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Chris Bosh to start for Heat, Haslem to come off bench

Miami Heat's Bosh speaks with media in Oklahoma City

Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh speaks with the media as the Miami Heat get ready to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals series in Oklahoma City June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL MEDIA)

REUTERS

Erik Spoelstra has stopped playing games and is now going the only direction he really can — Chris Bosh will be back in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat, he announced before Game 2 in Oklahoma City Thursday night.

But unlike during much of the season when both Bosh and Udonis Haslem would start, Haslem will come off the bench in Game 2 and Shane Battier will start. This shouldn’t be a huge strain on Bosh, who played 34 minutes off the bench in Game 1 but was not a huge factor in the game. They need him to be in Game 2, starting may help that.

The Heat also need to establish Bosh in the paint early — 10 of his 11 shot attempts in Game 1 were from outside 10 feet. They need to get him going in closer to the basket, then work out from there.

Miami will need some better play out of its bench in Game 2. One plus there will be the return of three-point specialist James Jones will be available, he was out for Game 1 with a migraine headache.

There was not a lot of other pregame news from before Game 2. Thunder coach Scott Brooks scoffed at the idea of going even smaller and playing Kevin Durant at the five. Just because LeBron has done it doesn’t mean the Thunder should try it.

Also, the Thunder crowd will be in the alternating blue and white t-shirt sections we saw earlier in the playoffs, not the all blue from Game 1.