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Rashard Lewis starting for Heat in Game 4

May 26, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 3 Getty Images

The small-ball favoring Heat face repeated lineup decisions in their seemingly annual playoff series against the large Pacers. Should Miami go big to match up or go small to create mismatches?

In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Heat opted to go smaller in their starting lineup – though their hands were forced when it came to altering their rotation.

Miami’s starting lineup – Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade LeBron James, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh – has played amazingly well, albeit in a small sample. In 61 regular-season minutes and three postseason minutes, that unit is +26.

The lineup would have led the NBA in both points scored and allowed per 100 possessions during the regular season.

  • Offensive rating: 116.0
  • Defensive rating: 93.0
  • Net rating: 23.1

Don’t expect the Heat to maintain that elite production in a longer stretch – especially against the Pacers’ starters. This new rotation will bring a lot of questions.

How will Bosh handle covering Roy Hibbert for longer stretches? Who guards David West? Can Miami hide Lewis somewhere and use LeBron on West? How much will the Heat miss Chris Andersen’s size and toughness? What role will Udonis Haslem off the bench?

We’ll see shortly. This could work out to Miami’s advantage, but it will be an adjustment.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - May 26, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Yikes. Nothing like starting a “small ball” 4 who’s shooting 18% from 3 in the playoffs.

  2. 25yearindyfan - May 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    This game is already over. The officiating is so badly in Miami’s favor already it is disgusting.

    • finsfan71 - May 26, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      Half not even over and already the excuses start. Why aren’t you getting on Hibbert for the goose egg? I understand, critical thinking just isn’t your thing.

      • adoombray - May 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Heat fans are the only fans in the league delusional enough to believe that there isn’t incredible bias in favor of LeBron all the time. Nobody gets calls like LeBron, not even Kobe in his prime, and that guy practically walked up to the line anytime he wanted during his title runs.

  3. jzone954 - May 26, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Once again, the crying starts…

  4. goldmember21 - May 27, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    Exactly.. Pacer fans.. Cry me a river… You have a $hity team. Move on.

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