Chris "The Birdman" Andersen (center) will be grounded for Game 4 against the Pacers
. (Issac Baldizon/Getty Images)
The Heat will insert Rashard Lewis into their starting lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers on Monday, as Chris "The Birdman" Andersen will miss the game with a thigh injury.
The 35-year-old Andersen is sidelined with a left thigh contusion and is listed as day-to-day. He sustained the injury during Miami's 99-87 victory in Game 3, finishing with three points (on 1-for-1 shooting) and seven rebounds in 23 minutes. Andersen is averaging 5.8 points (on 63.4 percent shooting) and 5.8 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game during the playoffs.
"[Andersen is] the human bruise right now," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Sunday. "He got hit by Dwyane [Wade] on a collision toward the end [of Game 3]. He has some various things going on right now, but he's tough. He's been dealing with minor stuff, it seems like, for the last three months."
Lewis will join Mario Chalmers, Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami's starting lineup. The veteran forward replaces Udonis Haslem in the starting lineup, with Spoelstra shifting Haslem into a reserve role to fill the bench frontcourt hole created by Andersen's absence. Lewis, 34, is averaging 2.1 points and two rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game during the playoffs. He did not play in Games 1 and 2 against Indiana and played 17 minutes without scoring or grabbing a rebound in Game 3.
Miami will use its third starting lineup of the series on Monday. In Game 1, Spoelstra started Chalmers, Wade, James, Shane Battier and Bosh. Haslem replaced Battier for Games 2 and 3. Lewis started just six games during the regular season.
Indiana will start George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert, the only starting lineup they've used during the series.
Miami holds a 2-1 series lead over Indiana.