Heat guard Kyle Lowry has come off the bench the last two games and his coach Erik Spoelstra has revealed why, amid rumors of internal problems at the franchise.
Despite Lowry only averaging 8.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and four assists per game – his lowest averages since his 2009-10 season with Houston, Spoelstra says his benching isn’t personal.
“I’ll do whatever we feel that we have to do in the second half of the season,” Spoelstra said. “We are not where we want it to be. That’s not an indictment of one player. Combinations do matter. Rotations do matter. Lineups that bring out the best in each other do matter. And I’m still in the process of trying to help the team figure it out.”
Miami have struggled to find consistency and success with their lineups this season.
A string of injuries hasn’t felt matters and has resulted in an 24-18 record on the season.
Lowry came off the bench for the first time in Friday’s 108-109 loss to the Hawks and was hoping to be back in the starting lineup as soon as possible.
“Spo wanted to see something different, wanted to have me come off the bench,” Lowry said. “Hopefully it was a one game thing for me and I can get back in the starting lineup and continue to do what I’ve done this year.”
With the trade deadline edging closer, many are wondering if coach Spo is taking Lowry out of the starting five on purpose and focusing on future lineups that don’t involve him.
“I can say that with Kyle Lowry’s deal, and I think Nikola Jovic, the Heat do have two potential outgoing pieces that the rest of the league are at least talking about and have been made aware of are available,” NBA insider Jake Fischer said late last week. “…That’s me saying I don’t think the Heat are shopping Nikola Jovic and Kyle Lowry around and seeing what they can get. I just think in conversations, that’s the kind of stuff that has been brought up.”