Erik Spoelstra may tweak starting lineup. Finally.
Miami’s starting five has been a disaster these playoffs.
The Heat are still winning games, but they are not going to continue doing that consistently playing out of a hole. So far in these playoffs, the starting five for the Heat — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas — has been outscored by 40 points per 48 minutes. (Stats via NBA Statscube)
Finally, Erik Spoelstra is apparently going to do something about it.
He would not tell the media at shootaround Monday who would start that night, and added that he would not discuss the issue at pregame media availability, according to a tweet from John Schuhmann of NBA.com.
Before every other game, Spoelstra has announced who was starting at shootaround and he defended his starters in the past.Sunday at practice Spoelstra was not so defensive anymore, as reported by our man Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.
“I’m looking at everything right now and I’ll continue to look at that for the next day.”
He followed up by saying of the team’s practice session at Emerson College, “We walked through quite a different amount of situations, different lineups.”
Switch Mario Chalmers for Bibby and Joel Anthony for Ilgauskas and the Heat outscore opponents by 36 points per 48 minutes.
There are more practical reasons to make the moves now. Having Ilgauskas on the bench lets you sub him in and play him just when you need to against the size of Shaquille O’Neal. And Chalmers is a much better defender than Bibby (who isn’t?), and that means someone who could put more ball pressure on an injured Rajon Rondo.
We’ll see if he actually goes through with it — Spoelstra, like most coaches, does not want to make changes mid-playoffs. But if the Heat want to advance, he may not have a choice.