Report: Heat make lineup change as Malone expects teams to be better

Jun 4, 2023, 4:52 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm

Erik Spoelstra...

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Michael Malone kept up his stern disposition when it came to his expectations for the Miami Heat to play much better.

“I don’t think we played great in Game 1,” said Malone. “They didn’t play great in Game 1. I expect both teams to play a hell of a lot better tonight.”

The glaring fact that stood out the most after Game 1 were the low amount of free throw attempts by the Heat. Yesterday, Jimmy Butler vowed to get to the line. Malone is taking him at his word.

“I’m not banking on the Heat getting only two free throw attempts tonight,” said Malone “You listen to their comments yesterday and they know they are gonna have to play more aggressive and attack the rim. When they get to the foul line it’s when they can implement their game plan.”

The advantages of going up 2-0 are obvious, but Malone isn’t worried about anything more than tonight.

“You know you maintain your homecourt,” said Malone. “The pressure is squarely on them when you go on the road. But for us, we are just worried about tonight. This is truly a one game, one quarter of a time mindset.”

The biggest change of the night is coach Erik Spoelstra is taking Caleb Martin out of the starting lineup and replacing him with Kevin Love. Size, apparently, does matter.

However, Spoelstra would not confirm the change that was reported on NBA TV.

“I can not confirm that, nor will I,” said Spoelstra. “I’m still waiting officially to get word. I’ll figure out my line-up in the next hour or so.”

The Miami head coach also added he intended to play Love in Game 1, but didn’t get to it and that was a mistake on his part.

Spoelstra did say they are highly encouraged with the rehab process of Tyler Herro stating they’ve done more contact work with him. It’s seems likely that Herro will be available for Game 3 in Miami.



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