Will Mike Miller
move into the Heat
's starting lineup for Game 4? (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Heat are reportedly considering moving small forward Mike Miller into the starting lineup in place of power forward Udonis Haslem for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs on Thursday.
ESPN.com reports that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is weighing the switch after Miller was one of the few bright spots in a 113-77 loss to the Spurs in Game 3 on Tuesday. Miller went 5-for-5 beyond the arc for 15 points in 22 minutes while Haslem finished scoreless with three rebounds in 10 minutes.
Miller, 33, has seen his playing time and role fluctuate all season. He made 17 starts in 59 regular-season games and started Game 4 of Miami's first-round sweep of Milwaukee. He hasn't played in six of Miami's 19 playoff games, though, and is averaging just 10.6 minutes during the postseason.
Miller averaged 4.8 points and 2.7 rebounds during the regular season. The hero of Miami's title-clinching win against Oklahoma City last year after he sank seven three-pointers, Miller is averaging 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in this year's postseason. Miller, a career 40.6 percent three-point shooter, is shooting 50 percent (14-of-28) from beyond the arc in the postseason.
Haslem, 33, averaged 3.9 points and 5.4 rebounds this season. He is averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in the postseason and has scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds total in three Finals games.
Swapping the rugged Haslem, known for his defense and rebounding, for Miller, a shooting specialist, would likely force Chris Bosh and LeBron James to see even more time against San Antonio's big front-line tandem of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter.
The Spurs lead the series 2-1 entering Game 4.