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With Adebayo out, Dedmon’s playing time set to expand. Heat wants him ‘playing his role’

·3 min read

The Miami Heat has been particularly protective of Dewayne Dedmon’s minutes on the court so far this season. He has eclipsed 18 minutes just three times this season, when he was on the court for 29 and a half minutes on Nov. 15, 25 and a half minutes on Nov. 17, and nearly 31 minutes on Wednesday.

The common denominator?

“They go up when Bam’s out,” Dedmon said.

Those three games were three of Dedmon’s four starts so far this season, all games that the Heat’s star center Bam Adebayo did not play.

With that logic in mind, Dedmon anticipates he will be on the court a lot more frequently during the next month and a half with Adebayo sidelined by a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, an injury for which he will undergo surgery.

But Dedmon, 32 and in his ninth NBA season, isn’t fazed by the increased workload that will continue Friday as the Heat plays the Indiana Pacers in the first game of a road back-to-back that concludes Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I’m good,” Dedmon said. “I’m young. I’ve still got prime juice in these knees.”

Dedmon said he felt little residual effect after playing a season-high 30:41 in Wednesday’s 111-85 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a game in which he recorded a double-double with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 13 rebounds.

It was the first time he played more than 30 minutes in two seasons and the first time taking double-digit shots in a regular-season game in that span as well.

But coach Erik Spoelstra cautioned that he doesn’t plan to have Dedmon logging 30 minutes every night while Adebayo is out, bringing the need for the rest of the frontcourt — P.J. Tucker, KZ Okpala, Omer Yurtseven and potentially Udonis Haslem — to be ready when their names are called.

“We’ll adapt to that,” Spoelstra said. “Ideally it won’t be that many minutes as the other night and certainly not the minutes Bam was logging and that’s why our entire frontcourt has to be ready for those situational minutes over the course of the game. We have enough depth there.”

Another note Spoelstra cautioned: He doesn’t want Dedmon altering how he plays to fit the Adebayo mold.

“We just want him playing his role,” Spoelstra said. “It’ll just be for a more extended time. I want him to be who he is, play to his strengths. He doesn’t have to try to be Bam. He’s a different player.”

Dedmon’s thoughts?

“You’ve gotta be yourself at the end of the day,” he said. “You’re not trying to make up for what somebody else does. I am who I am.”

Heat no longer has worst loss NBA history

The Memphis Grizzlies’ 152-79 pummeling of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday was one for the NBA record book — and one took the Heat’s name out of it in one instance.

The Grizzlies’ 73-point margin of victory was the largest in league history.

The Heat was on the losing end of the previous record, a 148-80 beatdown by the Cavaliers on Dec. 17, 1991 — two weeks shy of 30 years ago.

Miami trailed Cleveland by 20 points at halftime, 73-53, and things only got worse from there. The Cavaliers outscored the Heat 33-14 in the third quarter and 42-13 in the fourth to cap the 68-point victory.

The Heat only had two players score in double figures that game — Steve Smith led the team with 15 points while Kevin Edwards added 10 points off the bench. Miami shot 35.5 percent from the field and turned the ball over 23 times.

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