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            ASK IRA: Did Game 2 offer hints on Heat free-agency future?

            Q: Ira, he plays Meyers Leonard but he doesn’t play Derrick Jones Jr.? Erik Spoelstra has some interesting ideas. -- Steve.

            A: Actually, I would look at it through different lens, considering Meyers Leonard offered only a nominal contribution as a Game 2 starter with Bam Adebayo out, and since Derrick Jones Jr. was not deemed a necessary rotation player Friday night, utilized for only 14 seconds. There was a point this season when it appeared the Heat would attempt, and prefer, to retain both in free agency, particularly if they were amenable to one-year deals. Now that doesn’t look to be the case. Anything beyond a nominal offer to Meyers would appear unlikely, and based on being put in the deep freeze so often this postseason, one has to wonder if Derrick won’t have eyes elsewhere. Seemingly the only way those two outlooks would change would be if Kelly Olynyk opts out (unlikely) or if Jae Crowder moves on in free agency (which certainly is possible, if the desire is for a multiyear contract). Granted, Olynyk played very well Friday, but Leonard saw only 9:11 of action.

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            Q: Why is Erik Spoelstra so stubborn in sticking with the zone when the Lakers clearly have it figured out? -- Omar.

            A: Because without Bam Adebayo there is absolutely no rim protection, and with Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson in the opening mix, that means a pair of minus defenders at the outset. So you hide what you can hide and hope for the best. To their credit, the Heat did tempt the Lakers into a Finals-record 47 3-point attempts. The problem was the Lakers' 56 points in the paint on 28-of-38 shooting. It is another reason why it seemed like there was a place for more of Derrick Jones Jr. on Friday night.

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            Q: Ira, I read that Dion Waiters will get a ring no matter which team wins the championship, since he plays for the Lakers but started the season with the Heat. Can that be right? -- Howard, Fort Lauderdale.

            A: Not totally. He could get a ring if the Heat win, but that solely would be their decision. There is no league or union mandate that a player receive a ring simply because he spent time with the championship team that season. Under that criteria, Daryl Macon would receive a ring, having actually played more games for the Heat this season (4) than Waiters (3). Nor can a player double-dip with playoff bonuses. I could see the Heat making such an overture to Justise Winslow if they somehow can regain their way in this series. I’m not as sure with Dion Waiters, who has yet to be active in these Finals for the Lakers, and seemingly should be grateful for any playoff payoff.

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