Celtics-Heat: Joel Anthony starts at center for Ronny Turiaf
The Miami Heat have their fifth different starting lineup of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday night against the Boston Celtics. And their fourth different starting center.
Joel Anthony gets the start over Ronny Turiaf, @MiamiHEAT announce.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 3, 2012
The Heat have already had three other starters at the center position in these playoffs — the injured Chris Bosh, Turiaf and Dexter Pittman.
It is Anthony's first start since April 13, a game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
With the change, the Heat go with a slightly smaller lineup in Game 4. Anthony is 6 feet 9 inches, slightly shorter than the 6-foot-10 Turiaf.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has been playing around with his starting lineup after Bosh went down in the first game of the team's series against the Indiana Pacers.
In Games 4, 5 and 6 against the Pacers and in Games 1, 2 and 3 against the Celtics, the Heat had gone with the same starting lineup — Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, Shane Battier, LeBron James and Turiaf. The Heat went 5-1 during that six-game stretch, losing only Game 3 to the Celtics.
Anthony is averaging 3.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh points out why Spoelstra may have made the move:
KG per 36 min averages with Joel Anthony OFF court this series: 27.2 pts on 53 FG%. Joel ON court? 15.0 pts on 40 FG%. — Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 3, 2012