ASK IRA: Did the Heat get significantly better Monday?

A: I’ve gotten this question in many forms in recent days, and, amid the speculation, even in recent weeks. So here are my thoughts on why Kyle Lowry is at least viewed as an upgrade: 1. He is a superior defender to Goran Dragic when it comes to opponents attacking off the dribble, a factor that is critical to a Heat defense lacking much in the way of deterrence at the rim. 2. He is a willing big-shot taker and maker at the ends of games, something Goran seemingly was a bit reluctant to do outside of international competition. So now it does not have to be Butler or bust at crunch time. 3. It’s something different. That might sound trite, but there is something to be said about shaking it up after failing to win a single playoff game and barely avoiding the play-in round. I will leave it to others to debate whether it is a huge upgrade, but it would seem undeniable to deny it as an upgrade.

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