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Heat need to start Chalmers, Anthony against Celtics

Apr 28, 2011, 12:51 PM EDT

Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams AP

The numbers do not lie — the Miami Heat’s starting five with Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas was outscored by 39 points in the first round. By the 76ers starting five.

Every game — including Game 5 — the Heat would fall behind quickly, but in four of the games the Heat’s substitutes stabilized them, got them back in it (in Game 5 the Heat were down 11 inside of five minutes but a 14-0 run had the Heat ahead after the end of the first quarter). Four times the Heat went on to win.

Do that against the Celtics and it will cost the Heat games. And maybe the series.

The lineup with Miami’s big three with Ilgauskas and Bibby had an offensive rating of 89.9 (points per 100 possessions) and a defensive rating of 125.2 (via NBA statscube). That lineup would average 79 points per 48 minutes shooting 39.4 percent.

Swap in Chalmers and Anthony and the offensive rating becomes 128 (points per 100 possessions) and the defensive rating 86. This lineup would score 108.8 points per 48 minutes shooing 54.2 percent.

The matchups will be different with the Celtics, particularly with Jermaine and maybe Shaquille O’Neal Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will be tempted to go with the size of Big Z rather than the 6’9” Anthony in the middle. And Big Z did provide some offense.

But Spoelstra knows how much better his team is playing when Bibby and Ilgauskas sit — there’s a reason he took them out after 4:27 in Game 5 Wednesday and they never got back on the court.

He needs to make a change with the starters. Falling 10 points back of the Celtics is a much harder hole to climb out of than it is against Philly.

  1. hnirobert3 - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    The only problem with that is that now Bibby and Z are your bench instead of the serviceable Joel and Chalmers. I think Spo will go with the following lineup: Chalmers, Wade, LBJ, Bosh and Damp.

    • scorp16 - Apr 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      I agree. I don’t know why everybody is forgetting about Dampier. The last game he played any substantial minutes he went for 14 boards and 10pts.

      Miami shut him down the last week of the season and gave him the Philly series off (and face it, if Miami couldn’t beat Philly without Dampier…….)

      No…..This series is exactly why Dampier was signed. Dampier is there to bang against Shaq just like he did in the 2006 Finals. A lot of people forget he matched up with Shaq pretty well in that series and he’s alot healthier than Shaq is right now if he does play Sunday.

      I still think Bibby gets the start. You’ll be able to tell within the first few minutes which Bibby you’re getting for the night ..

      Bench: Chalmers, Anthony, JJ, Miller and …. maybe UD? Don’t think Z and House get too much PT

      • thestudiokida - Apr 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM

        Eddie House & Juwan Howard shouldn’t ever play no matter what the matchup (unless you need Juwan to start a fight for you). I personally would start Chalmers and either Dampier or Ilgauskas but quickly go to Joel Anthony mid-way through the first. Ilgauskas is good for a jump shot or offensive board early on but should be limited to 15 minutes total.

        I’m really excited about this series. I believe this is the year the Celtics become yesterday’s news but I’ve been wrong before. Send ‘em on vacation Dwyane!!

  2. jstrizzle - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Wasn’t there an article on here claiming that it was efficient to play Z when Bosh and Wade sit? I could swear I read that. I think it would make more sense to play a lineup that is bad at defense against the Celtics backups.

    Whatever happens, it is gonna be an exciting series.

  3. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Does it really matter? They are just filling in warm bodies around the Big 2 1/2 and trying to hang on.

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