Report: Erik Spoelstra considering starting Mike Miller in Game 4

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Miami needs floor spacing to get their offense going. The San Antonio Spurs are packing the paint, ignoring Dwyane Wade on the perimeter off the ball, taking away LeBron James’ driving lanes and daring anyone on the Spurs to regularly beat them by shooting over the top. The Heat have become stagnant, the weak side movement in their offense seems to have gone away.

The only Heat player to really space the floor in this series is Mike Miller, who is 10-of-11 from three the NBA Finals.

So Erik Spoelstra is considering starting him, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Looking to jump-start a sluggish offense, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is considering changing his starting lineup for Game 4 of the NBA Finals and inserting the hot-shooting Mike Miller, sources said Thursday…

If Spoelstra decides to make the change with Miami trailing the San Antonio Spurs 2-1 in the best-of-seven Finals, Miller likely would replace Udonis Haslem in the starting lineup to give the Heat more shooters in an attempt to spread the floor.

Miller and LeBron have been +18.9 per 100 possessions when paired this series. It’s worth a shot. But whether he starts or comes off the bench, expect a lot of Miller and a lot of shooters on the court for the Heat.

Two quick thoughts.

First, it’s not just the offense that is the Heat’s problem — they were worse on the defensive end in Game 3. Fixing the offensive problems is less than half the story, although Miller certainly has been solid on defense.

Second, I have a theory that the first coach to break his regular routine in a series — to really mess with rotations or radically alter strategy — is the coach that knows he’s beat. If you get all the way to the NBA Finals doing one thing, you don’t change it up unless you have to. Sometimes the desperation moves pay off and things change, but it’s not a good sign.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.

Trey Lyles dunks on Jayson Tatum then disrespects him far worse (video)

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Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.

On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.