Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 3

Rashard Lewis starting for Heat in Game 4


The small-ball favoring Heat face repeated lineup decisions in their seemingly annual playoff series against the large Pacers. Should Miami go big to match up or go small to create mismatches?

In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Heat opted to go smaller in their starting lineup – though their hands were forced when it came to altering their rotation.

Miami’s starting lineup – Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade LeBron James, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh – has played amazingly well, albeit in a small sample. In 61 regular-season minutes and three postseason minutes, that unit is +26.

The lineup would have led the NBA in both points scored and allowed per 100 possessions during the regular season.

  • Offensive rating: 116.0
  • Defensive rating: 93.0
  • Net rating: 23.1

Don’t expect the Heat to maintain that elite production in a longer stretch – especially against the Pacers’ starters. This new rotation will bring a lot of questions.

How will Bosh handle covering Roy Hibbert for longer stretches? Who guards David West? Can Miami hide Lewis somewhere and use LeBron on West? How much will the Heat miss Chris Andersen’s size and toughness? What role will Udonis Haslem off the bench?

We’ll see shortly. This could work out to Miami’s advantage, but it will be an adjustment.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.