“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Let the Birdman fly!
Let the Birdman fly!

Remember when the Heat went on a 27 game winning streak in the regular season? Now, it has come down to just two games which will decide whether this Miami Heat team is a dynasty or a failure. All the Heat must do is win two games in a row (much easier said than done) and they can crown themselves as repeat champions. If they end up losing to the Spurs, will Riley blow up the team, making this experiment a failure? Who knows. One thing I ask is why would Erik Spoelstra try and change the lineup in the Finals?!!! Everyone knows you don’t mess around with your team in the playoffs!
The Heat made a historical run during the regular season, firing on all cylinders. LeBron was doing crazy LeBron-esque things, all of the role players were contributing, and Juwan Howard set an NBA record for high fives given. Everything was going great. Now in the Finals, Spoelstra decides to stick a streaky Mike Miller in for Udonis Haslem, making the Heat mainly a small ball team. Miller only put up two shots in the last two games, scoring a total of ZERO POINTS. Spoelstra then benched the energetic BIRDMAN BIRDMAN for all of Games 3 and 4. Why is he straying away from something that got them to where they are today? I really have no idea.
Gregg Popovich knew his team was capable of staying with the small ball Heat and was not afraid to matchup with them. He simply slid Kawhi Leonard over to the 4 spot and inserted a struggling Manu into the starting lineup. Oddly enough, the Spurs are actually better than the Heat with this style. They surround Parker and Duncan with superb three points shooting (note from Jake: DANNY THREEZUS) and are able to push the ball in transition, while still defending at an elite level. This lineup change really blew up in the Heat’s face with Manu being more like his Manu self and all of the Spurs starters scoring in double digits.
Hopefully, Erik Spoelstra will go back to his own style for Games 6 and 7, which is what won the Heat 66 games in the regular season. He should want to keep Tiago Splitter on the floor as much as possible, something that will happen if he plays his bigs more. I am not saying he should abandon small ball, he just should not bench all of his bigs and depend on Bosh/James to consistently rebound and protect the rim at a high level. When the Heat go small, no Spurs players are afraid of attacking the rim. Why should they be?
Moral of the Story: Stick to what you know and don’t mess around in the Finals.

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