Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra insists he has no interest in playing chess with Spurs counterpart Gregg Popovich. Any moves he makes is strictly for the benefit of his team, rather than forcing the Spurs’ hand as the two teams vie for the NBA championship. “We’re not trying…to see if they blink first,” he said. “That’s not it.” But doesn’t whatever benefits the Heat by definition force the Spurs to react? Such was the case in Game 4, when Spoelstra played a traditional two-big lineup for a grand total of zero minutes as the Heat romped to tie the Finals up at two games apiece. He started by subbing Mike Miller into the starting lineup for Udonis Haslem. Though the move got most of the postgame attention, it didn’t actually pay immediate dividends as the Heat fell behind 15-5. Miller would finish without a point, missing his only field goal attempt. Rather, it was what happened after that mattered most, with Spoelstra bumping reserve big Chris Andersen from the rotation entirely. Haslem served as Chris Bosh’s backup in the middle, and Andersen’s minutes were divvied out on the outside as the Heat shot 52.9 percent while scoring a series-high 109 points. It continued a trend in which the Heat have played progressively fewer minutes with a traditional two-big lineup in favor of their so-called “positionless” unit, i.e. one post surrounded by four perimeter players, one of which is often the Swiss army knife of a player better known as LeBron James.
Small ball forces Spurs’ hands
San Antonio Express-News | Jun 16