Was Erik Spoelstra Right in Benching Wade And Bosh During The Fourth Quarter vs. Jazz?

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has been under a microscope since the summer of 2010, even after winning a NBA championship last season.

Monday night was no different.

After the Heat lost to the Utah Jazz 104-97 questions from the media and fans on social media exploded regarding how Spoelstra left two of the team’s ‘Big 3′ on the bench for almost the entire fourth quarter. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh sat and watched as Miami fought their way back from a 22 point deficit to being down only two points with a lineup featuring LeBron JamesRay Allen and Rashard Lewis before falling back. Spoelstra put Bosh back in the game very late in the quarter when the game was essentially out of reach.

The main question that arose from this game was if Spoelstra’s0 decision to bench Wade and Bosh, especially after James played almost the entire game, was correct.

The answer to that is both yes and no.

The answer could be no because even though the lineup with Allen and Lewis did almost erase the Jazz lead, it did cool down. With James playing so many minutes, it would have been smart to put in Wade to assists him or even replace him in the lineup. Bosh might have been brought in earlier than he was to help out in place of Joel Anthony.

However, the answer could be yes because there is the concept of riding the hot hand. It was evident that the Heat slacked off on defense in the third quarter and that allowed the Jazz lead to reach 22 points. Spoelstra saw this and tried to change the dynamic with a different lineup and it worked up to a point.

There is no answer that will satisfy everyone. That’s what happens after a loss.

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