Heat to start Rashard Lewis with Chris Andersen (thigh) out for Game 5
With Chris "The Birdman" Andersen due to miss a second straight game with a thigh injury, the Heat will start Rashard Lewis for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers on Wednesday .
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 and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, and did not play during the Heat's 102-90 victory in Game 4. Andersen is averaging 5.8 points (on 63.4 percent shooting) and 5.8 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game during the playoffs.
"Well, it's mobility," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked what's holding Andersen back. "He doesn't have much of it right now. It is getting a little bit better, but he doesn't have a whole lot of mobility."
Lewis will once again 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 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game during the playoffs. He did not play in Games 1 and 2 against Indiana; he played 17 minutes without scoring or grabbing a rebound in Game 3 and was scoreless in 25 minutes in Game 4.
Miami has used three starting lineups during the series. In Game 1, Spoelstra started Chalmers, Wade, James, Shane Battier and Bosh. Haslem replaced Battier for Games 2 and 3, before Lewis replaced Haslem during Game 4. 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 the Pacers have used during the series. Miami holds a 3-1 series lead over Indiana. If the Heat win Game 5, they will advance to the Finals for the fourth consecutive year.