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Haslem will likely come off the bench for the second straight game, with Miami expected to use its same opening lineup from Game 4, with Mike Miller starting to give the Heat an extra shooter who can help create more space for everyone else. That move by Spoelstra led to some mildly comical defensive assignments by the Spurs, like having center Tiago Splitter open the game guarding Wade, a short-lived experiment.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked Saturday if he may adjust his lineup to address Miami’s move.
“I’d hate to be trite and say anything is possible,” Popovich said. “Your question demands my triteness.”
There is a certain symmetry in the to-do list for the Heat: Win two games in a row, and winning two titles in a row would figure to follow. Then again, just because they’re coming off a double-digit win on San Antonio’s floor in Game 4, that doesn’t mean Sunday will be anything but a huge test.
The last time the Spurs lost two straight at home was March 28 and 31, 2011. And one has to go even farther back than that to find the last time Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all played in consecutive Spurs home losses _ those came on May 7 and 9, 2010, in the playoffs against Phoenix.
LeBron James thinks Miami is poised for the breakthrough.
“I think it’s time,” said James, the Heat star and four-time MVP. “I think we’re well overdue when it’s time for us to win consecutive games. I think we’re at 11 or 12 straight, consecutive win-loss, win-loss, win-loss. I think it’s time. Enough is enough for our team. I’m not saying it’s going to result in us having a win, but we need to play with the same sense of urgency as if we were down 2-1 or whatever the case may be tomorrow night. And we can’t wait around.”
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