Miami Heat Use Shorthanded Experience as a Learning Curve for Young Players

Playing with eight players the past two games gave coach Erik Spoelstra opportunity to evaluate the Miami Heat's young core
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Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra preferred to look at the positives. 

Sure, the Heat lost two games to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. The fact they played with only eight players because several members of the team were at home dealing with COVID-19. 

Instead of complain, Spoelstra used the opportunity to evaluate young players. And he liked what he saw. 

"These are not just empty minutes to get guys experience, get them touches and more ready how to play offensively," Spoelstra said. "No, there's accountability to what we want to do offensively ... But these are great learning moments for our guys to feel it. We have an extremely, competitive group, even as young players." 

Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and rookies Gabe Vincent and Precious Achiuwa were among the youngsters to benefit the most. Herro averaged 25.5 points while also continuing his development at point guard with Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic sidelined. Robinson was able to get acclimated to being a primary player with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo out of the lineup. 

Vincent and Achiuwa got the chance to cut their rookie teeth in meaningful games. 

"We're still learning," Herro said. "We're still adjusting to everybody. It's a new team, a new year. We definitely aren't hitting the panic button. We know what we have in the locker room. There's a lot of learning experiences that I think we can take away from these two games."

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