, Celtics and Grizzlies follow.

Q: Is it time to “Vanquish for Victor” or “Waste away for Wembanyama”? Between age and injuries, short of a dramatic turnaround is it possible we don’t make the playoffs? Maybe it’s time for “Tank No. 2.” – Bob, Davie.

A: I can appreciate the frustration of the moment. But three quarters of the season remains. Yes, the appetizer has largely been unpalatable, but it also was served without many of its ingredients. That doesn’t mean the main course comes with any guarantees. But while many teams at the quarter pole of the season are doomed to be what their record says they are, this team hasn’t had Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for the same game since Nov. 1. Now maybe it will loom as uneven as it did those first two weeks of the season. But it’s awfully hard to wish away the next four months of possibilities. At minimum, you play it straight until the season’s midpoint.

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