May 26, 2014, 8:28 PM EST
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.
- Russell Westbrook posts third straight triple-double, Thunder lose anyway 0
- Shane Battier: ‘I think a 60-game season would be perfect’ 12
- Kyrie Irving has strained left shoulder, out Friday vs. Pacers 0
- Derrick Rose expected to return in 4-6 weeks. In time for playoffs. 20
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Thursday: The Cavaliers we expected have arrived 17
- Report: George Karl controls Kings’ personnel, wants Ty Lawson, willing to move DeMarcus Cousins 29
- Paul George returns to practice with Pacers, could play in couple weeks 8
- Report: LeBron James wonders why he doesn’t get more MVP consideration 41