are inserting sixth man Ray Allen
into the starting lineup for Game 5. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO -- Facing a 3-1 deficit, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed his starting lineup for Game 5 of the Finals, marking Miami's first shift of the series.
Miami will start Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh against the Spurs. Previously in the Finals, the Heat had started Mario Chalmers, Wade, James, Lewis and Bosh. The move leaves Miami without a true point guard, but James and Wade are fully capable of initiating the Heat's offense.
Game 5 will mark the first postseason start for Allen since he joined the Heat in 2012. Allen is averaging 11 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in the Finals, while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from deep.
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Chalmers has struggled throughout the postseason, and Wade referred to him as a "missing piece" for Miami earlier in the series. The sixth-year point guard is averaging 3.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 turnovers per game in the Finals, while shooting just 27.8 percent overall and 14.3 percent from deep.
Miami also activated forward Michael Beasley for Game 5.
Previously, Spoelstra had also started Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem at times during this postseason before opting for Lewis late in the Eastern Conference finals, as Andersen dealt with injuries.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich chose to continue with his same lineup for Game 5: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw and Tim Duncan. The Spurs started Tiago Splitter instead of Diaw for Games 1 and 2 of the series, with Popovich inserting Diaw for Game 3 in Miami.
The Heat are attempting to become the first team in 32 tries to climb out of a 3-1 hole to win the Finals. The Spurs are attempting to avenge their 2013 Finals loss to the Heat and claim the fifth championship of the Duncan era.
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