Miami Heat May Change Starting 5 Again for Game 6 of 2013 NBA Finals

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2013

In an effort to force a Game 7 in the 2013 NBA Finals, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra may tinker with his starting lineup yet again.

According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Spoelstra may consider benching Mike Miller and inserting Udonis Haslem back into the starting five.

"We'll see," Spo said when asked if he would start Haslem over Miller in Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs.

Some version of that has essentially been Spoelstra's party line throughout the entire postseason. He's fiddled with his rotation on numerous occasions already.

Chris "The Birdman" Andersen had previously been seeing significant minutes earlier in the playoffs, and Haslem wasn't used as sparingly as he is now. Miller himself broke 10 minutes of action in the same contest just once until Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The initial swap of Miller and Haslem had everything to do with spacing. Running with Miller would stretch San Antonio's defense and open up driving lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to exploit. It would also create additional post-up opportunities for James.

In Game 4, that methodology appeared to work. Miller attempted just one shot and missed it, but the Heat trounced the Spurs by a score of 109-93. Going small gave Miami a more dynamic offensive attack, and it paid off.

Then came Game 5.

Miller started once again, played 25 minutes and missed his only shot. The Heat fell, 114-104, in that contest.

Though Miller's shot totals aren't necessarily a barometer for the Heat's success, the hope had been that he could inject some offense into the equation. He had connected on 10-of-11 from deep heading into Game 4, a fiery stretch coach Spo had hoped would carry over into the starting lineup.

Starting Haslem might also force the Spurs into restructuring their starting five, which included Manu Ginobili going for 24 points and 10 assists in Game 5.

 

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