Miami Heat’s Lineup Tweak Creates Options

SAN ANTONIO — For the second time in three years, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed his starting lineup during the middle of an NBA Finals.

Spoelstra’s insertion of Mike Miller, and removal of Udonis Haslem, did not deliver a boost to start the game, and Miller ended up having his worst night of the series statistically (no points, 0-for-1 shooting in 21 minutes).

But the lineup decision certainly did not hurt the Heat, and everything ultimately worked out, largely because the Heat’s Big 3 played its best game collectively of the series; Tim Duncan was defended well even without Haslem on the floor to guard him to open the game; Miami’s defense was much more active; and because the Heat thrived playing small ball, forcing 19 turnovers and generating 14 fast-break points.

The lineup of Miller, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers — the one that started Thursday — outscored teams by 21 points in 53 minutes during the regular season and by nine points in 22 playoff minutes entering Game 4.

Source: Barry Jackson, Miami Herald