VIDEO: Daily Zap from Game 5
- Miami coach Erik Spoelstra will not comment on his starting lineup. “I know that’s what everybody is curious about right now,” he said, “but it’s about our game and what we’re going to bring different in terms of how we play. As usual, I’ll turn in my card (listing the starters, at the required time prior to the game).”
- Spoelstra would not confirm Udonis Haslem possibly in the starting lineup. Haslem played more than two minutes for the first time in the Finals in Game 4. He saw 10 minutes with two offensive rebounds and two points. “We know the things that UD brings — the touches, the intangibles, (contesting) loose balls, the rebounding, all those things,” Spoelstra said. “He’ll be ready.”
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced no plans to change his starting lineup, which has included Boris Diaw rather than Tiago Splitter in the last two games. “We’ve given (Diaw) more playing time,” Popovich said, “(and) we’ve given him a more prominent role, and he’s responded well at both ends of the floor.”
- Even if Diaw does not start, he easily gets the lion’s share of the minutes. When he came off the bench in the first two games (which Miami and San Antonio split), he played 33 minutes and 32 minutes. In the last two games when he’s started and SA won both to go up 3-1, he’s played 37 minutes and 35 minutes. Splitter has not played more than 23 minutes in any game in the Finals (he didn’t play as much as 16 minutes in either of the last two).
– Tim Price
- Boris Diaw will start his second straight game at center. He replaced Tiago Splitter in Game 3 to improve spacing.
- The Spurs’ bench has outscored the Heat by 15 points a game in the series. Coach Erik Spoelstra said that is among the many concerns.
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the team spent most of the off day focusing on defense. Although the story of Game 3 was their shooting, the Spurs weren’t happy with defensive play. The Heat still shot higher than 50 percent from the field.
- The Heat inactives are Michael Beasley and Justin Hamilton. For the Spurs, it’s Austin Daye and Damion James.
– Zachary Paul
- The Spurs will start Boris Diaw at center in place of Tiago Splitter. The move was likely made to increase ball movement, which has been a problem area for the Spurs after two games.
- Don’t expect the Spurs to change much of the game plan after LeBron James scored 35 points in Game 2. Coach Gregg Popovich said he still will live with James shooting jump shots. All 11 of James’ third-quarter points came from the perimeter.
- The most notable problem for the Spurs has been the poor play of forward Kawhi Leonard. After a strong series in last year’s NBA Finals, the Spurs are in search of ways to get him more involved. Leonard is averaging just nine points on 42 percent shooting while also struggling to defend James.
- The inactives for the Heat are Michael Beasley and Justin Hamilton. For the Spurs, it’s Damion Jones and Austin Daye.
– Zachary Paul
- The air-conditioning at AT&T Center is working for tonight’s Game 2. Take it from someone who’s been to this arena enough to know. “I guess (the AC is working),” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I don’t really notice, to tell you the truth. I just come and coach.”
- The Heat won’t know until during the game if LeBron James is over his episode of muscle cramping from Game 1. “I’ll read (the situation), and we’ll be attentive to it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “If we need to go deeper we will, and I anticipate we might have to. He’s been through every possible situation you can possibly go through. We had an extra day of rest, and we’ll manage it.”
- Chris Andersen has to go back five games to see the last time he played more than 20 minutes (Game 3 vs. Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals), yet he might crack that mark after seeing less than 14 minutes in Game 1. “I think (He can play) more and more,” Spoelstra said. “He actually looked probably his best yesterday in practice. So we’ll see. It was a rough week for him but he’s getting better each day.” Andersen was inactive for Games 4 and 5 against Indiana with a thigh injury.
– Tim Price
- Tony Parker, who starts tonight in Game 1, kept his complete physical status to himself when asked about the sore ankle that caused him to miss the second half of San Antonio’s Western Conference finals series-clinching Game 6 at Oklahoma City five days ago. Will he be able to do everything he normally can do? “I hope so,” Parker said. Has he tested it in practice? “I’m going to wait until tonight,” he said, adding “I trust my body.”
- If the Spurs will change their lineup going into Game 1, coach Gregg Popovich would not discus it before the game. The Spurs did make a lineup change in the Finals last year vs. Miami, when Manu Ginobili started for Game 5, and Ginobili scored 24 points and had 10 assists in a win that gave the Spurs a 3-2 advantage.
- Miami coach Erik Spoelstra appears ready to go with the same lineup he used in the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana, which featured the re-emergence of Rashard Lewis as a shooter. Lewis was 9-for-22 from the 3-point line (almost 41 percent) in the series after a combined 3-for-15 in the first two rounds. “He’s kept himself ready,” Spoelstra said “He’s an absolute pro.”
- The nagging injuries that bothered Ray Allen and Chris Andersen appear to be soothed over for the time being. “Physically, right now, we feel healthy,” Spoelstra said, “but that can always change.”
– Tim Price