Monday, June 27, 2022

Heat’s Spoelstra sticking to same start vs. Celtics; Hero (waist), ‘doing everything he can’

Despite being limited by point guard Kyle Lowry’s balky hamstrings and a lack of shooting by guard Max Strauss, Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said after his team’s morning shoot for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night. There will be no lineup changes. TD Garden.

“These are tough decisions. We’re going with that lineup,” he said with his team as the Boston Celtics beat the Boston Celtics 3-2 in a best-of-seven series. “It’s been a really successful lineup.”

The Heat have started that lineup throughout the playoffs with Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker, Jimmy Butler, Lowry and Strauss not hurting their way to the opening.

“It’s a fast-moving series,” Spoelstra said. “And it happens with two competing teams: Who can match whom? Who can get their strength more often? Who can beat the other team with their strength?

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“It’s a fine line between doing those things and making adjustments. But that’s part of the deal.”

Reserve rotation is less certain, with sixth man Tyler Herrow missing Games 4 and 5 with a groin strain.

“We’re still working through it,” Spoelstra said after a light game-day session at the gym at the team’s hotel. “He was able to do some work this morning. He is doing everything possible to convince the head coach and the coaches that he is available, but we will make that determination tonight.

When asked what it would take to get Hero back on the court, Spoelstra said, “I’ll have to talk to the coaches. He’s going to have to pass some protocols. He’s doing some stuff, so we’ll see.”

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In addition to Hero, Lurie (hamstring), Strauss (hamstring), Tucker (knee) and guard Gabe Vincent (hamstring) also continue to be listed in Friday’s injury report as suspects by the Heat. There is also the case of Butler battling knee pain.

Spoelstra smiled when asked for updates on those players.

“Given that I’m not allowed to ask other people,” he said, “I think they’ll at least go through their routine.”

Spoelstra concluded his media session by saying, “I think we’re going to have some great performances tonight, no matter what lineup we have.”

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